The Mayor of Nightmare Before Christmas Tutorial

It took over 50 PVC cuts to make the Mayor but it was so worth the effort. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, all rights reserved.

It took over 50 PVC cuts to make the Mayor but it was so worth the effort. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. All rights reserved.

For those who have been waiting a year – I’m so sorry for being so tardy. If you’ve followed me in any way – you’ve seen I lost a huge part of my heart the day after Halloween – which has thrown me off kilter.

My loyal friends gently reminded me of my promise to post the tutorial – so here it is – the images are added first and then some explanation will follow with a specs sheet – that has all the measurements. Please read all before starting your project.

 

 

Don’t forget to write the word “Mayor” in Black permanent marker in white circle of ribbon. Putting Head and Hat Together: Cut a long piece of PVC pipe, slide the head on through the hole (make sure it can move so you can switch the head view when you feel like it).

Slide the black circle you cut earlier over top of head and place your PVC shish-ka-bob style piece into the “T” at the neck part of the “H” frame. Top the hat with a piece of pool noodle and cover with black fabric with a hot glue gun. Make a strip of grey trim fabric around hat and glue. * You’ll notice that the black rim of hat made out of foam board shows the white inside – use your black paint to touch that up all the way around.

The hands are made similar to my Sally, Jack, and Ring Girl. I added a stripe to a cheer horn to give it a “Tim Burton-ish” feel ( a word from the book of Deb).

Specs. Sheet:

Mayor Specs DIY Nightmare Christmas

If anyone has an issue opening the PDF specs. sheet, please feel free to shoot me an email so I can send you the word document. If anyone has a question, please don’t hesitate to email me too. Happy Prop Building!

 

 

 

Ramping up: Prop Ideas for Halloween 2014

An interactive exhibit of a Paper Craft Guillotine by Mandy Smith. Image Courtesy of Make.

An interactive exhibit of a Paper Craft Guillotine by Mandy Smith. Image courtesy of Make.

 

 

I know…it’s still summer. But this is the time I like to think about what I’d like to make for Halloween. Whether I can actually accomplish the things I dream of making…well – that’s another story. I’ve just had back surgery (all those hours of prop making can do a lot of wear and tear after so many years). But don’t count me out just yet.

Planning Ahead Saves Money

By making your plans and item lists early, you can save a bundle. Especially in garage sale season because you can pick up a plethora of items for pennies on the dollar. You can also find priceless stuff on the curb.

The Newest Prop to Love

While in my Reader, I found an awesome prop idea from Make. It is a paper craft guillotine that was used in an exhibit. I’d love to make one for the kids to try out. You’ll find it at Vimeo:

Unsure of what this season holds for me, I’d appreciate all my creative counterparts to start posting their ideas and if you accomplish your dream prop, shoot me a pic and a quick note so I can highlight you on my blog. Thanks!

Inexpensive Balloon or Decoration Party Weights

Make your own table decoration weights. Image courtesy of http://www.awesomeevent.com/blog/category/cheap-balloon-weight-centerpieces/

Make your own table decoration weights. Image courtesy of http://www.awesomeevent.com/blog/category/cheap-balloon-weight-centerpieces/

With every party, aesthetics is important.Yet, paramount to most party planning – is cost. Each table should be decorated with a theme of colors and/or genre.Whether it is a Hawaiian Luau or a graduation party – an overall theme should exist.

Part of each table decoration often includes balloons or other lightweight decorations that need some kind of weight to keep them in place. Sure, you can purchase those balloon weights at your dollar store. But as the table count goes up, so does the cost.

Being the frugal gal, I thought of several ways to hold down the graduation caps for an upcoming graduation party. With 10+ tables to dress, I needed to consider what would travel easy and look good – even if the caps were lifted by curious guests.

Light Bulb Moment

For previous parties I’ve made my own weights using Plaster of Paris in a variety of containers: decorative Chinese food boxes, decorator cups, mini flower pots, etc. For this event, having to deal with the mess of preparing the mix along with the added drying time, just didn’t appeal to me.

This is when it struck – why not fill balloons with play sand or better yet – the more inexpensive counterpart – salt? It worked like a charm. It cost only $1.50 per 11 weights and it took less than an hour of working the salt into the balloons.

Since these were not going to be seen in generally, it was the easiest and most inexpensive solution.

Three items are needed to make balloon or table decoration weights. The cost for 11 weights: $1.50. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, all rights reserved.

Three items are needed to make balloon or table decoration weights. The cost for 11 weights: $1.50. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, all rights reserved.

Here’s what you’ll need: Continue reading

Twas the Night After Halloween…

Twas the night after Halloween and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…Because we were all so tired from celebrating! Here was the yard this year and a highlight of costumes at the Halloween Bash.

