Article: Halloween 2010-Behind The Scenes


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Where do you store everything?



 

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about our Halloween display.


 

Last year I posted a “Behind The Scenes” detailing the set up of our display and this year I will document the tear down and storage process.


 

The answer to the question is that we store everything in our garage.


 

The key to storage is the fact that everything can be disassembled, stacked and used to store items.


 

Everything does double duty making storage possible although it still takes up approximately one third of our garage.


 

Here’s how it’s done.


 

Most of the creatures are displayed using an armature built from 2×4 lumber, the heads, ribs, arms and hands are attached to this armature then large pieces of fabric are used to hide all of the blank areas.



 

During tear down the arms and hands are stored in large plastic containers which are stackable.




 

The heads (skulls) are removed and stored on shelves that line our garage walls.


 

The ribs can be placed upside down and lined up for storage.


 

The wood armatures are taken apart and the lumber will be used to create temporary shelving for the props.


 

The tombstones are made from thin pieces of recycled plywood or paneling, once removed from their supports they are stacked one upon another taking up very little space.


 

Several people have asked how I anchor my tombstones and the answer is I attach pieces of elastic via staple gun to the back of the stones then slide the elastic over metal rods that are sunk into the ground.



The wood crates are stackable and miscellaneous props such as lanterns or netting can be stores inside of each crate.



The columns were designed so that the smaller column fits into the larger column cutting down on storage space. Once the small columns are nestled inside the larger columns they are used to store things like old shovels and fence posts.



 

When the columns are put in the garage they are spaced apart so that the lumber used for armatures can be set on top creating shelves that can hold many props. The crates are used in the same fashion, making for lots of temporary shelving to hold pumpkins, gargoyles and rats.



 

The 55 gallon steel drum holds all of the fabric used to drape the creatures.



The wood fence is easily taken apart leaving only wood planks that can be stacked and stored.



Light bulbs, extension cords and other electrical items are stored in some of the larger wooden trunks used in the display.




 

Everything pretty much has a duel purpose when it comes to storage…it’s not perfect but it works.


 

A few other things I do which work well in the display….


 

Flood lights (45 watt Par38 bulbs) are hidden from view by placing logs or pieces of firewood in front of them. This blends in with the natural aspect of the leaves and disguises them from the general public.



 

Spider webs are created from pieces of cheesecloth that have been shredded by hand. The cheesecloth is easy to work with and can be reused year after year. If you are using black light in your display soak them in liquid laundry detergent and allow to dry, they will glow like crazy.



 

Add some colored lights behind your props and fog to act as a backlight….this adds a nice ghostly aura to your fog and your props…it’s worth the effort.