Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Halloween Countdown Haunted House

Oh! I love Halloween! I love the colors, the candy, the decorations and the costumes! This year I made a Countdown Haunted House so that we can love every day of October up until the 31st. 

This house is made so we can use it more than once; it's lightly hot glued together and the washi tape adds extra strength and bling!
Here's an overview of the process:
  1. Measure and draw i.e. center and cut out the windows.
  2. Cut the roof.
  3. Trim the sides of the house.
  4. Make the back of the house.
  5. Make and install compartments (paper towel tubes).
  6. Attach the front of the house to the back.
  7. Hang!
Here we go! Let's start with the front of the house.


Black Corrugated Tri-Fold Display Board or cardboard (and paint it black) I bought mine from Michael's for $5.49
Yellow or orange tissue paper
Hot glue
Glue stick or double-sided tape (I used a Tombo tape dispenser)
Paper towel tubes
Cutting surface
X-Acto knife
Painter's tape
Washi tape
Optional- stamps and ink
You can use cardboard and paint it black; however, I used a black corrugated Tri-Fold display board because it’s faster and cleaner than painting and there’s no buckling from the paint. I suppose you could try adding black contact paper?
Cut both side sections off the tri-fold and set the center piece aside- use it for another project.
Trim one side piece 24.5" tall by 12" wide.
Draw a vertical line down the center on the back of the cardboard.
Draw a horizontal line 4" from the bottom.

Now map out the windows. 

When finished, there will be 30 windows in all- each 1.25" high and 1" wide – all with .5" spaces between them.

The key is to start measuring from the vertical center line at the horizontal 4” line.
On the horizontal line, measure .5"on both sides of the center vertical line thus making a 1" wide column. 

Measure .5" for the window panes on either side and then continue by adding 1" lines for the next column of windows.
Repeat until there are five 1" columns with four .5" spaces between them.

Now make the horizontal rows.

Starting at the 4" horizontal line, draw horizontal rows that are 1.25" high with .5" spaces between each "window".
Mark the spaces that will be cut out with a large X.


Cut out all the X's - the windows.

Draw one extra line 1.25” above the top set of windows to mark the “ceiling” line.
The “ceiling” line will be the base for the roof cuts and the roof window.

Let's make the roof:

Draw a line from the center top of the cardboard to one edge of the ceiling line.
Repeat on the other side.

Trim off the roof pieces.

Sides and roof overhang:

Measure 1" in on both sides along the “ceiling” line.

Measure and mark 1.75" in from the sides at the bottom of the house.

On one side, draw a vertical line from the 1" mark on the "ceiling" line to the 1.75" mark.

Repeat on the other side.
Trim off the house sides.

Top window:
Start at the "ceiling" line in the center of the cardboard and draw, then cut, a rectangle with a curved top for the center window.

Cut the top 2" off to flatten the roof; add a "grate" detail if you like.
House back (box):
Use the second piece of the tri-fold to cut a 17.5" by 10.5" rectangle.

On the (black) outside, measure and mark 1.25" along all four sides.
Lightly cut the marks – not so much that they’re cut through- just half way through.

Cut off the corners at the intersections and fold in the edges.

Line the house front up with the inside of the box and mark the windows so the "compartments" will be glued onto the correct spots later.
Tape the corners of the box with painter's tape on the outside and add hot glue to the inside corners.
Allow the hot glue to harden then remove the tape.
Flatten paper towel tubes, then cut them into 1.25" sections (or if the "box" is deeper or shallower).

Push the tube sections open and re-flatten them on the opposite sides to make them into “squares.”
Add hot glue to one edge of each paper towel section and place it down around the window holes in the box.

Lay the house front on the box to make sure everything lines up.
Tissue paper windows:
Add glue stick or use the double sided Tombo tape along the window panes on the backside of the house front.
Press the tissue paper to the back of the house and trim off the excess.
Protect your work surface as ink or pen will bleed through the tissue paper.

Flip the house front over and add the numbers to the tissue paper windows-you could use stamps, stickers, or just write the numbers with a marker.
If you mis-number (like I did), just cut the tissue paper out and add a new square.
I cut bat silhouettes for the top “window“-you could add a witch, an owl, a ghost etc.

Make an X at the top center back of the box and push a pencil through to add a hole to hang the house.

Place the candy into the paper towel compartments; we have 3 people who need candy- so 3 candies go in each compartment.
I used Dove candy eyeballs and pumpkins.

If you’re planning to use this again next year (or re-purpose it at Christmas) just add a few little dabs of hot glue to attach the front of the house to the back box along the edges and then secure them with washi tape.

Add a battery operated tea candle (DON’T use real candle) on the box ledge in back of the “window.”