Welcome, Dr. Finklestein!

Dr. Finklestein now joins my NBC family. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved

Just a brief post to introduce my latest Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloween prop created: Dr. Finklestein. I’ll try to add the tutorials, when I get the chance. He joins Jack Skellington, Sally, Lock, Shock, and Barrel, Oogie Boogie, and the Duck/Vampire prop. Zero, the ghost dog, was sadly showing his age, so I actually found a new one the same size, and is now happily flying in the yard too.

If anyone wants to scramble to make this fella, he stands about 5 feet or less, and I used extra couplers of 40 degree or 90 degrees to have him sit. So if you follow my usual PVC prop skeletons (See Lock, Shock, Barrel), you’ll be able to figure out the sizing.

The tutorial for Dr. Finklestein will be split into a few different segments, because there are too many steps (especially the head), to put into one single post. If you were determined or had help, all could be complete within a week. But alas, it took me at least four weeks to finish. If you want every post sent directly into your email, click the ‘Follow’ and you won’t miss the entire process. Thanks!

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

When the Temp Rises: Build Yourself a Water Park

Make your own with PVC piping. Water park image courtesy of Flickr at 82027065@N00/ 172746497

With the impending heat wave at hand, not everyone will have the luxury of air conditioning or even a swimming pool. Instead of sweating it out, why not cool down in your own mini water park?

You’d be surprised how a little PVC piping can go a long way. It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and lightweight too. Discontinuity and Carl Morris have two easy PVC pipe projects called Kidswash, and Kidswash 2, at Instructables.

If you have a hill in your yard, use it to your advantage. Lay out a sheet of plastic going down the hill, add a sprinkler to wet the plastic and watch the kids slip, slide and dive into action.

Water balloons can be fun, but the mess afterwards can hamper your spirits. Try making Sponge Balls, instead – with directions from Clay Chip at Instructables.

To add to your water zone, buy a snap-up kiddie pool (8 foot in diameter or larger). Even the 24” in depth ones will allow an adult to lay on an air mattress and float – without touching the bottom or sides.

Most of the ideas listed cost less than a commercial water park ticket. Yet, it has the priceless convenience of staying at home. Whatever water feature you decide to add, always be safe. Never leave children unattended – even with just a bucket of water. So stay cool – stay safe – and take lots of pictures.

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.