A Humble Honor is Added to Frugal Frights and Delights

Samara from "The Ring" prop. She still scare me. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

Samara from “The Ring” prop. She still scare me. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

It has come to my attention that this Frugal Gal ( under my old website name DebsDreamThemes) has been highlighted in Haunted Attraction Magazine and Inventorspot.com has recognized one of my props as 10 Epic DIY Halloween Decorations Sure to Make Your Guests Freak.  For me, this is like getting an Emmy. Continue reading

Learning Another Way to Create is EXCITING!

I never cease to be amazed at other people’s DIY projects. Although I tend to lean toward scary creations myself, I truly get excited when someone else shows me another way for me to create.

I’ve been interested in creating with vacuum forms and I’ve seen a few DIY projects that used homemade ones, but they seemed either too pricey for me to put together or too complicated.

Now this homemade vacuum form project from hhbproduction is right up my alley. It’s simple and most of the items I already have at home. Best yet, it looks like it works incredible well.

The Well from the Movie The Ring

Putting Your Casting Skills to Work

Well prop

About 45 river rocks were cast to complete the well.

Now that we’ve gone over several ways to cast, it’s time I posted the directions to my replica of the well from the movie The Ring.

Some people have built this well purely for a year-round decorative yard piece. Others just pull the prop out for their haunts.

Other Well Tutorials

Another intriguing tutorial on aged well design can be found at Haunter’s Hangout. The main material for that project is Styrofoam.

After watching a woman from Buildeasy make a wooden well from scratch, it made me think a piece of store-bought wooden rollable fencing would also work for the circular frame in my directions. It would just need to be cut down to the desired height.

Directions for Pictured Well Continue reading

Another Casting Project for Summer

Leaf Casting

By Debbie Morrow

I’ve had plans of making leaf castings since I saw the idea back in 2005 and still haven’t found the time! They do seem to make beautiful additions to a garden as birdbaths, stepping stones or as stand-alone accent pieces.


Although the technique can be used for any size leaf, the most interesting sculptures come from heavily ribbed leaves such as Burdock, Elephant Ear, Philodendron, Skunk Cabbage, and more.

You can make them with cement following directions from the following Swanson Gardens Fox News feature or substitute Plaster of Paris for cement using the same directions. Make sure if you are mixing the plaster that you make it in a much thicker consistency than you’d make for pouring molds.

Summertime Casting

Molding: Stage 1

Molding: Stage 1 (Photo credit: Gregory Wild-Smith)

I’ve found another reason to go to the beach. Not only can I catch a wave and a tan, I can cast all sorts of objects! I ran across several tutorials that showed how to make a variety of objects without too much effort.

I had made sand casts before by buying and lugging a 40-pound bag of sand into the garage. I poured it into a box where I pressed an object into wet sand and then poured Plaster of Paris into it.

But by going to the beach, there is no messy garage scene and backs are saved from lugging loads of sand around. Better yet, you’re not restricted to size.

Now you may be wondering how green doing your casting at the beach is, but after you’ve poured your plaster and let it dry, there usually isn’t a residue left behind.

Sometimes, a piece will break off but as responsible citizens of the earth, I’m sure most of us will have the sense to pick up after ourselves.

So check out the step-by-step video and don’t forget the sunscreen for your next casting trip!

Casting Techniques: Part 2

Earlier I mentioned a few ways of unconventionally making molds and casts in Casting Techniques: Part One (CT1). It went over how deciding which casting techniques are best for certain projects and why. Now we’ll get to the fun stuff – creating.

Casting and Replicas with Hot Glue

Items you’ll need:

A hot glue cast of river rock.

An object you’d like to recreate

Heavy duty aluminum foil

A hot glue gun (check CT1 if unsure which size to use)

Bag of glue sticks

1)      Heat up your glue gun. Make sure to have it standing on something to protect  surfaces from drips or burns.

2)      Rip a sheet of foil large enough to cover three-fourths of your object. Remember if you are using an object that has creases, indents or other features, you will need to press the foil tightly into those elements to have them show up on your mold. Continue reading

Casting Part 1: Choosing the Technique for Your Project

From left to right:  A hot glue skull with foil backing, a plain hot glue skull and a plaster cast. All made from the same mold.

A  good starting point for any newbie haunter or prop maker would be casting. I’m not talking about the professional latex or vacuum mold; I’m talking about an easy way to replicate an object with items often found in your home.

When deciding on making a cast, a few things must be considered: How heavy you want the final product to be, how much mess you are willing to make, how sturdy you need the prop to be and what type of environment the prop will be in.

After mulling over those considerations, below are two types of mold making techniques I use and the pros and cons for each. Continue reading