Day 4 of the 12 Days of Halloween Fun: DIY Halloween Craft- Paper Haunted House

Day 4 of the 12 Days of Halloween Fun: Paper Haunted House

My son came home with a stack of card stock about a month ago. The instructions were that this stack of card stock be turned into a 3-d Haunted House.  To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. Thank goodness for conversations with friends about spray paint & the ability to find some ideas of Haunted House models on the internet.

1st things first: Cutting and cutting some more. We had to cut out all of the pieces of the house. It was a pretty important task!

Next, came folding. I decided that it would be best to fold everything, before spray painting. Because after the spray paint was applied I was afraid that we would not be able to see the lines to fold on.  So, my son and I went to work, getting everything folded. We used a bone folding tool & a ruler to first emboss the lines and then make the folds nice and creased.

SPAY PAINT!!  Note to self and suggestion to others, Wear Gloves. Have you ever tried to spray paint pieces of paper?  If I had to do this all over again I may have done it differently. What we did? We placed the pieces of paper in a box lid and sprayed, let dry, turn to the other side and spayed that side.  The problem was, the air from the spray paint can would blow the papers. What I would consider doing in the future. Maybe secure them some way with clothes pins???

Then it was time to add some detail paint.  To make the shingles on the roof I used some black paint and made some short little down strokes. It's kind of was like a checker board pattern, but overlapping in some areas, to make a shingle look. Then I went back in with some white paint to add some little accents. For the porch I used a dry brush technique, where you get a little bit of paint on a scruffy looking brush (my brush is a brush that I cut the 1/4 of the hairs of the brush off). Then you wipe most of the paint off of the brush. Then I just pounced around on the porch. (I used white). The columns on the porch were also white on the dry brush, but I did little strokes instead of pouncing. For the rickety old steps leading to the haunted top part of the house, I used some brown paint, then made accents lines with a thin brush with black paint, so it looked like wood.

Next step, GLUE IT.  We used a paper packaging box top for the base. We then used a glue gun and glued all of the pieces together. Just like a real home we started from the bottom up. 

Decorating Time!! Now this is the fun part. Before hand, I used some sculpting clay and made pumpkins, bones and a skull.  Then using acrylics I painted them.  This part was so fun and better than going out and buying some little figures, because this way they are one of a kind. The pumpkins were rolled into balls and then using a plastic knife I made the indent lines. Then I made the stems just by sculpting the clay into rectangles. Again, I used the plastic knife to make some marks on the stems. I loved using the plastic knife because it left little teeth mark lines. The pumpkins were painted orange with brown stems and brown accents.  I wasn't too worried about making the lines perfect, because it is supposed to be a haunted yard too, right?

Bones and skulls... The bones were actually the first thing I made. I found that rolling them into snakes and then using a tooth pick to separate the ends into the two nubby parts worked the best for me. For the skull I found this tutorial online: How-to: Polymer Clay Skull Beads. I tried to follow the tutorial the best I could. I did not make the skull into a bead though. Nor do I have the fancy sculpting tools. Nope, instead I used the flat end of a skewer to help me make the indents for the eyes and nose and then I used the pointy end to make the mouth. To paint them, I used an antique white color and then added some dry brushed brown marks to make them look old and dirty. The skull I painted in the eyes, nose and mouth with black.

The rest of the finishing touches...

  •  The stick fence: My son and I gathered sticks from our yard, cut them into the lengths we needed them to be. Then hot glued them onto the box and each other.  This was actually the first thing, glued on after we glued the house on. I wasn't too worried about the hot glue strings, because they added to the effect of spider webs. 
  • Trees and Big Rocks: The trees were more sticks from the yard. We poked them into the base and glued them with a hot glue gun into place. Just glued the large rocks down with some Hot glue.
  • Head Stone and Grave: Both the head stones and the coffin were spray painted black. Then there were some accents made with some gray paint. On the head stones we painted the names, my son chose and added a little bit of red droplets of paint. Then we hot glued them onto the base.
  • Next came the dirt: We used some potting soil/mulch. To glue it on we put white glue on the base, we put the dirt everywhere except for where we were putting the rocks.
  • Gravel side walk: Another great find from our yard. Glued on also by white glue.
  •  Moss: Hot glued the moss into place. Put some in the grave with the skeleton, along the fence line and house and all over in the pumpkin patch.  This was a great dollar store find!
  • Extra Effects: We made ghosts using come cheesecloth like stuff and sprayed starch on them to help keep their form.  The heads were balls of clay, but could also be a cotton ball or batting. One ghost was tied in the tree with some fishing line and the other ghost was hanging out the front window.  Spiders... These spiders have taken over the haunted house. Their webs stretch across the whole property. The spiders were spray painted black and hot glued onto the house and next to the coffin. They caught some unsuspecting army guys in their webs and wrapped them up, hanging them in the trees.  Snakes... Two snakes also call this place a home. one has crawled out of the front door and attacked another army guy, the other is wiggling its way out of the chimney. Cotton balls were stretch out to make the smoke billowing out of the chimneys. My son made a Do Not Enter sign on the computer and using some stickers we bought at the end of the year last year for super cheap, he decorated the base.
  • I Spy... My son really wanted to make this haunted house not only something neat to look at, but also something to keep people looking longer. So, he made an I Spy game out of it. 
What a fun creative project to be able to do together. I have to admit I had nightmares about taking this thing to school and keeping it in one piece and a little bit of separation anxiety when we did drop it off. 

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