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Anyone Here Build Props?

6454 Views 57 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  ScareFX
Just curious if anyone else who visits here builds any of their own stuff. I do as it's the best way to get exactly the kinds of props you want. Alot of the stuff on the market is either too cutesy, too cheesy, or too damned expensive.

Any ambitious haunters frequenting this site?
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I built some Halloween props last year and a few years ago too. I built wooden gravestones and crosses, an old wooden fence, Universal Classic Monsters (static props: Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein and his Bride, and the Wolfman), and other stuff for the cemetery. Where I live there's not much stuff for Halloween except costumes and masks and those cheesy plastic tombstones or other garbage props. So I decided to build everything myself. It's much more fun too. This year I don't know if I'm going to add anything new. I'll probably keep the Monsters and the cemetery but just change the look a little bit. And I probably won't use the fog machine I bought last year. As soon as it was windy a little bit, all the fog would go away.
I think most store-bought props, no matter where you are suck. I really feel that's why so many of us build our own stuff... it just looks so much better, and often times costs much less than a store-bought prop anyway.

I hear you with the fog. It's a real crapshoot as to whether or not the wind will behave itself. I say since I already have the fog machine, I may as well use it regardless of the wind factor because I think it'd be a waste to just let it sit in my barn and rot away.

Good to see another do-it-yourselfer here! Feel free to post about your prop-building exploits. :D
I constructed my own life-size Freddy Krueger. I used chicken wire to create the frame (ouch, ouch, ouch!!! :D ) and then dressed him up with my Krueger costume from last year. I attached a styrophome (shoot, is that how you spell that?) head -- the one that I got with the mask, to display it on -- and rigged up the glove and a fake hand. All in all, very realistic -- and on Halloween night, the kids just loved it. They thought it was real. This year I plan on making a second one and doing a "Freddy VS. Jason" theme.

(Mind you, there was a lot of other decorations, but that really was the best one of all -- plus the awesome spotlights and music helped make the mood!) :voorhees:
I just wanted to shoot this thread to the top..I think it is amusing.

The question is still good...How many of us build props as opposed to buying them, and why?

what are your opinions, advantages, disadvantages to both?

Just curious.
Hi Guys,

I build most of mine. I try to work in store bought props but I usually end up
modifing them after a while anyway ;) depending on how much time I have.
Last year was my first year to attempt building props. I've always just waited til Vlad built his props and then helped with set up.
I started working with latex and styrofoam heads and built a few ground risers last year, then moved onto making wire and latex creations and now this year I've added working on tombstones as well.
So far this year...have almost completed the vampire in the box and the Monster in the Box prop and human BBq and spider webbed Blucky are well on thier way (all ideas I shamelessly took from Zombie-F, thank you very much!) I am going to play around next weekend for the first with some monster mud, pvc and chicken wire to make a life size prop...the latex from cinematex from ebay that was recommended here is amazing...making hands with that and have lots of ideas for latex, time permitting...I have a couple of decapitated head fountains I made last year and a few other stuff all for the out doors...Inside the house I have unloaded about 10 totes of stuff...and am gleefully decorating the inside...My GF say it looks like Halloween vomited on my house already (I'll take that as a compliment): will try to get photos up as the projects are comleted and I figure out photo bucket......couldn't have done most of it without your guys inspirations! Thanks again... :zombie:
When I started out four years ago (I know, the flyer says it's my third year, but I don't count the first two attempts), I almost exclusively used store-bought items. Year two saw less of that as I found lots of great resources and inspiration from haunters on the Halloween-L.

For the third year, I bought a few tombstones to make the cemetery larger, but that was it.

Now, I do like to go look at what's out and about in the local shops, but I really rarely buy something unless it's a VERY good looking piece (i.e. not cute, and has a good amount of detail to it). But even still, I usually wait until the day after sales because the prices of the store bought stuff is out of hand most of the time.
I know what you mean, Zombie..

I have noticed this year is seeing alot less "cutsie" props, and more realistic, though humorous props..(dancing skull pirates, and tombstones that play thunder and insult you at the same time).

I do hate those inflatable lawn balloons! WTF?!!

I only pray I have a pellet gun in my car when I drive by one!

I do suggest suporting your local retailers, lest they say "forget it! I'm not making money on Halloween!"..Brrrrr..I just felt a chill.
This is my 2nd year for building props. I have always try to build something for Halloween. I think it has gotten better every year. I know it is only year 2. LOL.

I went from this in 2004:

to this in 2005:
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The ToTs will be blown away by your crypt this year Deathouch! A very nice bump from the previous year.

The bad thing is you'll have to top yourself in 2006. You won't be able to keep yourself from doing it "bigger and better" the next year. But hey, that's the fun of building this stuff!
That is when the xanax comes into play. By then I will really be having panic attacks. Right now I am planning on making a new Pumpkinrot and a new Magic Mirror in 2006. My wife won't let me do that 20 foot giant that I saw on the internet. But, she is willing to let me do a smaller version of it. Of course, it won't be a giant then. Can everyone see the pictures from my previous post. I went to the computer downstairs and now I don't see them. I must of done something wrong.
Death Touch, I see 'em just fine. That crypt looks pretty kick ass.
That is weird, I went to another computer and it did the same thing. It only seems to do that with Halloweengallery.com. I don't know why. Maybe the link I am using. Anyone use Halloweengallery. I use photobucket too, but wanted to see if I would have problems.
This is only my second year truly building props...just beginning my venture into motors and the like (I'm not very technical). Last year I was really ambitious though and built a fire pit, haunted cabinets, and some photos with glowing eyes...(ok so it was ambitious for me!)...I also did some Mods on some store bought stuff. This year, however, I've already built two corpses and I've begun working on tombstones and the cemetery fence with columns and I've got a windshield wiper motor kicking around that i'm going to use for SOMETHING...
How about a hangman with that wiper motor? fairly inexpensive and looks amazing...just a thought...I hope to pull that one off as well this year, time and money permiting...
Using a wiper motor for a hangman worked out better than I expected. I highly recommend it's use for that. As for money permitting, I spent about 20 bucks for all the fittings, noodles and pipes. construction is straightforward, but you have to mess around with the mechanism to make sure it pushes the rod rearward and not rock forward and jamming. If I had one piece of advice, it would be to make DAMN sure that wiper motor is SECURE in the frame. PVC cement is a must. Anyone need help with thiers, feel free to email me from my site, or ask here in the forums..I would be happy to help!
Great idea for the wiper motor...looks like I'll be adding a Hangman to my collection of DIY props for the year! Thanks! :D
Avid builder here. If I get store bought its usually to customize and attach to a built prop.
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