With Halloween so many months away, you may wonder why you would even want to think about props. But a well thought-out prop building and placement plan will save you time, money and a lot of aggravation.
The first thing you need to do is consider the following:
Will you choose a theme for the entire yard or will you be mixing your favorite elements? There are limitless theme ideas. But here are a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:
- Your favorite scary, science fiction, or classic movie monsters (Frankenstein, wolf man, Count Dracula, pumpkin head, etc.)
- The science lab with items such as tables of bubbling fluids, test tubes and bizarre items in jars.
- Alien abduction – just think of The Xfiles or the Alien Autopsy movie and you’ll feel inspired.
- The classic graveyard with ghouls, walking dead, fencing and more.
- Within the gates of hell with tortured beings, flaming objects, the grim reaper, etc.
- The clown invasion with multiple clowns in different poses in your yard.
Although it may put a damper on your imagination, don’t forget to consider the time and money that will be spent as well.
Once you’ve figured out what theme, time and your money options, start watching movies of that genre and search prop making sites for ideas. Some of my favorite sites for prop making include: Monster List of Props, where they have over 700+ prop ideas, Make, which has a yearly contest and links to new prop ideas and Instructables, where tons of step-by-step do-it-yourself plans on basically anything can be found.
Now it is time to make a blueprint of your plan. You don’t have to be a great artist with it, just get a piece of paper, draw out your yard, the trees, bushes, or other permanent objects within it such as driveway, posts, etc. Sometimes it helps just to take a walk outside to remind yourself what your landscape looks like.
Look at anything that may help or hinder your props. Light posts work great and can be transformed easily into things. Bushes work well because you would only have to make half of a prop when making them appear to be pouncing from the bushes.
Draw in where you plan to place your props. Make a checklist of materials you already have and what you will still need. Make a timeline of how long you estimate a prop will need drying or building and bookmark prop directions.
By planning ahead you’ll find it easier to network with neighbors or friends who may be throwing away something that may help your prop making. You may even find other enthusiasts who will join you in your quest for the perfect haunt.
So in those hazy summer days of fun, brainstorm with friends over a barbecue or other get-togethers. You’ll be glad you made the effort.