Newest Additions to the Stranger Things Yard in Charlotte 2023

If you’re looking for a free Stranger Things(ST) experience, here are a few sample photos of what you’d find at 3632 Cole Mill Road, in Charlotte, NC. With over 15 features that encompass the Stranger Things show, visitors won’t be disappointed. Some tutorials are already posted. We hope to see you there! ~ The Morrow Family

Eleven Elevator Stranger things closing gate
A sneak peak at Eleven and Hopper(unseen from this angle) in the elevator, trying to close the gate.
billy max mindflayer stranger things props
Iconic scenes from Stranger Things recreated.
Vecna with lava breaking the earth Stranger Things
Vecna is above the breaking earth, waiting to cause havoc.
Max above Billy's grave Stranger Things
Max, hanging above Billy’s grave.

Fast and Easy Last Minute Halloween Costumes to Make

Easy, Last Minute Zombie Make up
We decided at the last minute, to zombie out for a Halloween paint class, with the help of an Instructable’s tutorial. Debbie Morrow, Copyright 2023, All Rights Reserved.

Sometimes, time and life gets away from us. Maybe you’re a procrastinator. Or maybe you just didn’t feel like dressing into a costume, and then changed your mind, at the very last minute. No worries – we’ve all been there, and I’ve got you covered. Here are some fast costumes, to whip up within 15 minutes or less.

Make yourself a cereal killer
This dude is a serious cereal killer with his mask. Image courtesy of

Cereal Killer: Take a cereal box (without the contents),near the top sides, make a hole on each side. Pull a string through the holes, tying off the piece so the box can hang at your chest level. Lay the box back down on a table. If you don’t have a plastic knife from a previous costume or prop, cut a piece of cardboard into the shape of a knife, cover the handle with black duct tape. Cover the blade section with a piece of aluminum foil. Make a slit (as wide as your blade) into the front of the cereal box. Push the knife into slit, and add some red paint, or red hot glue, for blood. Then hang the box back around your neck. See image below for instruction clarity.

serial/cereal killer quick halloween costume
An illustration of how easy a cereal killer costume is made.

Stick Figure: You’ll need a white shirt, pants, and shoes. Add a straight, Black line of duct tape, going down from the neck to the crotch. Make duct tape lines for arms, legs. A white paper plate can be used as a mask. Make holes for your eyes, draw a black circle around plate, use string or elastic at ear level, to secure mask. See Money Wise Moms for a great example.

Crazy Cat Lady: If you have several small stuffed cat toys, this is simple. Tease or mess your hair to look unkept. With safety pins, pin cats all over your clothes.

Little Dead Riding Hood: Wear a red skirt with a white top, or a Red dress. Add a red hoodie. Use fake blood to make your neck look bitten. Splatter blood on your pale face, if you want. Carry a wicker basket with you.

Carrie: You’ll need a white dress, you don’t mind possibly not reusing. Make a quick prom queen sash, with wide ribbon or fabric, and if you have a tiara, that’s a plus, but not needed. Make a lot of fake blood, if you don’t have any on hand. Standing in the shower, with your entire outfit on, pour blood over your head. * If you don’t have time for the blood to dry, and need to leave, drape a moving pad, or an old blanket, over your car interior, to protect it.

Zombie (See top image): If you have white school glue, facial tissue or toilet paper, and face paints, you’re in luck! Put on some shabby or paint clothes( I think most people have at least one set), then use this technique from Instructables, to make your skin look like it is falling off.

A Fork in the Road: Find a plain, black or grey t-shirt. With either white or yellow duct tape, make the white or yellow road lines, across the front of your shirt. If you have a plastic fork on hand, use a dab of hot glue to attach it across the road lines. If you need to use a regular fork, try finding the lightest one you have, and either hot glue it, use Velcro, or you can even sew it tightly against your shirt.

Easy Halloween Costume fork in the road
An easy Fork in the Road Halloween costume, anyone can make. Image courtesy of Mysterious Gal on Instructables.

Chick Magnet: If you have a bunch of fridge magnets, take them off the fridge, and attach them to a plain-colored shirt. You can use a dab of hot glue, Velcro, or whatever you have on hand, to attach. OR you can cut out a large “U” shaped piece of cardboard, paint or duct tape it to look like a magnet, and hang around your neck.

Beach Butler: You can go shirtless, or wear a tight tank and short, shorts. Put a tool belt on, or a folded up grill apron(with pockets), tied around waist. Add suntan lotion, Aloe vera, and a wine cooler or two, in your pockets. Wear a black bow tie, and white gloves, to really get your point across.

