Disney World · Holidays

DIY Haunted Mansion Tombstone with Ghost Head and Arm with Teacup

At the end of the Haunted Mansion you wander through a graveyard.  It is a classic conclusion that is completely different then the rest of the ride.  The first half of the ride is the vision of Claude Coats and is very much a spooky classic haunted house dark ride.  Throughout the ride you will find some of the weird creations of Rolly Crump.  But, the end has an odd sense of humor that is all Marc Davis.  Davis was behind much of the most iconic and funny elements of the Pirates of the Caribbean.  The classic “Grim, Grinning Ghosts” plays and sets the tone for a festive and fun swinging wake.  There are so many things happening on in the graveyard you could ride it dozens of times and not scratch the surface of seeing all the ghosts, catching all the jokes, and finding all the easter eggs.

cemetary

I had planned on making this build for a while.  One of our primary intentions with this blog was to always approach the builds with some basic rules.

  1. Make things on a budget, most builds are under $40.
  2. Make things out of readily available materials that can be bought at hardware and hobby stores.
  3. Make things with tools that are commonly had or obtained – no specialty high dollar equipment.
  4. Make things using techniques that are simple and/or can be learned by a moderately skilled crafter/maker.
  5. Make things that can be disassembled, stored, and are light weight.

Every build has followed the rules as out guiding mission statement.  That is until I found an absolutely jaw-dropping STL file, for a 3D printing, of one of the pop up ghosts. This file was built designed by the amazingly talented Prototypes and Pixie Dust.

head stl

So, I thought it would be fun to give this a try.  I could have sculpted the head but I was just excited by this option.  I had the head printed off by a state of the art printer from a local company as a favor.  This is obviously not an option for people and breaks our rules above.  There are cheap 3D printers available and there are also maker spaces in many towns that help you make items.  The head turned out amazing.  I had never seen a print so smooth.  You could drag your fingernail across its surface and not catch one print line.

Haunted Mansion Cemetery graveyard pop up ghost head teacup arm

On the ride the head is lit in a harsh green light.  I found this old photo on the right of the head in a bad state and used it as the inspiration for my color palette.

head

I started out by giving it a base coat of primer followed up by a base coat of aqua paint.

Haunted Mansion Cemetery graveyard pop up ghost head teacup arm

I then began one a very detailed and layer paint job.  I mixed over a dozen coats of various shades of brown, greens, aquas, olives, mints, etc. I applied each them by using a large art sponge and occasionally flicking paint by scraping the bristles to give a spatter effect of rotten skin.

Haunted Mansion Cemetery graveyard pop up ghost head teacup arm

When I was done I gave the entire piece a series of various washes of diluted browns, blacks, and greys.

Haunted Mansion Cemetery graveyard pop up ghost head teacup arm

I wanted to add the arm holding the teacup after I bought a plastic teacup at Goodwill.  I later found a set of skeletal arms on eBay for the right price.  I used one for this project and saved the other for a future project.

head arms

I glued the arms and place and used a combination of superglue, 5 minute epoxy, and Aves apoxie sculpting compound to fill the joints and add some structural stability.  I painted the arm using the same techniques I did on the head.

Haunted Mansion Cemetery graveyard pop up ghost head teacup arm

I then fashioned an armature out of PVC pipes fittings and attached it to an old extra IKEA Billy bookcase shelf for stability.  I wrapped it in black gaff tape to hide the bright white PVC plastic.  Also, gluing and painting would have not allowed me to be able take it apart for storage. I also add a green LED puck light to give it the right eerie glow from below.

Haunted Mansion Cemetery graveyard pop up ghost head teacup arm

I used one of the tombstones from the last blog post to complete the build.  The picture does not do the piece justice when it is lit up in a dark room.

Haunted Mansion Cemetery graveyard pop up ghost head teacup arm

 

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.

If you like what you read please be sure to follow our blog and connect with our social media.

 

Until next time…

 

The Imagine Ears features the DIY projects, adventures, and thoughts of a father and daughter who use a shared love of all things Disney to create memories together through encouraging her interests in architecture, design, Imagineering, while exploring history and science.

 

 

 

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