Monday, August 31, 2009


This weekend started off pretty dull... the weather wasn't really great, my broom otherwise known as the 61 Falcon was acting ghoulishly evil. So I pulled out paint and started to touch up my walls, doors and boarders. Also take a shot at that glazing project. Well the touchup paint is NOT the same color as my walls and the glazing/faux project kinda went on a sour note because I just wasn't too crazy about it. It looks great from afar but I'm just not sure I want my entire living room looking like that.

So what does Madame Jen do next? She goes back into the garage to put away the paint cans and finds herself staring at (what I thought was 6 boxes) 8 containers of Halloween decor. I took everything down and went through them all. I forgot that I had got some stuff on clearance last year. I had several masks that will work perfect on those mannequin heads! My big ghoul, Dylan's costume from last year is going to be perfect to put to use on my zombie. Oh and my best witch Mandi was on the phone with me, she says I'm a hoarder because I only found 6 bags of moss left over from last year. *cackles* (note to self, you do not need anymore moss for at least 3 years)

Ok so below (and forgive me for uploading these pictures backwards) are the tombstones. As you can see I started off with several tombstones I got at the Dollar Tree, some moss, plastic bugs, and those sticks I steal from my neighbors lawns that come from Scotts lawn service. I used my glue gun to stick the lawn stick onto the back of my tombstone. Remember if your glue gun is hot temp do not put the hot glue on your styrofoam tombstones! Put the glue on your stick and wait a few seconds then place on tombstone. You might want to apply some pressure to ensure it sticks. Remember the reason I use these sticks is because the sticks that come with the tombstones do not do very good in the wind. These sticks I use are perfect and they do not come out of the ground due to high wind and are strong enough to keep them up.

Next, I just play around with the moss. I always like to put some along the bottom. Therefore you do not really see the end of the tombstone touching your grass. It kind of hides it and makes it realistic looking, great effect! I also like to place some green moss into the nooks and crannies on the tombstone and sometimes along the top/sides. I use green moss for the bottom and occasionally I'll use some spanish moss at the top. Just use your glue gun and place wherever...

Last, but not least plastic bugs.... I use spiders, rats, flies, etc.. I didn't use the purple ones only because they don't look that real. I took a close up of the spider on the one tombstone. With my glue gun I made a web effect around the spider. By doing that I just touched the tip of the glue gun to the points and slowly dragged over the glue "string". No need to pull the trigger. Just bring the gun back and forth and down and touch.

The two tombstones shown at the top were bought on clearance last year. They are about 2x bigger than the Dollar Tree ones, I added some larger spiders and a black crow I purchased at the Dollar Tree to them.

Of course that's not ALL I did this weekend.... there's plenty more where this came from! I worked on some creepy jars, worked on my zombie and played with some skulls. Coming soon....

60 more days till Samhain!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Project Pictures

I promised some pictures on the projects I am currently working on and here they are....

The first is my zombie head! Keep in mind this is my very first time using chicken wire. Tools I used was a wire cutter and needle nose pliers. I took the chicken wire and made the formation of a head, using the pliers to bend the ends to close it. Covered it in newspaper, use newspaper and some tape and wrap it like a present. Take your papier mache and go to town. Note: I have done these in all separate steps. One day I made the zombie body (you will see below), another day I started my first layers of the papier mache, and just over the weekend I built the eyes and nose. How I built the eyes and nose, was I took the cover of the phone book bent it into the shape of a circle and taped the end, then taped (masking tape) it to the face, same thing for the nose. Then papier mache and build up the sides of the eyes and nose. That's where I left off as you can see below. This weekend I will make a mouth and build from there until dry, at that point I will paint his face.

This is the zombie torso and arms. I created with chicken wire. Really easy. I'm on the fence right now about doing papier mache over his body or just leaving it be and covering it with his clothes. Depending on what it looks like I don't think I'll have to take that extra step with the papier mache. I'll keep you posted...

Here are some of the mannequin heads we found on craigslist. In the meantime I've placed some cheap fun wigs on her. Still haven't decided exactly what I want to do to her just yet. She eventually will be a zombie but not sure if I want to make it more permanent or use face paint wherein it could be washed off when I'm done and can do something different to her in the upcoming years.

Below is the papier mache skull. I used a plastic skull for the base and wrapped it up in tin foil. The tin foil will keep the papier mache from sticking to my mold. I have done about 5 layers here, I will do a few more to be complete. I will then take an x-acto knife/razor blade and cut the skull in half to remove my mold. Hot glue the skull back together and papier mache it just several more layers until complete. I will then paint it and seal it. Pictures will follow when completed.

Last but not least the cheesecloth! Right now it's folded up. I explained my dying process in my previous blog. I will wait until the 6 storage containers are out of the garage and everything is set up outside to be displayed before I cut/shred it up. I think I'm going to use some on my zombie too.

Hope your all having a ghoulish week!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cheesecloth and Papier Mache

This weekend I worked on dying the cheesecloth. A fellow witch named Cynthia gave me a great idea to put the cheesecloth in my cauldron and add some tea bags for an old yellow/lt brown look. I added 6 tea bags into the cauldron, 5 yards of cheesecloth and left it sitting overnight. The following morning I took it out and it wasn't as dark as I would have liked so I just added some more tea bags. Thanks to Cynthia I saved a few bucks buying tan/brown dye. :)

I had picked up some black RIT several weeks ago and put that into my sink and added the other cheesecloth's that I had and that came out a really neat grey/purple color. I had about 9 yards in there and left it sitting for about 30 min.

Started back on my papier mache zombie face. I added eyes and a nose and more layers to the head.

