Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Posts tagged "paper mache":

New Orleans Devil Man mask — the sequel!

I made a mask of the New Orleans Devil Man back in 2015 for my “Voodoo Bayou” Halloween party. I no longer have that mask, but I made another similar one this year because I’ll be in New Orleans for Halloween and I wanted to reprise the costume. I wasn’t trying to make the same exact mask again; I figured I’d just start over and include a lot of the same elements, but let the style go in different directions as I work on it.

New Orleans Devil Man mask

Read more…

Published by Manning on November 4th, 2019 | No Comments

Paper maché bear trap prop

I made this paper maché bear trap prop as part of my Halloween costume for my Summer Camp Slasher party. It was pretty easy!

Bear trap prop - painting finished

99% of my projects start with lots of foam board and tape and end with paper maché and paint, and this one was no different. I started out by building the “jaws” of the bear trap. I measured and cut out a few 1.5″ strips of foam board to serve as the jaws, minus the teeth; those will come later. Read more…

Published by Manning on October 29th, 2019 | No Comments

Paper maché machete, hatchet, meat cleaver, sickle, etc props

I made all these paper maché weapon props for Halloween 2019 — a machete, a meat cleaver, a sickle, a scythe, two hatchets, a hand saw, a pitchfork, and a few knives. They were easy!

Paper mache meat cleaver, knives, etc - spray painting

I used a lot of the same process for these that I did for my paper maché kitchen knife prop last year and this paper maché axe that I made a few weeks ago, so check out that article if you want some more details and pics. Read more…

Published by Manning on October 29th, 2019 | No Comments

Paper maché archery target decoration

I made this paper maché archery target decoration for my 2019 summer-camp-slasher-movie-themed Halloween party! Here’s how I did it…

Paper mache archery target with skeleton decoration - finished!

Paper mache archery target with skeleton decoration - cutting out foam board

Paper mache archery target with skeleton decoration - making the circle box shape

I started by deciding on a size for my target — 36″ in diameter. I taped two 30″ x 20″ sheets of foam board together with heavy duty shipping tape, and drew a 36″ circle on ’em. (See my article about drawing precise circles here.) I cut out this circle with an X-acto knife. I then made a second copy of the same thing.

Read more…

Published by Manning on October 28th, 2019 | No Comments

Paper-maché severed head props!

I made these severed head decorations for Halloween 2019, using paper maché and clay and a bunch of other stuff. They were fun! Here’s how I made ’em…

Making a dozen paper mache severed heads

I started with a couple of styrofoam heads I already had laying around; one dude and one lady. I’d bought these ages ago for some project or other; I don’t even remember what it was specifically because I’ve ended up using them for a million different things — as a stand for masks I was working on, as a base for other Halloween head props I’ve made, etc. Read more…

Published by Manning on October 28th, 2019 | No Comments

Paper maché fireplace prop

I made this paper maché fireplace for my 2019 Halloween party — Summer Camp Slasher!

Paper mache fireplace prop

Of course I started by measuring and sketching the fireplace to make sure it would be the right size for our wall and tall enough to reach our ceiling. I built the basic big shapes using my usual method for building box shapes out of foam board. Read more…

Published by Manning on October 14th, 2019 | No Comments

Freddy Krueger hand prop accessory!

I made this Freddy Krueger hand prop as part of my wife’s 2019 Halloween costume; soon it’ll be a wearable prop that’s bursting out of her chest! For now, here’s how I made the hand itself…

Paper mache Freddy Krueger hand prop - finished!

Sculpting the hand

I definitely went overboard with building the hand; I totally could’ve just stuffed a glove with wadded-up paper towels or something. But that would leave me with a really lifeless, fake-looking hand, and I wanted something more realistic, with more tension in the way it’s posed. I’m always up for overkill on these things!

Read more…

Published by Manning on October 1st, 2019 | No Comments

Paper maché chainsaw prop

This thing was fun! And relatively easy, really! I made this paper maché chainsaw prop as a decoration for my 2019 Halloween party. There are so many different little shapes to this thing, and I was really winging it along the way, so there’s no way I can accurately write about every single step or this article would be twenty pages long. But I’ll show you some of the broad strokes…

Paper mache chainsaw prop - painting done!

Read more…

Published by Manning on October 1st, 2019 | No Comments

Home-made Jason Voorhees mask!

I made this very quick and easy Jason Voorhees mask prop for Halloween 2019. Sure I could’ve bought one for a few bucks, but it’s always more fun to make my own, and I like for all my Halloween decorations and props to have a really rough DIY look to ’em.

Paper mache Jason Voorhees mask - finished

Read more…

Published by Manning on September 30th, 2019 | No Comments

Making a paper maché rifle and gun rack prop

I made this paper maché hunting rifle and gun rack as a wall decoration for my summer camp slasher movie Halloween party. It was easy!