Richard Simmons: If you have curly short hair, or have a curly wig handy, this is an easy costume. Wear a red tank, striped shorts, white calf socks, and sneakers. A wrist or a head sweat band, would work well, too!

Oppenheimer: Raid your grandfather’s, or senior friend’s closet. They will likely have everything you need, including the hat.

Smartie Pants: Wear a plain shirt, and attach Smartie candies, to a pair of plain-colored pants. If you have one, wear a graduation cap.

One Smart Cookie: Cut 2 large circles out of cardboard,(See illustration below). With a marker, draw random choc. chips, on both pieces. Use string or duct tape, and attach the cardboard cookies together, at the shoulders and waist. Make sure you leave a big enough gap for your body to be in between the pieces, so the cookie can easily be taken off and on. Wear a graduation cap.

Smart cookie make your own costume
Illustration of strap or string placement. Although only one side shown, make a waist strap on both sides of cookie.

Barbie and Ken: If you have lots of stylish, form-fitting, pink clothing, Barbie is an easy choice for you. Ken can wear beachwear.

A Spice Girl: Attach your kitchen spices, to a plain t-shirt, or on the front of a plain dress.

A Social Butterfly: Print/cut out several icons of social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Glue or pin the icons to a solid-colored shirt. Add a pair of Dollar Tree fairy wings.

Social butterfly easy costume to make
Social Butterfly costume. Image courtesy of Instagram user Ellegrrrl.

Send me your pics of your fast and easy costumes, and I’ll highlight them in a post. Happy Halloween!

Making Billy’s Tombstone from Stranger Things

Billy’s gravestone without bottom base.

Believe it or not, from all the props made this year, making Billy’s tombstone was probably the most frustrating. In hindsight, since it was my first-ever tombstone made from foam ( I know, can you believe it?), I probably should have watched a few videos from the more seasoned creators, that have. Yet, I overcame the mishaps, and learned along the way. I’ll share what I did, and what I’d change, for the next one I make.

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Making Easy Lava Cracks in the Ground for Halloween

Cracks in the earth, under Vecna from Stranger Things yard.

After seeing the last season’s episodes of Stranger Things, I knew I wanted to recreate Vecna, the lava cracks in the earth, Billy, and Max. I watched a few other creative tutorials, but as usual, I decided to make mine a little differently. The differences in my version of lava cracks vs. others I found online:

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Stranger Things Halloween Yard Haunt Adds More Characters

Vecna Prop from Stranger Things

Sorry for the lack of posts, but 2023 has been a whirlwind of events. From throwing the biggest home graduation party, vacations, life, and then creating new characters from the Stranger Things series – it’s been hectic.

Let’s Break Down the Previous Years of Stranger Things Props Made

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The New Additions to our Stranger Things Yard 2022

Hopper and Eleven are in the elevator, trying to close gate.

Now that Halloween is over, and props are back down, I have a little time to share my latest additions to my Stranger Things yard haunt. Last year, I created The Mindflayer, with over 200 feet of legs, Nancy’s arm coming out of the tree from the Upside Down World, a Gate, Will Byer’s Castle, Eleven, and an Alphabet Wall that actually spells secret messages.

This year, I added several more props, and created a different scene from Season 2, episode: The GateContinue reading

How to Make a Real Hair Beard for a Costume or Prop

Are you having problems finding a decent beard from your local stores or online vendors? You’re not the only one. After scouring Amazon, and other places, I felt a little desperate. I was making Hopper, from Stranger Things to go into my Halloween yard. I thought, how hard can it be to find a normal beard, that didn’t break the bank? Continue reading

Fast and Easy Stranger Things Demodog Heads to Make

demodog two liter head

Adding to our second year of our Stranger Things yard, we added a more visible gate, where demodog heads are scattered upon it. I even built a life-size, animatronic demodog that turns his head, when sensors are triggered. No, this is not that tutorial. It was not easy, nor fast. But the demodog heads on the gate? Easy Peasy.  Follow these quick directions, and you’ll have a Stranger Things vibe in no time.

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Making a Life-Sized Barrel from The Nightmare Before Christmas

barrel trio

I’d like to apologize to the frustrated creators, trying to find the link from my original post, Lock, Shock and Barrel Life-Sized Characters – DIY.  It seems a few years back, a glitch deleted content off my site. Here is the long-awaited tutorial for Barrel:

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Making a Life-Sized Shock, from The Nightmare Before Christmas

lock shock barrel

First, let me apologize to the several frustrated creators looking for directions for the Shock and Barrel tutorials. The posts were written, and I thought were linked/published. But after a creator clued me in on the missing posts, I went back and couldn’t find them. Continue reading