Saturday, February 13, 2016


Create a realistic tombstone from extruded polystyrene foam.

Step one:

Place foam sheet on the work surface and select a tombstone shape.

Draw selected tombstone shape onto foam sheet.

Use craft knife to cut tombstone shape from foam sheet.

Step two:

Select a good "tombstoney" font and print up an epitaph, making it big enough to fit nicely on the tombstone.

Place the epitaph onto the tombstone in a selected location.

Using a ballpoint pen, trace over the lettering of the epitaph pressing hard enough to leave an impression in the foam.

Using a soldering iron, "cut" the letters into the tombstone.

Step three:

Paint the entire tombstone with dark grey outdoor latex-based paint.

Using a slightly lighter colored outdoor latex-based paint, dry brush over the tombstone to highlight texture.

Step four:

Using watered-down black acrylic paint, brush inside the lettering on the tombstone, letting some of the paint drip and run down the front of the tombstone.

Using paper towels, wipe the excess paint from the front of the tombstone creating a weathered effect.

Optional:  clear matte sealant may be applied to the tombstone for weatherproofing.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Yard of the Living Dead 2014 Part 1

Preparations are under way for 2014's Yard of the Living Dead home haunt.
 I didn't have time to make any new tombstones this year, but I needed to repair and touch up all of my existing tombstones.  I pulled them out of storage yesterday and put a coat of monster mud on all of the damaged spots.  When the monster mud hardened I put a coat of grey latex paint on all of the tombstones.  When this basecoat dries I will do a black wash and then some dry brushing to add detail. 
 
The fence is pretty much set up; I just need to hang the lanterns from the fence columns.  I have plans to make some fence finials following Discozombie's tutorial on Haunt Forum:  http://www.hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=34715We will see what time permits.
The only good thing about having to store my props outside is that they naturally accumulate real spider webs and debris that add to the creepy factor.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Jack-O-Lantern Graveyard

I took some pictures of the final resting place of this year's jack-o-lanterns.







Friday, November 1, 2013

The Yard of the Living Dead 2013

Here is a quick picture of the path of jack-o-lanterns leading safely through The Yard of the Living Dead this year.
 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

...and so it begins.


The 2013 haunt season has officially begun for The Yard of the Living Dead.  I started setting up the display today.  Nothing too ambitious; I just set up the cemetery fence and put out a coffin and a cross.

We are in a new yard this year so the setup will be slightly different.

A couple of new residents.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Yard of the Living Dead 2012

Here are a few shots of the yard on the big night.  There were a lot of unfinished projects this year; but we saw a marked increase in the number of TOT's this year, so it seemed like a good year all in all.


















This year saw my first foray into animatronic propmaking.  The prop was a simple shiatsu spider victim.  It is funny how home haunters who know about all of the amazing props out there can get a little embarassed about a simple prop; but the reaction by the TOT's is always positive.  Here is a short video of the prop in action.
video