Introduction: Zombie Horde on the Cheap
This project brought together two of my favorite things: Zombies and not spending a lot of money. Overall cost of this project was less than 50$ (provided you already have the tools), and only took a few hours to complete. If you want the best looking yard this Halloween, give this a shot, it is limited only by your creativity (as in, you don't HAVE to do zombies, but seriously, why wouldn't you want to?).
BONUS: if you scare away all the trick-or-treaters, guess who gets all that sweet, sweet candy...
Step 1: Step One: Stuff You Will Need
Like I said, this project is relatively cheap and you can get everything at your local big box hardware store. I made 2 zombies for my yard so the equipment list reflects that; if you want more or less than 2, amend as needed.
Supplies you will need for fabrication:
1. (2) 8'x4'x1/2" Sheets of plywood
2. (2) Cans of exterior grade black spray paint
3. (1) Permanent black magic marker (or pencil, or crayon, or chalk)
4. Tape Measure
5. Zombie picture from the internet, or natural artistic ability
6. Sandpaper or a sanding sponge
Supplies you will need for display:
1. Several 1-1/4" screws (2 per stake)
2. 12" wooden tent stakes, or wood stakes cut from scrap, you will need 2 per zombie (it's Halloween, so be sure not to use any from your vampire defence kit)
3. (1) 500 watt halogen shop light that is suitable for wet climbate use (in case it rains/snows). I got one at the Depot for $6.
4. Extension cord
Tools you will need:
1. Circular saw
3. Tape measure
4. Something to drive screws (I used an impact driver because I am lazy, but you can use a drill)
5. Small sledge hammer
Step 2: Step Two: Cutting the Wood
1. Lay your plywood out on some supports and measure off the excess. I made my first zombie 6 feet tall (72") and my second 5 and a half feet tall (66"). Cut off the amount you will need to make your zombie with your circular saw and save the excess for later.
2. Using your inspiration picture from the internet or natural artisitc ability, quickly sketch your zombie on the wood you just cut with your marker (the black magic marker was easy to see on the wood). Don't fret if it doesn't look beautiful (or horryfying) right away; it's a zombie, not Michaelangelo's Pieta. Unless it is, but then you probably don't understand Halloween.
3. Use your jigsaw to cut out the shape you drew. Save the larger pieces of excess for other projects. I used some of the larger pieces to make tombstones and a hand coming out of the ground.
4. Sand the edges a bit after to cut out your shapes to avoid splinters. The effect of a Zombiewood splinter could inadvertantly bring about the Zombie Apocalypse.
Step 3: Step Three: Paint 'em
1. Cover the front (dislay side) of the wood with black spray paint. Make sure to use exterior grade, so it doesn't fade and look silly (sillier) by Halloween. You can also use regular black paint, but I find spray paint quicker with no clean up.
Step 4: Step Four: Preparing to Mount
1. Using 1-1/4" screws, attach your wooden stakes to the back of your zombie. You will need about 6" to pound into the ground (depending on the wind in your area). You can use less (about 4") for your tombstones.
2. Using a small sledge, pound the stakes into the ground. I started with a dead blow mallet, and after my first stake was in my arm was smoked. The sledge made the stakes cut through the ground in fewer hits. You may want to use a chair to prop the zombies up while you pound, or have someone hold them. If you can't hit the stakes easily, set another piece of wood against the top of the stakes and strike it.
Step 5: Final Step: Display
1. Set up your light behind the display so that it cannot be seen from the streets (the tombstone is a good spot) and point them at your house. Plug the light into your extension cord and plug it in to a power source. This will light up your house and show off your silouettes toward the street.
2. Scare the neighborhood.