From left to right: Original casted well weighing over 40 pounds. The same well after about 10 years of elements and lawn mower hits. The newest well on right taking 3 days to make and only 5 pounds. Images courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.
Desperate Times Calls for Desperate Measures
Many times I can work better under pressure. This is one of them. When my Ring Girl Well was destroyed between lawn mower hits and age, I was at a loss for a few days. Since I’m still recovering from back surgery I couldn’t think of any possible way to achieve the rock casting and the bending needed to either repair or make another well as in my older Ring girl well 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.
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.
Take a plastic flexible garbage can and squash it a bit for correct shape. Cut a hole at top that will accomodate a 1″ PVC pipe. Use primer paint on all and let dry. Place painter’s tape down half vertically. Use outside acrylic peach on one side, grey on other side.
Find image on Google search, draw in pencil on the peach face and when satisfied, use grey, black, yellow, white, and tan acrylic outdoor paints.
Again, find image, draw in pencil and use black, white, and grey acrylic outdoor paint.
Use 1″ PVC pipe with “T” joints to make a larger bottom heptagon (7 sides) and a smaller version for top. Cut PVC pipe to connect smaller heptagon top to larger bottom (as you can see I ran out of pieces of PVC, so I added an extra unused “T”. This can work by adding a variety of couplers etc., if you run short too. I also covered it entirely with boxing tape once I was sure the shape was correct since I’ve had issues with PVC glue in the past.
Make frame by making a big “H” shape, topped with a horizontal PVC piece: using 3 “T’s” in horizontal (one for neck, 2 for shoulders) and 2 “T’s” in middle horizonal PVC and 2 “T’s” at bottom. Before adding bottom “T’s”, add a piece of pool noodle for legs. Cover with a pair of child’s size 4 stretch pants or fabric. Add PVC pipe for feet and cap each end with an 40 degree elbow for stability. You will need to cut PVC into pieces to fit the “T’s” into each other rather than being able to use one big piece at a time.
Place bell-shaped PVC frame over “H” frame, attach with zip ties (this allows for ability to take apart later if needed. Cut out 2 circles of black foam board equal to the size of the small bell shape top. Cut a hole in both to allow a 1″ pipe to fit snuggly through center of each. Hot glue one circle to top of bell frame, the other save for hat.
Use a white tee scrape or sheet scrape to cover mayor’s chest. Hot glue. Drape fabric over body, making two folds for a lapel and cut away fabric to transform into a suit. Attach PVC arms, cover with pool noodle and add a joint for elbows if you wish. Cover arms with same fabric and hot glue.
Get a rubber spider from dollar store, add black pipe cleaner to make a spider tie.
Get a roll of red ribbon, cut several pieces that you will fold over and hot glue each end. Cut a circle out of white foam board.
Lay ribbon folds in circle, glue together and glue white foam board circle in center.
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).
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!
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 →
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
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 →