Paper mache rifle prop - painted

Paper mache rifle prop - with gun rack

I started by doing some image searches for old hunting rifles, to get an idea of the shape and size. I found an image I wanted to use, scaled it up in Photoshop and printed it out as several pages, then taped the pages together and cut the rifle shape out.

Read more…

Published by Manning on September 30th, 2019 | No Comments

Paper maché axe prop

I made this here paper maché axe prop for my 2019 Halloween party — theme to be announced soon! It was really easy; here’s how I did it…

Paper mache axe - finished!

A little background: you may remember I made a way-oversized axe prop a while back for my Axe Man skeleton costume (why would you remember that?). So I’d already learned a few lessons from that project, and I decided to do this one a little differently. Along with being oversized, I intentionally designed that axe to be a little bit exaggerated in its proportions; almost a little cartoony. Read more…

Published by Manning on August 5th, 2019 | 2 Comments

Love 2 make new Friends

paper mache heads

It’s June, and that means Halloween preparation is well underway! This here is the very early stages of making a dozen paper maché severed heads!

I’ll post a few pics of the heads in progress below; full article coming soon!

Read more…

Published by Manning on June 5th, 2019 | No Comments

Skull mask with dancing skeletons, part 4

This is part four of my skull mask project with rotating gears and marching skeletons. See parts one, two, and three.

Installing the hard hat

Almost all of my big paper maché masks are mounted on a hard hat. Hard hats are great because they’re cheap and they provide a lot of comfort and stability in a big mask. I usually saw off some parts of the hard hat for each mask depending on its shape, in order to reduce weight and to help the hard hat fit in the mask as well as possible. Read more…

Published by Manning on March 5th, 2019 | 2 Comments

Skull mask with dancing skeletons, part 3

This is part three of my skull mask project with rotating gears and marching skeletons. See parts one and two.

Building the skull shape

In part one I built the whole mechanism with the gears inside of a big circular wall; this would become the outer wall of the skull mask at around ear-level (not my ears, the skull’s ears — uh, wait a minute…). Read more…

Published by Manning on March 5th, 2019 | No Comments

Paper maché skull mask with dancing skeletons, part 2

This is part two of my skull mask project with rotating gears and marching skeletons. See part one here.

Attaching the skeletons to the rings

Dancing skeletons

I drew all 29 of the dancing skeletons at a larger size (about 6″ tall) on sketchbook paper, keeping the designs as simple as possible since I’d be re-painting them by hand at a much smaller size. I scanned ’em and cleaned ’em up in Photoshop, reduced them to about 2″ tall, and printed them out. Read more…

Published by Manning on March 5th, 2019 | No Comments

Skull mask with dancing skeletons, part 1

Welcome to the newest installment in my ongoing quest to kill myself with overly complicated art projects! For the 20th anniversary of Skeleton Krewe (my seventh year officially with the Krewe) I decided to make a paper maché skull mask with moving parts! Yikes! The mask has a crank and gears and 29 little skeleton figurines representing my fellow Krewe members; a sort of best-of selection of our skull masks and skeleton outfits over the last two decades. Here’s how I made the thing!

Skull mask with gears and rotating rings

Read more…

Published by Manning on March 5th, 2019 | 2 Comments

Paper mache horse skull mask!

This year for Skeleton Krewe’s 20th anniversary, my fiancée decided to make a mask of our mascot, Skelly the skeleton horse! And I’ve decided to steal it for blog content. This is her second big skull mask project, and she let me be her assistant!

Horse skull mask - close up

The real Skelly is a fiberglass horse on wheels; she used to one of many gold horses that were mounted on top of tractors that pulled the floats in the Mardi Gras superkrewe of Rex. Read more…

Published by Manning on March 5th, 2019 | 2 Comments

Making a giant Skeleton Krewe doubloon!

I’ve been marching with Skeleton Krewe every Mardi Gras since 2013, and every year we give out either wooden nickels or metallic doubloons with the Krewe’s logo on them. This Mardi Gras the group is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and I decided to make this giant-sized doubloon; I’m not even sure what I’m gonna do with it yet! Here’s how I made the thing…

Read more…

Published by Manning on February 23rd, 2019 | No Comments

Experiment time: paper maché versus plaster cloth

I’ve always used paper maché for my big masks and sculptures, and although I really enjoy the paper maché process it can be very time-consuming. A friend of mine mentioned that she recently tried plaster cloth — aka plaster wrap, plaster of paris strips, craft wrap, etc — and she said it saved her a ton of time. She’d made a couple Halloween masks with the stuff and they definitely looked great; she said she was so happy with the results that she’d never go back to paper maché. Huh! I was skeptical, but intrigued.

Read more…

Published by Manning on January 13th, 2019 | No Comments

Paper maché wolf mask

I made this oversized paper maché wolf mask for Halloween 2018! It was a rush project without a lot of planning, and I took a lot of shortcuts, but it still came out pretty cool (but, uh, way bigger than I was thinking)! Here’s how I made the thing…

Paper mache wolf mask - paint job finished

Read more…

Published by Manning on November 2nd, 2018 | No Comments