Introduction: Miniature Light-up Tabletop Haunted House

About: Hi there! Music teacher, writer, and creative artsy guy here. I love making things from scratch, and Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday of all time.

These are instructions on how to build a small tabletop haunted house as a decoration in your home around the autumn/halloween time of year. I was inspired to build one of these after walking into a local store and seeing a very small one (priced rather absurdly high) lit up in the corner. To build your small haunted house, you will require the following materials:

1) Lots and lots of cardboard. If you can find cardboard boxes already in the basic shape of the house you want to build, use them.

2) Hot glue gun.

3) Black duck tape.

4) Some paper plates.

5) Scissors

6) Straight edge

7) Pencil

8) String lights (white or orange)

9) Beige/cream-colored paper

10) Assorted acrylic paint

11) Black spray paint

12) Small faux pumpkins

13) Small stones and white stuffing (optional)

Step 1: Draw Upon Existing Architectures to Build Your Creation!

I found an ad for this old mansion that was being sold in upstate New York and I was immediately inspired. Taking the basic shape of the house, I decided to build my own rendition of it. If you want, you can draw your own creation if you think it will help you to plan for the materials you will need. I knew what the basic shape of mine would be so I did not draw a picture.

To build the round victorian tower attached to the house, I decided to use a can of bread crumbs.

Step 2: Get Your Cardboard Together and Begin Designing With Your Pencil.

At this point, you can be as creative as you want. Your home will need two peaks (front and back) depending upon your design. If you're going for the victorian round tower design like me, you'll need some type of food can to work with. I found the breadcrumb container to be perfect size. After ripping off the paper, there was simply cardboard underneath.

Step 3: Start Cutting Out the Windows...carefully.

After designing your windows onto the cardboard, cut them out using your straight edge. Do this carefully because straight edges are very very sharp! For my house, I made windows of all types of shapes and sizes.

Step 4: My Wrap-around Porch.

To make it easier to build my wrap-around porch on the first floor of the house with supportive columns, I cut into the bottom of a box and made large doorways all the way around. I then created another separate wall, made windows and moveable doors, then inserted it behind the columns to create my "porch."

Step 5: Begin the Process of Spookifying Your Home!

My friend and I got together and begin adding little details to bring the house to life. She created all the shutters for the home, in addition to random boards covering the windows. These were randomly glued down to make it look as though the house had been sitting vacant for years. Be as creative as you want - imagine your all time favorite haunted house and what it would look like on the outside! Make it look like that.

Step 6: Get Your Black Spray Paint and Other Paints Ready.

I sprayed my entire house with a base coat of black spray paint. On top of that, using my assorted paints, I was able to go back over the wooden boards with brown, the shutters and columns with gray, and paint the deck brown to make it look like wood. Taking a tiny little bit of gray paint, I was even able to make some nails on the boards.

I loved the whole "old" victorian feel of the home, and I went back onto the columns with some black and made some small swirls. Again, you can be as simple or creative as you want, depending upon the home you're building.

Step 7: Cover All Your Windows With Beige Paper.

Using some textured beige paper I bought from Michaels (for 14 cents....yeah!, really nice paper too), I cut and glued the paper behind every window in the entire house. I didn't want people to be able to look into the house - just wanted the glow of the lights to emanate from the windows. Do this to every window.

Step 8: Wire Your Home With Lights.

Be sure to have a hole in the back of your house (where no one will see) for the male end of the cord to come out. Using the black duck tape and my friend for help, we proceeded to feed the lights through the house and tape the lights around the windows. This was tricky because you don't want the lights directly in front of the windows. The female end of the lights ended up in the tower, which I just taped down.

Step 9: Assemble and Paint All Remaining Roofs.

I found the roof to be my favorite part. I added it to the front porch, to the side, and to the main peak of the home. Again, cut this all from cardboard. For the roof of the round tower, I used a paper plate (cut through the plate until you get to the middle) and made it into a cone. I glued the cone together and sat it on top of the tower. I left a small section in the back open just in case I needed to get into the house and adjust the lights.

As for the roof color, I wanted a nice contrasting color (again, I wanted to draw upon that classic victorian age). I went with a burgundy (made from red, blue and tiny bit of black) and painted the roof. I went back afterwards with some brown and black and dry brushed it onto the roof to make it look really really old.

Step 10: Here's a Little Sneak Peak...

I decided to test out the lights to see how they looked with the beige paper....they looked awesome! Really excited for the entire thing to be finished.

Step 11: Chimney Time!

No house is complete without a chimney. Use whatever box shaped object you can find, like spaghetti or foil wrap. I measured it onto the roof, cut it diagonally and affixed it using hot glue. Using a mixture of black and gray paint, paint the chimney completely (inside and out!). This will be your mortar.

Using some small stones out in our yard, I decided to make the chimney a "stone" chimney. This will be a little time consuming (not to mention painful if you get glue on your fingers!), but it's well worth the outcome! My chimney came out AWESOME and very realistic. Even though the house is "abandoned," I may add some stuffing coming out of the chimney to make it look like smoke.

Step 12:'s DONE!

My little haunted house is done! It looks awesome on the corner table during the day, and even more awesome at nighttime when plugged in! You'll notice I added some fake little foam pumpkins to the front porch - I think that adds a nice finishing touch!

All in all, I spent 14 cents on the paper for the windows, $3.99 for lights and $2.99 on the pumpkins, and all of it at Michaels. All the other materials (paint, cardboard, hot glue, etc.) were things I had laying around the house. It's amazing what you can make with a little bit of time and some random materials.

I really hope you try it! Thank you for viewing my post. Happy Halloween!

Halloween Decor Contest 2015

Participated in the
Halloween Decor Contest 2015