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

Making The Tree Portal From The Upside Down

nancy hand portal daylightSince I decided to build an Upside Down World for my 2021 Stranger Things Halloween display, making a huge Mind Flayer was a must. It was the first thing accomplished. Then, making all kinds of vines.

Next, it was The Tree Portal. The scene when Johnathan pulled Nancy back out of the tree, from The Upside Down World, must have struck a cord. Because I was determined to recreate it.

I knew whatever I used, had to hold up to the elements, allowed for a light to shine from inside out, and show Nancy’s hand through the goo and vines, reaching for Johnathan. This is how I accomplished it: Continue reading

Making Vines for Your Stranger Things Yard

After creating a Mind Flayer for my roof (tutorials Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), I knew the creature needed something more: Vines. The Upside Down World was filled with vines that hung everywhere, and vines that attacked. They were a part of the hive mind, associated with the monsters of Stranger Things.

After scouring the web for prices on vines, it was clear: My budget couldn’t afford the 100 or more feet needed. Continue reading

An Easy Cauldron Cake for Halloween

If you are looking for a super easy Halloween cake, this is the one for you. I’ve made this cake twice over the years and one of the first tips I have to offer is: Make sure you make your edible objects a few days before (or purchase them) and give yourself enough time to put it together. I had to rush to make this cake before our Halloween Bash, and I can see ever flaw – but my guests loved it. I had to put this together in about an hour’s time. I seriously would have liked another half hour to perfect the cauldron walls, smoothing them out. But it worked. Continue reading

A Baby Vampire From The Nightmare Before Christmas

The baby vamp from Nightmare B4 Christmas. Copyrights reserved, Debbie Morrow

My previous post gave a tutorial on the duck that appears in the same scene as the baby vampires in The Nightmare Before Christmas (NBC) movie. Although in the movie the vampire didn’t ride inside the duck, I couldn’t help myself by making it so. It seemed like a fun and almost “Burton-ish” thing to do.

At first I looked at what others had done in their tutorials for making the vampire. They were either foam or stuffed and that just wasn’t what I was looking for. Since I was already creating more doll zombies and clowns, I sat there one night and thought, “why not turn a doll into a baby vampire?” So here is the quick tutorial to transform a plastic baby doll into a NBC vampire. Continue reading

Two New Nightmare Before Christmas Props Added to the Family

Made from a vintage duck blow mold and a doll, Nightmare Before Christmas magic was made. Image copyrighted, all rights reserved, Debbie Morrow

If you’ve been checking out this blog, you might have guessed that I love the Nightmare Before Christmas (NBC) characters. I’ve made the Mayor, Jack Skellington (with a few improved remakes or blunders), Sally, Oogie Boogie, and Zero. As you can see from the image, I’ve added a duck and baby vampire to the family. I’ll be breaking these tutorials into two posts for the sake of shorter, more manageable reading.

The Duck Tutorial:

You’ll Need:

A Plastic Duck Blow Mold
Large High Heat Glue Gun
Piece of Styrofoam or Foam from a Boxed Product
Black, Red, and White Acrylic Outdoor Paint/Brushes
Spackle or other Pre-made Drywall Compound/ Large Brush
A Dremel Saw or something else that cuts plastic easily
Artificial Nails
Super Glue Industrial Gel ( NOT liquid) for plastic and other materials
A Protractor or any round shaped item you can use for outline

Continue reading

Remastering Jack Skellington


The new remastered Jack with Sally.

I don’t know what it is about The Nightmare Before Christmas (NBC) that caught my attention. But since the movie came out, I’ve wanted to make every character for Halloween.

Jack Skellington was one of my first attempts. Now when I say attempts, I can honestly say, I’ve spent more time and effort making, remaking, and eventually, rebuilding him completely. Continue reading

An Easy Skeleton Horse for Halloween

An easy Halloween prop. Cover a horse (or any animal) black, then paint on their skeleton. All rights reserved, Debbie Morrow

Scouring garage sales and thrift stores is a favorite past time for this frugal gal. Finding this horse made my shopping day. Originally, it was an average white and black patched horse. But what I saw was something entirely different.

