Spooky Hollow Part 1

paper towel witch

Halloween has always been one of my favorite times of the year!  When I purchased my first home, my nephew and I went to town decorating the exterior.  I finally had the land to really put on a show!  Both of us have a passion for scary things be it movies or haunted houses.  Even real haunted houses. You tell us a place is haunted and we will most likely check it out!   While I owned that home, my nephew and I would start building our props in the beginning of August so we could have everything set up by the first weekend in September.  All the while, keeping what we were working on Top Secret from our neighbors!   By the time I sold that house we had people coming from neighboring towns to see our display every year.  It wasn’t uncommon to look out the window at all hours of the night to find people taking their photo with our props.  On Halloween night some kids were too afraid to come to the front door for candy, so they would wait in the street and send their other parent to the door for their candy!  When I sold that home I sold the life size horse (that was used for the Headless Horseman prop).  The rest of my props I donated to a fellow Halloween enthusiast and to the town for their Halloween spread.  Keep in mind, these photos are from “pre-blogging” days, so they certainly are lacking in resolution!  I have too many props to share in one post, so be sure to check back to see the second part, where I will show you the life size fiberglass horse I had!

So for those who love making props for their yards wait no more!  First up is the Witch!

witch head

witch head

To make her head, I purchased a medical grade skull.  I’m sure you can use a cheap plastic skull.  I would actually recommend using a cheap plastic skull as the medical grade ones are very heavy.  To make her neck, I used a cardboard container turned upside down.  The container was from one of those instant soups (I have no idea why these were even in my house as I do not like them but they did make for great necks on my props!).  I glued the skull to this cardboard “neck”.  Then I got out some water, white glue and paper towels.  I wet the paper towels with a mix of water and glue then squeezed them out so they were damp and layered them onto the skull.  For the nose, lips, chin and eye brows, I used more damp paper towels to make the shapes I wanted and then attached the pieces onto the head.  I kept layering more paper towel sheets until I had the skin looking the way I wanted.  I had to put books under the witch head so I could make the chin longer.  Once all the paper towels were dry, I started painting with craft paints.  I used matte finish spray lacquer on the faces to protect them from the elements.

After the head was completely painted, I used a dowel through the neck and head with some foam spray to keep the dowel centered and then attached the dowel to her body.

Here she is inside the crypt I made (sorry told you the photos are not great!)

witch crypt

I attached her hands to a broom.  The broom was attached to a motor that a fellow Halloween prop builder made for me to make it look like she was stirring her brew!  I’ll show you how to make the crypt in the next post (that crypt can be easily taken apart for flat storage).

Next up is Johnny Appleseed

I made his head the same way I did the witches head, but I didn’t wrinkle the paper towels on him to the extent I did with the witch.johnnyappleseedheadshot2

Johnny Appleseed


Johnny’s body is made from PVC standing at 8′ tall.  I used PVC pipes such as in the diagram below (this diagram is for both Johnny Appleseed and Pumpkinrot).johnnybody


Johnny Appleseed


Johnny was dressed in an Australian Duster jacket and cowboy hat.  I attached sticks onto the PVC body and coming out from the sleeves.  I had to use rebar in the ground then I slipped the the PVC over the rebar with some stones to keep him secure.


Pumpkinrot was constructed the same way Johnny Appleseed was made.  I used a black sheet to make his outfit.  The pumpkin head is a foam head that I carved out to have a creepy face.  I attached black cloth on the inside of his head and used a glow in the dark paint on it so the eyes would glow at night.   I used sticks for his hands as well.



Here’s Johnny and Pumpkinrot in the garage before they got their stick hands

pumpkinrot johhny appleseed

In the next Spooky Hollow post I will include the Life size fiberglass horse and headless horseman along with the 6′ tall Crypt, Graveyard posts and a grave digger!  Along with diagrams and instructions for those props.

So for all you creepy prop builders I hope you enjoyed this post check back for Part Two!



12 comments for “Spooky Hollow Part 1

  1. September 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Hi Dria,

    I’m trying not to be a wimp but even the pictures of these crafts give me the heeby jeebies! Haha! I’m such a scaredy cat!

    Those look amazing, well done!

    Cheers, Becky

    • Dria
      September 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      😉 You crack me up!! Thanks so much Becky 🙂

  2. September 3, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Wow that’s so awesome looking Dria! I sadly don’t have a house to decorate yet, but I would love to make some of the smaller things for a Halloween party! I can’t wait to see your next post about your other decorations! 🙂

    Marie H.

    • Dria
      September 3, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      😉 Thank you so much Marie! I can’t wait to see how you dec out your space for your Halloween Party!

  3. September 2, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I love your Halloween decorations! I also love how much cheaper your ideas are rather than going out and buying the decorations. Can’t wait to see the rest of your spooky projects! 🙂

    • Dria
      September 2, 2013 at 10:58 am

      🙂 Thank you so much Melissa!!

  4. August 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Dria!! That is so awesome!! I love Halloween, too – we usually have a huge shindig and love going all out with the decorations. Thanks for sharing yours… You’ve given me some really great ideas!


    • Dria
      August 29, 2013 at 6:36 am

      🙂 Thank you so much Cher! I can’t wait to see your decor this year!!

  5. August 28, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Wow!! You are so talented! I love it – Halloween is one of my favorite holidays to decorate for!

    • Dria
      August 28, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      😉 Thank you Jenna! I start itching to watch scary movies by mid August every year lol!

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