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Halloween 2009-Behind The Scenes

April 18th, 2010

A peek behind the scenes of our Halloween 2009 setup where we battled massive rainfall, cold weather and 40 mph winds, enjoy the photos taken by my oldest son of our funfilled day (and night).


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Dungeon Rats

April 16th, 2010

The Dungeon Rats were finished just in time to be included in our 2009 Halloween display. Named “Riff” and “Raff” the rats are mangy, malnourished and have a nasty disposition, their overall length is five feet long from tip of the nose to the tip of their tails.

The rats were made from recycled empty one gallon paint cans, newspaper, cardboard, plastic milk jugs, utility wire, plaster and plastic broom bristles.

A combination of papier mache strips and homemade paper clay were used to cover the armature, strengthen and add texture. The complete instructions can be found here.


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The Papier Mache Nightmare 2009

November 10th, 2009

Photos of The Papier Mache Nightmare 2009 can be found here or on flickr if you prefer.



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The Papier Mache Nightmare 2009

October 22nd, 2009

This year’s construction of our annual Halloween display called “The Papier Mache Nightmare” is behind schedule (as always it seems) due to a very busy last couple of months.


To everyone that has sent me questions via email please know that I am working on getting them answered and those of you that took time to send me nice comments please know that they were greatly appreciated.


Currently I’m hoping to finish all of my prop building by this weekend and the display is scheduled to be up on Friday, October 30th and Saturday, October 31st.


In the works are two large five foot Dungeon Rats named “Riff” and “Raff”, eight new pumpkins featuring some new techniques, cemetery columns and fence plus my modified Sentinels.


Things are progressing, look for photos of this year’s display and new tutorials sometime in November, until then please have a safe and fantastic Halloween 2009!









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September Work in Progress

September 8th, 2009

If you’ve read through the majority of projects on this site then you know that one of my favorite places on the internet is The Mad Lab, a site that hosts monthly prop building contests. The Mad Lab has motivated me to create many of my more popular pieces; the pumpkins, gargoyle, busts and sentinels to name a few.


This summer has flown by and except for teaching some papier mache workshopsI haven’t really created anything new, but after reading about this month’s contest which requires you to build a ghoulish prop using paint containers (plastic, metal, 1 gallon, 5 gallon, etc.) I found the inspiration and motivation I needed.

The pieces I’m working on for the contest are something I’ve never created and proving to be a challenge.

Here’s a couple of teaser pictures, enjoy!




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Gargoyle 360

August 25th, 2009

Created some animated GIF’s showing some of my props in a full 360 degree view.

The animation was accomplished by photographing the props 36 times, rotating the prop 10 degrees for each photo. Photoshop was used to animate the images into the spinning 360 view.

Click here to view more prop 360’s.


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80 Days . . .

August 13th, 2009


Eighty days until Halloween.

Do you know where your props are?

My new props for the year are still resigned to a piece of paper, scratchy doodles and rambling images swimming around my mind.

The ideas and concepts are solid but the actual physical realization of these new creations has yet to be started.

Same story every year, its August and nothing to show, but hey, I’ve still got September and October.


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Workshop Galleries

July 28th, 2009


Over the past year I have taught six papier mache workshops at Space Studios, a local art gallery/pottery studio located in Midland, MI. 


 The workshops have featured dragons, frogs, gargoyles and pumpkins. Forty three students have attended the workshops and I have logged over 70 hours of teaching experience. The workshops have consumed hundreds of pounds of four, hundreds of hot glue sticks, countless rolls of masking tape and many pounds of recycled newspaper.


The best thing about teaching workshops besides the chance to play with papier mache is the chance to meet a variety of creative and talented people. Most folks attending the workshops had not worked with papier mache since their elementary school days and the classes showed them all the wonders possible with papier mache.


Here are some photographs from the past workshops:


Dragon Workshop

Frog Workshop

Gargoyle Workshop

Pumpkin Workshop


If you are curious as to some of the work involved in teaching these classes click here.


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What’s Your Pleasure?

July 16th, 2009



Several weeks ago we spent a weekend cleaning and organizing our garage, during the process we took a few hours to photograph some of the papier mache props stored in our garage. The photo includes about 75% of the props that have been built over the past few years. Absent from the photo are zombie skulls, demon skulls, plain old regular skulls, the sentinels and 14 sets of ribs, arms and hands. 


Photographing the props was fun because they were displayed in a fashion that created some interesting juxtapositions as you don’t normally see frogs mixed with pumpkins mixed with gargoyles mixed with whatever.


The whole group of props sitting in our back yard reminded me of a huge papier mache garage sale. Slapping a price tag on each piece would have probably been easier than hauling everything back into storage.


More Photos Here.


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Haunted Busts

March 21st, 2009


The Haunted Busts were created for the March entry for The Mad Lab Contest found at



The contest required the construction of a Halloween props using CD cases or as they are more commonly called jewel cases. The plastic CD cases determined the final size of the prop and worked well to create a solid pedestal base for the busts.



This project used a variety of recycled materials including aluminum cans, cereal boxes and newspaper. 




The Haunted Busts would make a great addition to a haunted library, haunted organ or placed among witch bottles.



Compete instructions can be found here.


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