A Halloween prop in the making:

  1. Cover your horse (or other animal) entirely with black acrylic paint ( or black spray paint could work too)
  2. Google skeleton images of horses (or animal of your choosing)
  3. Paint out the skeleton with white paint. Don’t worry about mistakes. You can always go back and use black paint again to fix.

Probably the shortest tutorial on my blog, but kinda cool results. Don’t you agree?


15+ Unusual Pumpkin Seed Recipes

Spicy Roasted Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds image courtesy of

Spicy Roasted Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed image courtesy of

Many of us have waited until the last few days before Halloween to carve our pumpkins. The reasons vary from the lack of time/motivation to ensuring we don’t have a pumpkin that molds too soon.

Honestly, I like to cut them early. But I’ve tried the bleach method, and others. I followed the directions faithfully but still my pumpkin rotted by Halloween. So now – the last minute – my pumpkins get carved. Which means, pumpkins seeds are done at the last minute as well.

After scouring the internet for flavor choices I thought I’d add a quick note to help those who are also last-minute carvers and seed makers:

Not like the old days of having a 2-day prep, Food Network has several flavors to complete within approx. 30 minutes – Italian, Sweet and Salty, Indian, Spanish and BBQ.

If those flavors don’t appeal to you, why not try:

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds
Jalapeno Pumpkin Seeds
Bourbon Pumpkin Seeds
Sweet and Salty Chocolate Pumpkin Seeds
Jerk Pumpkin Seeds

Maryland Pumpkin Seeds
Drunken Pumpkin Seeds
Ginger-Orange Pumpkin Seeds
Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Caramelized Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t use the old 2-day drying method. Follow the directions for drying on the Food Network link and you’ll be eating those seeds by the end of the night. If any of you try some of these recipes, give me a critique. I haven’t tried all of them, but they sound delish!

Happy Halloween!




Ways to Trick Your Treaters

Giving your treaters a fright: Priceless! Image courtesy of Micah Maziar on Flickr.

Giving your treaters a fright: Priceless! Image courtesy of Micah Maziar on Flickr.

It’s coming fast. Halloween is only a few days away, but it’s not too late to plan out/build a prank for your trick or treaters. Here’s a few quick suggestions:

  • Place a chair immediately outside (visible for all to see) with a stuffed costume (such as scarecrow, reaper, etc.). On the night of Halloween, place that costume on and sit in the same chair still and quiet with a bowl of candy. When a child comes up to get a piece of candy (because some people do just leave a dish out) either speak up or move to startle them. You’ll get screams, laughs, and a giggle or two yourself.
  • Come to the door decked out in a costume that makes a statement. Example: Wear a butcher bib covered with fake blood, bloody plastic gloves, and greet the children with statements like “oh, good – I just finished off the last kids. Are you next? Let me get my tools,” but instead grab the bowl of treats.
  • If you don’t have a coffin laying around, make your own from cardboard, pallets, foam board, etc. Place the coffin either standing near your doorway or laying down on the ground near your steps and pop out to hand out treats.
  • If you happen to have a lot of leaves in your yard, this is a great way to play a prank on your visitors. Wear dark clothing/hat and tape(scrapbook dots or squares work well) a bunch of the leaves to your fabric to help you blend in. Bury yourself in the mound of leaves and wait for the trick or treaters to come and again, pop out to hand out candy.

* Please understand some children are more impressionable than others and even adults. Someone told me a story about a parent peeing their pants right on their driveway when they were frightened. So let’s not be too frightening to anyone because this is suppose to be done with no harm intended.

Luckily, about every other year or so we play a prank on our neighborhood kids. When we don’t, they seem a bit disappointed and ask where’s the live prop? The key to keeping them on their toes is not doing a prank every year.

Happy Halloween!