Cleaning out your fridge makes for good halloween finds too! I took several condiment glass jars that were almost empty and maybe had one or two pickles left in it. I think I had about 3 glass jars of pepperoncinis. I cleaned them out, submerged them in hot water and let them sit for a while, until the labels came off. Glass jars make for great witch potion jars and/or specimen jars for a lab scene.

On Sunday morning I was helping one of my ghouls organize her room. In her toy box I found some rubber snakes, rubber roaches and some vampire teeth! I was excited and thought it would make great additions to some of my skeleton projects.

So pictures will be uploaded this week. My Frankenstein left the cord to the camera at his work but, will return it this evening so I can upload some of my projects thus far. Can't wait to share!

Until next time... happy hauntings!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hunt for Halloween

This past weekend I took the kids on a Halloween Hunt, we basically hit every store in town for Halloween goods. The big stores, like Target and Walmart only have "fall" stuff out. No Halloween goodies but, low and behold Michael's had all their stuff out. We checked out Big Lots and Dollar tree too. Big Lots and the Dollar Tree just started to put their stuff out. So there was little on the shelves.

We picked up some black crows from Michael's because it was 30% off. Michael's had some ok stuff. Not worth buying at the original price though. If you buy something from Michael's they will give you a coupon with your receipt to come back the following week for 40% one regular priced item. Not bad... Or you can even go online, sign up for their newsletter and every week they will email you with basically the same coupon. Sometimes they email you with a 50% off coupon or like Sunday they had a 25% off your entire purchase coupon. Oh and by the way they had a Martha Stewart Halloween collection of craft stuff which was actually pretty nice... we all know Martha is a true goth at heart!

The Dollar Tree simply amazes me. We picked up some cool skeleton heads, more moss, fall leaves, Halloween signs, a bag of plastic bugs, skeleton garland (which was super cool), and the most amazing was the butchered bloody hands and feet. Those things are at least $10 at Spirit or Party City. Oh and picked up some super kewl skeleton plates, bowls & cups - cause that's just good all year round!

Last place we went to was Home Depot, we picked up some cheesecloth which was $2.59 for 4 yards! They sell that at Michael's for at least $6.99, not even as big. We also picked up some wooden stakes to build our fence for the cemetery. The cost on the fence will run us about $34 (which includes fence, posts, nails, and black flat spray paint.) Oh and I picked up some chicken wire, because I started making the body to my zombie. Pictures will soon follow....

On Sunday, we went to this ladies house and picked up mannequin heads. She was selling them for a few bucks a piece so we picked up 6. They kinda look like Trya Banks but we will morph Tyra into a zombie. Pictures to follow...

So word of advice for today is: If you shop at a particular store, go online and sign up! They will email you coupons! Check your local dollar tree store for creepy good finds! Last but not least, do your homework on the smaller stuff like for instance the cheesecloth. Gives a super cool effect to your haunted house/cemetery and adds great ambiance. Buying things at the hardware store is MUCH cheaper, maybe you have to put some of your time into it but, think of the quality time you get to spend with your ghouls at home putting it together.

Happy Hauntings!

Monday, August 17, 2009


I know we're still in August but, I guess because I live in Georgia now I can actually sense the season change. I wanted to start a blog about the stuff I'm doing for Halloween and since I've gotten some ideas from some really nice folks who shared their own ideas online. I figured it would only be fair to share some of my own.

Since I've been on my own and out of my parents house, I've always wanted to have a spookiest house on Halloween (besides the spookiness that's inside all year round). I wanted to be just like those Christmas freaks that dress up their houses in lights, reindeer's, and Santa's, but having skeletons, blood, tombstones, coffins, etc.... I recall being a little girl and there was a police officer at the end of my street and he had the scariest shit in his yard. His whole sidewalk was lined up with bloody heads. I guess you can call it a fascination. Any hoot, I've lived in apartments up until I moved to Georgia (3 years ago) where I could finally unleash my fascination. You can only decorate the outside of an apartment so much. At your own house and your own yard you can do what ever the hell you want!!! *evil grin*

So here it begins....

About 2 weeks ago I got on a Halloween kick! Searching on props & decorations online. Some props can be super costly, and some you can just make on your own! My thought on starting this was to give some tips, maybe some people can even share their own tips. Tips on creating, diy, ideas, saving, etc...

For instance, a few years ago I purchased some of those foam tombstones from the dollar store. Well last year I got some moss and plastic spiders and dressed them up a bit. Just by taking a glue gun, a bag of moss from the dollar store and some plastic spiders I had from the past years spider web (which we always throw out when we're done, just keep the spiders it comes with). You can pick up the same bag of moss from the dollar store, they sell it at Michael's or any other craft store for $2.59 and up! One bag of moss will go a long way.

The other thing I did last year was I kinda stole the Scott's Grass notifications off my neighbors lawns. It's just that stupid black stick with a flag (people throw it in the trash anyway). Ok back to the point. You know how those dollar store tombstones never stay in the ground or the metal prongs it comes with to stick in the ground is super flimsy and/or break? Well I took the Scott's Grass sticks and glued them with my glue gun to the back. It works PERFECT! PS: If your using a hot glue gun make sure it's cool, hot glue will burn right through that foam. ;)

Another thing that was pretty cool that the kids discovered was when I was playing with the glue gun and tacking the spiders on the tombstone, the glue made a web "look" as I would take it away and attach. So I actually started playing with the glue gun and made a bunch of spiderwebs at the corner of the tombstones. FYI: They are selling webcasters (freak'n glue guns) for $50 bucks! You can buy a glue gun for several bucks at a craft store or you might have one handy around the house.

So that's it for this discussion. I'll continue with another blog on great Halloween dollar store finds! Finding coupons online, and my prop creations.

Feel free to leave spooktacular comments!