How to Make a Real Hair Beard for a Costume or Prop

Are you having problems finding a decent beard from your local stores or online vendors? You’re not the only one. After scouring Amazon, and other places, I felt a little desperate. I was making Hopper, from Stranger Things to go into my Halloween yard. I thought, how hard can it be to find a normal beard, that didn’t break the bank? Continue reading

How to Fix a Crack in a Cheesecake

One large crack has already been fixed. The smaller one, closest to the front, still needs a quick swiping. Copyright 2021, All Rights Reserved.

So, you’ve worked hard to follow a cheesecake recipe, and maybe you even did a water bath. But as you pulled the cake out of the oven, you noticed a big crack in the center of your cheesecake? Don’t fret. You don’t have to cover it up with fruit topping, or a ganache.

If your goal is to have an aesthetically pleasing cheesecake, you’ll appreciate this quick tutorial on how to fix even several inch-wide gaps.


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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

Making a Spell Book Cake

Tutorial on making a spell book cake from the movie Hocus Pocus
Cast a spell with the Sanderson Sisters’ Hocus Pocus cake. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

After years of watching my aunt make some amazing fondant cakes, my daughter and I thought we’d give it a try. But, instead of store bought fondant, we decided to make our own. It was less expensive, tasty, and easy to make.

This Hocus Pocus Spell Book, is the second fondant cake we’ve ever made. The first was a five-layer Pusheen Cake, that took 9 hours to make, because of so many trials and errors. But that conversation is for another post.

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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

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Tutorial Writing – Not an Easy Task

The head for the Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas is made from a garbage can squashed a little. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. All Rights Reserved.

The head for the Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas is made from a garbage can squashed a little. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. All Rights Reserved.

For those who are looking forward to the Mayor tutorial, you may have to wait a little longer than expected. I’ve already started the first of the series, which is probably the most daunting.

This is not a task to take lightly. I must step into the shoes of a person who has no knowledge of PVC frame building.

With over 40 cuts of PVC needed to make the frame along with finding the word usage for the assembly – it will take several days to add the steps in a clear, concise manner.

I have reread and edited after taking a break, in order to help those who are really interested in building it. Will they have the directions in time for Halloween? Probably not.

I’m sorry to disappoint those who were waiting. Yet, it is more important to give accurate and clear directions rather than posting pics without guidance.

Tutorial Coming Soon: The Mayor From The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Mayor is ready for my yard haunt.

The Mayor is ready for my yard haunt.

A new prop has joined the family: The Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas has been completed and in the next week or two I’ll be posting the tutorial.

If anyone needs the tutorial earlier, or wish to email me, please feel free to use the contact form below. Thanks!

Part 3: Making Sally’s Dress (The Nightmare Before Christmas)

Sally posed to hold a skull, large flower head, or potion.

Sally posed to hold a skull, large flower head, or potion.

If you made the body, head, and hair from my earlier tutorials Part 1 and Part 2, you’re ready to make the clothing for Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

For the dress, decide which color theme you’ll go with. I found several versions – one with a burgundy base, and others using greens and  some with browns and orange tones. It really doesn’t matter which color scheme you go for, but chose ONE. Using too many clashing colors doesn’t work well. Stick with the same tones that compliment each other.

Making the Dress

You’ll need:
2 1/2 – 3 1/2 yards of brown fabric (depends on width)
2-3 yards of main color fabric(for mine I used green)
1 yard blue fabric
2 (1 yard each) complimentary tones fabric
Permanent black marker
Large hot glue gun/glue sticks
Sidewalk chalk and pen
2 safety pins or a couple of straight pins
Tissue paper
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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