Disney World · Holidays

DIY Haunted Mansion Wooden Skull Corbel Details in foam

One of my favorite details that goes virtually unnoticed on the rides are the various wood skull details, or corbels, throughout the ride.  They are mostly found at the beginning of the ride on the walls.

As with virtually every build we do it starts with XPS foam (seen below).  It is the kind from the big box home improvement stores used for the siding of your house.  For info and tips check out the post on the Tomb Sweet Tomb Stick Frame.


I began, as always, with finding as much reference material as possible online.  I roughly drew up a sketch on graph paper by laying it over an image.

It is not 100 accurate, but I went for ease and made it out of 2 pieces, a top and bottom.  I glued them together, drew some wood grain, and gave it a few protective coats of black paint mixed with mod podge.  Check out Black Magic Crafts for more info on that technique.

DIY Haunted Mansion Skull Wall corbel details

I painted the piece brown and once it dried I gave it a liberal black wash to make the details pop then drybrushed a lighter brown over the highlights.  I then sealed it with a matte acrylic sealer.  The spray paint should not react with the foam if you have enough coats of mod podge and paint, but is always a possibility so be careful.

For the longer skull it took a bit more planning as it has more a more complex design with more pieces and unique angles.  As for the making of the piece it followed the same steps as above.  Reference photo, plan/sketch out, cut foam, wood grain, mod podge, paint, wash, seal.

DIY Haunted Mansion Skull Wall corbel details

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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