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Below are a few memorable costumes from our annual Morrow Halloween Bash. I’m sorry for so few. My photographer aka my husband was having such a great time he forgot his job for the night.

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Tutorial Writing – Not an Easy Task

The head for the Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas is made from a garbage can squashed a little. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. All Rights Reserved.

The head for the Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas is made from a garbage can squashed a little. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. All Rights Reserved.

For those who are looking forward to the Mayor tutorial, you may have to wait a little longer than expected. I’ve already started the first of the series, which is probably the most daunting.

This is not a task to take lightly. I must step into the shoes of a person who has no knowledge of PVC frame building.

With over 40 cuts of PVC needed to make the frame along with finding the word usage for the assembly – it will take several days to add the steps in a clear, concise manner.

I have reread and edited after taking a break, in order to help those who are really interested in building it. Will they have the directions in time for Halloween? Probably not.

I’m sorry to disappoint those who were waiting. Yet, it is more important to give accurate and clear directions rather than posting pics without guidance.

DIY: Transforming the Easter Bunny into a Zombie

This zombie bunny looks thirsty. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. All rights reserved.

This zombie bunny looks thirsty. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. All rights reserved.

With The Walking Dead, Warm Bodies and other zombie movies warming our hearts, how could we not want to make zombies of our own?

To make this zombie bunny you’ll need:

1 Blow mold bunny (Craigslist and Ebay)
Outdoor craft paint – red, dark green, white, and black
Paint brushes with small tips
Small cups or an empty egg carton to mix colors
Pumpkin Teeth (Walgreens, Walmart)
Hammer
Metal shish-kabob skewer or roofing nail
Paper towel (cheapest brand works best)
Water

Directions: Continue reading

Tutorial Coming Soon: The Mayor From The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Mayor is ready for my yard haunt.

The Mayor is ready for my yard haunt.

A new prop has joined the family: The Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas has been completed and in the next week or two I’ll be posting the tutorial.

If anyone needs the tutorial earlier, or wish to email me, please feel free to use the contact form below. Thanks!

Part 4: Completing Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Sally posed to hold a skull, large flower head, or potion.

Sally posed to hold a skull, large flower head, or potion.

This is the last part to making Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Part 1 covered making the body and frame, Part 2 covered the head and hair, and Part 3 dealt with making the dress. Now we’ll cover the skin, hands, shoes and how to preserve your prop.

As mentioned before in Part 1, Sally’s skin color in the movie had various tints of grey to blue. I went with a grey-blue hue. Either way, you’ll be able to make the skin by finding a pair of tights to match your chosen color.

The Skin

You’ll need:

2 pairs of adult tights (matching the color of your Sally face)
Black outdoor acrylic paint
Paint brush with a thin tip
Boxing/package tape (clear) Continue reading

Making Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas) Part 2 – The Head

Sally - made from a foam head and craft paints.

Sally – made from a foam head and craft paints.

This is part 2 of a series of tutorials on how to make Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. The first tutorial was on how to make her body and frame.

To make Sally’s head you’ll need:

1 Styrofoam Head
Craft paints (use outdoor acrylics if placing prop outside) aqua blue, grey, red, black, white
Paint brushes
Foam brush
Black jewelry cord (optional)
Adhesive (make sure you have a brand compatible with foam)
Dollar Store Fake eyelashes
Pencil
Drawing of Sally or image of Sally

Directions:
1) Mix blue and grey paint until you reach the desired skin tone for Sally. In the movie, some images appear to show her skin as blue, in other parts, she appears to be grey. It’s your choice.
2) With the foam brush, paint the entire foam head with your blue-grey mixture, let dry.
3) After studying how Sally is drawn, use a pencil to outline the larger eyes, eyeshadow, lips, and stitches.
4) Paint your outlines, let dry.
5) Apply waterproof, clear-drying glue to the eyelashes and place along the eye shadow line. Add optional extra large lashes by cutting small pieces of black cord and rolling the pieces on a pencil and then attaching them to the lash bed.
6) Once eyelashes are dry, take black paint and heighten the full-lash look by brushing on (as if using a mascara brush) the black paint upward, thickening the lashes. Continue reading

Zombie Love – Dolls Transformed

Baby dolls "transformed" into the walking dead. Image copyrighted, all rights reserved, Debbie Morrow

Baby dolls “transformed” into the walking dead. Image copyrighted, all rights reserved, Debbie Morrow

Here are my newest creations. Believe it or not, I had a nightmare the first night I started making these.

I’m not sure if I should stick them slightly into the ground or let them just be the walking dead. What do you think?