I thought this would be a fitting post as we welcome you into our annual conversion of our house into the Haunted Mansion for our Halloween party. One of the first pieces I made years ago was a simple print off of the Tomb Sweet Tomb sign I found online and placed in a cheap frame.
I decided to redo this iconic piece for our wall. I started by by using some XPS foam (the kind you buy at the big box home improvement stores to use on the side of your house.) This was a sheet of 1″ thick foam. I cut out the basic shape of the frame. I wanted something a little more substantial than the very thin frames you see on the ride as in the picture above.
Then I roughly whittled the the foam down using a knife or razor (always be careful, wear eye protection, and slowly cut away from yourself in a controlled fashion.)
I contemplated sanding the foam a bit but opted for the more rustic, rough look. I then simply added some texture by using a ball point pin to carve some rough and cartoonish wood grain.
The next step was to coat the entire thing in a few coats of Mod Podge mixed with cheap black acrylic craft paint. This was technique I learned from a terrain builder who has a YouTube channel Black Magic Craft. The coats seal the piece, strengthen the foam, act a a black base coat, and allow you to seal it when you are done painting with a rattle can top coat.
I found an image online of the sign, I sorted them by size choosing the one with the highest resolution and size. I then added a slight grid, pixelated it, and added a texture to somewhat simulate the look of cross stitching. I painted the piece brown, gave it a diluted wash of black watered down paint, and sealed it with a matte coat of sealer.
Until next time…be on the lookout for more of our Haunted Mansion builds. We will have over 70 pieces life sized pieces in our Haunted Mansion this year.
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