15 years ago we moved to the country and by Halloween I had met only a few of our neighbors.  Hoping to attract attention from like-minded souls, I displayed a few outdoor halloween items and a few days later an anonymous letter (along with religious brochures) appeared in our mailbox stating we were ' ...corrupting the children of the neighborhood by participating in Satan's holiday'.  


At first I was both hurt and embarrassed, but later realized the only way to get back to "anon" was to create a bigger and better display each year.  I now claim myself to be the victor because "anon" has stopped renewing my subscription to Guideposts (a faith based magazine) and each year the cemetery compliments increase.  

I have added a carriage style hearse to this year's haunt, and designed it with following in mind...
  • easy to set up and take down with minimal storage requirements
  • inexpensive, using as many recycled materials as possible
  • simple construction, using hand tools and a drill, dremel, jigsaw, staple gun
  • sturdy enough to withstand wind gusts up to 60 mph 
I'm really pleased with the outcome and thought I'd share my efforts in hopes that you too might consider building a hearse for your neighborhood.

Step 1: Breakout/Breakdown

Knowing someday I'd eventually build a hearse, I've been gathering materials from CraigsList, Thrift Stores, Garage Sales, etc... for a few years.  Initially I budgeted $50, but after calculating my expenses I now realize that the decorative elements can add up quickly (and account for about a third of the costs).  Considering this project gave me hours of entertainment, I feel the extra costs were well worth it.

<$25 - Four Wheels (could've gotten away with only 2, since only one side is visible from the road)
Tapered Dowels (for hubs)
450' Lawn Edging (for rims)
8' Metal Conduit (for axle)
2 "borrowed" Saw Horses (to support body and wheels)
Plastic Ivy (to hide sawhorses)
Oops Paint, Culled Lumber, Screws

 <$20 - Base and Body 
Styrofoam Blocks/Adhesive (to support frame)
Decorative Mirror (to represent a window for corpse viewing - ha, it's reflection is you!)
Stretchy Fabric and Dowels (to resemble drapery)

Sconces (to give the illusion of candles/lighting)
Oops Paint, Culled Lumber, Screws, Hinges, Wire, Cuphooks 
<$15 - Top and Back
Molding (to give dimension to the outside and to support the back door)
Decorative Mirror (for more corpse viewing)
Upholstery Trim (painted gold to hide gaps between the top and the base)
Stretchy Fabric and Dowels (to resemble drapery)
Oops Paint, Culled Lumber, Screws, Hinges, Wire, Cuphooks
 <$10 - Front 
Exercise Step (as a foot rest)
Sconces (to hold reins)

Scrap Foam (for seat and to support sconces)
Stretchy Fabric and Dowels (to resemble drapery, cover seat)
Xmas Pediments (to dress up driver foot area)
Oops Paint, Culled Lumber, Screws, Cuphooks, Decorative Tacks
The next steps show how the above comes together to create the hearse...

Congratulations on your win too. :) this is such a fun website huh? I'm so glad my cousin told me about it.
I totally agree...it really keeps my juices flowing. ;-)<br><br>Have a great ThankFestiChanuKwansMas holiday!
HaHa...Maybe i'll be remembered (on my tombstone) as the cray-z lady that always decorated for &quot;Satan's Holiday&quot;
The intro story is great. I hope you keep building on to your yard decorations and your place becomes&nbsp;<em>the</em>&nbsp;place for Halloween decorations in your neighbourhood!
Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can&rsquo;t wait to see if you win! Good luck!
Thanks for your positive vibes and sweet comment!
What a nice comment! ;-). <br><br>It's funny...what started out as an embarrassment has turned into a passion. Halloween is soooo much fun
Congratulations on being a finalist.I have my fingers crossed for you.I have horses and love Carriages and carts of all kinds and I love this one.Great job and I'm glad you didn't give up because of that neighbor .
Another great Halloween - you've topped yourself.
Something similar has been kicking around in my head for a couple years. My biggest problem is STORAGE, we already over fill a 20' box truck and a 12x14' shed so I read this with a LOT of interest and although it's not what I have pictured in my mind you've given me some great ideas. <br> <br> I started building a winged demon horse last year to pull the soul chariot but the pvc I was using didn't work as well as I had hoped (unstable, sway backed etc) so I rethought the design and found a large wire frame reindeer which I'm redesigning now with an &quot;ible&quot; in the works. Of course it meant a rescaling of the entire project but that may work for the best since we are quickly running out of room for decorations outside the home HAUNT
Wow, you must have quite the haunt! I look forward to seeing your winged-horse &quot;ible&quot;, especially since I want to build one next year.
I have several &quot;ibles&quot; on previous haunts and haunt related builds
You are so talented!! I absolutely love this! So happy to be following your posts! Steph :)
Thanks for your kind words. It was so much fun to plan &amp; construct.
Creepy cool......how very creative! I can't imagine all the thought you put into this. I love following your latest artful endeavors. Thanks for sharing!
Looks to me that this belongs on an Artists site, vs. Craft -- though fine craftsmanship was certain not lacking! <br> <br>It's obvious you enjoyed every step of the process and I imagine it was a labor of love that consumed (in a GOOD way!) hours of planning, researching, critical thinking, accumulating, etc. Thank you for taking great notes along the way and being willing to share your Sin-Eater with us. <br> <br>I also appreciate your cost documentation -- nice touch! It showcases your resourcefulness by providing LOTS of creative alternatives!!!

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Bio: ...after 30 years of becoming corporately numb, my dreams of not working (for pay) and instead creating with my hands has become a reality. Life ... More »
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