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
Drawing of Sally or image of Sally

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

Making Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas) Part 1

Just completed prop of Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas). Image CC All Rights Reserved, Debbie Morrow

Just completed prop of Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas). Image CC All Rights Reserved, Debbie Morrow

Over the next week or two, I’ll be posting separate tutorials on how I made Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. If you want a totally static(not moving) prop, follow the directions below. If you would like your body frame to be pose-able with hinged joints, check out the tutorial at The Haunt Forum.

Making Sally’s Body

You’ll need:
2-3 rolls of box or duct tape
1 1/2 rolls of a dollar store plastic wrap
Approx. 2.5 (10 ft. each) one-inch PVC Pipes
1-inch PVC couplers: 1 cross, 1 tee, 4(90 degree angle) elbows and optional 45 or 90 degree elbows(if you want arms to bend)
PVC cutter or saw
Goop Adhesive for PVC
Stuffing material (newspapers, plastic bags, foam, etc.)
1 willing healthy person to be your body form (shouldn’t have circulatory problems or issues standing in place for over 30 minutes)

Throughout the process, make sure your model is feeling okay. Wrapping the plastic or the tape can really be constrictive and problematic for some people.

You can break it into several sessions where you just work on one small section of the body and tape the pieces together afterwards. Continue reading

Sally From The Nightmare Before Christmas – Completed!

Just completed prop of Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas). Image CC All Rights Reserved, Debbie Morrow

Just completed prop of Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas). Image CC All Rights Reserved, Debbie Morrow

Here’s my latest prop creation. The tutorials will be coming shortly over the next few weeks. I’ll split it up into sections, since it was quite a task to complete. Now I’m off to make the mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas!

Summer Prop Planning has Begun!

Jack and Zero need some prop friends. Which ones would you choose? Image courtesy of Marciniak Photography.

Jack and Zero need some prop friends. Which ones would you choose? Image courtesy of Marciniak Photography.

The beginning of summer is the opportune time to plan prop projects for Halloween. It gives a haunter the time and space to be more creative and allows for mishaps to be corrected. It allows for any reconstructions or cosmetic work to be completed in leisure – rather than a few panicked weeks.

Since I made Jack Skellington and his dog Zero last year, I’ve been contemplating what other characters to add. Jack’s girlfriend Sally, is at the top on my list. But how I will make her, is still up in the air.

The Easiest: Continue reading

Jack Skellington and Zero Halloween Prop

Trials and Tribulations of Building a Prop

Jack Skellington and Zero the dog. Jack’s head didn’t survive a week and had to be redone with stronger materials. Photo courtesy of Debbie Morrow.

Here is my Jack and Zero made earlier last week. As with my Sleepy Hollowish Pumpkin (SHP), I made Jack out of paper mache, plaster and sealer. Unfortunately, when I was placing Jack’s head on his neck post, I dropped the head.

I noticed a slight crack and thought a little more sealer would do the trick.

A Crack Makes All the Difference

Since my SHP has lasted about 7 years and is still going strong, I didn’t think a little crack would be so devastating for Jack’s head, especially since it was sprayed with sealer. But after a week, Jack’s head was barely holding up.

I decided to make another head using brown lawn bags with my paper mache mix, fill the inside with canned foam, then plaster, paint and seal.

Using the brown paper made a wonderfully hard cast of the head and adding the foam was perfect. It’s had no problems as of yet with the elements and I think I finally got it right.

More photos of Jack and Zero will come later along with step-by-step instructions, so check back again in about a week.

Jack Skellington’s Tie

DIY of Jack’s Tie from the Nightmare Before Christmas

Since the head is done, I’ve moved on to Jack Skellington‘s Tie.

How it was made:  

My DIY of Jack Skellington’s Tie. Photo courtesy of Debbie Morrow.

Black Foam Board

A Pencil

A Paper-Coated Foam Apple

A White Paint Pen

Rubber Cement

An X-Acto Blade

Black Outdoor Craft Paint and Brush

Since it takes about an hour for the craft paint to dry, I started on the head first. I pulled the stem out of the apple and painted it black.

While that was drying, I used a pencil to trace the outline edges by eye from a photo of Jack’s tie found on Google Images.With the blade, I cut out the penciled lines. Continue reading

An Update on Jack Skellington Prop

With all of you watching my blunders in creating Jack Skellington, I thought an update would be a good idea. If you missed my Confessions of an Ignorant Creator, you should see what happens when a person doesn’t read directions. I’m sure a few of you will get a laugh out of it.

Otherwise, here are my updated photos and steps. I still have to create his bust and put together the PVC pipes for his body. But the hard and messy part is over.

He’ll be at least 6 feet tall and I’m still debating how to make the big black curl he stands upon in the movie Nightmare Before Christmas.

I’m thinking of making it out of chicken fence and wrapping it in black plastic, but if you have a better idea, I’d love to hear it.