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 "skeleton":

Making the bird skeleton for my cuckoo clock mask

I made this bird skeleton for my cuckoo clock skull mask for Mardi Gras 2016. Making this skeleton was extremely challenging, and I basically made up all the steps as I went along. I had no idea what I was doing, but I learned a lot and I’m very happy with the end result. I didn’t take as many pictures as I should’ve along the way, so I’ve done some sketches to explain certain steps.

Cuckoo clock skull mask -- bird skeleton

The main materials in the bird skeleton are:

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Published by Manning on February 9th, 2016 | 2 Comments

Cuckoo clock skull mask — part 3

This is part three of my cuckoo clock skull mask project. See part one and part two.

Where were we? Oh yeah, it’s time to paint!

Painting the mask

Cuckoo clock skull mask - roof and clock body spray painted!

I painted the clock body and the roof separately for the most part before joining them together. I first protected the screen in the eyes/nose/mouth with blue masking tape (the kind that’s really easy to remove), and then I spray painted the entire exterior of the clock white. I separately spray painted the roof black. I let these pieces air out for about three days outside.

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Published by Manning on February 9th, 2016 | No Comments

Cuckoo clock skull mask — part 2

This is part two of my cuckoo clock skull mask project. See part one and part three.

Scale-pattern shingles on the roof

Cuckoo clock skull mask - house-shaped clock body and roof panels

I started the roof with two foam board panels. My process for creating the scale-shaped shingles was kind of convoluted…

Cuckoo clock skull mask - close up of roof texture made with craft foam

The pattern on the roof is made with a few layers of craft foam (aka Wonderfoam). I made this way harder for myself than it needed to be! Since all my wall and roof panels were irregular shapes — there isn’t a single 90-degree angle on this whole mask — I needed the scale-shaped roof tiles to start out larger near the top of the roof and get smaller toward the bottom. I ended up designing the whole roof surface in Photoshop, starting with a nice regular scale pattern on a rectangular shape (figure 1). Read more…

Published by Manning on February 9th, 2016 | No Comments

Cuckoo clock skull mask, Mardi Gras 2016

Behold my cuckoo clock skull mask for Mardi Gras 2016! Wow, this one was complicated and fun! Here’s the short version…

Cuckoo clock skull mask by Manning Krull

Cuckoo clock skull mask with bird skeleton

This mask was made up of a lot of individual paper maché parts that I built separately and assembled. Here’s a very quick rundown of the parts and what they’re made of:

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Published by Manning on February 9th, 2016 | 2 Comments

My nightmare-themed Halloween party

The theme for my Halloween party in 2013 was: nightmares! The name of the event was Night Terrors, and I chose purple and green as my main color scheme for the party. Here’s some info about the decorations we made, our costumes, the animated invitation, etc.

Invitation — I create a short animated invitation for my Halloween party ever year; it really helps set the mood and establish the color scheme and give people some inspiration for their costumes. Here’s the invitation I sent out for Night Terrors. Note: there is audio. Also, it’s made in Flash, so it won’t work on an iPhone/iPad.
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Published by Manning on July 13th, 2015 | No Comments

Tips for applying Halloween makeup, hair color, fake blood, contact lenses, etc!

zombie makeup tutorial

My makeup method is pretty simply and I use different variations of it almost every year.

For my face, the main type of makeup I use is Ben Nye Creme Colors (paid link) — they come in a little flat jar and you can find them at a lot of Halloween stores, often behind the counter because they’re a little pricier.

For zombie makeup or general scary ghoulish makeup, I usually just use black and white Ben Nye Creme Colors, and I just use my fingers to apply it. I start off with a base of white, all over my face. Then I use black makeup on my finger tips to apply heavy black areas around my eyes, under my cheekbones, etc, and blend them out toward the white. I use my finger tips to add shadows down the creases on the side of my mouth, and on the sides of my nose, at my temples, above my brow ridge, etc.
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Published by Manning on June 26th, 2015 | No Comments

Skeleton in a bloody bathtub Halloween party decoration

How to make an easy skeleton in a bloody bathtub decoration for your Halloween party

This project is so easy and creates such an amazing effect! All you need is a bathtub, a skeleton, and some tempera paint! I like this one so much I do it almost every Halloween, even though my party has a different theme every year. Skeletons in bathtubs go with everything!
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Published by Manning on June 23rd, 2015 | No Comments

10-foot grim reaper Halloween decoration!

Giant grim reaper Halloween prop

This giant grim reaper prop I made for a Halloween party in 2010 was the first paper maché project I ever tackled! (Well, not counting art class back in grade school.) I seriously had no idea what I was doing but it turned out okay, and my success with this project really inspired me to keep trying to make bigger and more complicated Halloween decorations every year.
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Published by Manning on June 23rd, 2015 | No Comments

Paper maché skeleton lion prop

I made (or modified, really) this little paper maché skeleton lion prop for my fiancée’s skeleton lion tamer costume. She mentioned there was this weird soft rubber lion model at her work that they didn’t need and I told her I could paint bones on it for her so she could use it as a prop for her costume. But when she brought it home I saw it had these deep grooves all over it to imply a fur texture, and I knew it would be basically impossible to paint nice clean lines over it for the bones. So I did a couple layers of paper maché over the whole thing, and then painted it; easy! See my post about my paper maché process here. Because the scale is much smaller here than for my usualy big skull masks and other projects, I did the paper maché a little different; I started with my usual alternating layers of newspaper and brown wrapping paper (just one layer each), and then I added a final layer of tissue paper to get the surface as smooth as possible. Then I spray painted it black and painted the bones on with white acrylic and a brush. Fun!
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Published by Manning on June 22nd, 2015 | No Comments

My hand-painted skeleton suit

how to make a home made skeleton costume

I made this skeleton suit for my first Mardi Gras (2012) and have worn it every Mardi Gras since, plus a few Halloweens here and there. Making the suit was a fun project, and a little more challenging than I expected.

I started with a thick black blazer and a black pair of cotton pants, both of which were from H&M; I already had them in my closet and chose to sacrifice them for this costume.
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Published by Manning on June 21st, 2015 | 4 Comments

Paper maché violin skull mask, Mardi Gras 2015

Completed paper mache violin skull mask, Mardi Gras 2015

I made this violin skull mask for Mardi Gras 2015. It was one of the most complicated things I’ve ever made. I bit off more than I could chew with this one, but I’m really happy with how it came out. Check out all these steps…

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Published by Manning on June 18th, 2015 | 17 Comments

Paper maché conjoined twins skull mask, Mardi Gras 2014

This year I was determined to give chicken wire another go, after my failed attempt the previous year. I had already sketched out my idea for this conjoined twins (aka “siamese twins”) skull, and I knew I wanted them to be different heights and sort of distorted and curved-looking. So I decided to start out with two big tubes of chicken wire.
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Published by Manning on June 18th, 2015 | 4 Comments

My first big paper maché skull mask, Mardi Gras 2013

My first Mardi Gras skull mask; photoshoot behind a warehouse in New Orleans

This was my first big paper maché project!

I started off by buying some chicken wire and trying to shape it into the skull shape I pictured in my head. It didn’t work out at all; I had no idea what I was doing and I just couldn’t get the chicken wire to do what I wanted. So I gave up on the chicken wire for this mask. (I used chicken wire again, with much better results, the next year!)

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Published by Manning on June 18th, 2015 | 28 Comments