Okay, I'm doing a couple quick, down and dirty instructables of Halloween props I've made in the past. These props are simple, cheap, and make my house look like an old, abandoned, haunted, creepy looking place. This one will cover using foam board to make fake wood boards. I'm also going to try and post one for the fence that surrounds my front yard.
Here's what you need:
- 1 inch thick foam board insulation (for this project, I actually prefer the cheaper white stuff. I like the way it come apart, tears, etc. The amount and size you need depends on how many windows you want to "board up")
- A serrated knife of some sort (a regular steak knife can do the trick)
- A flat head screwdriver or similar tipped item
- Mouse sander (optional)
- Brown latex paint (if you have a paint sprayer, it will make this a lot easier because you need to reach lots of nooks and crannies)
- Gray latex paint (A cheap paint brush is used with this)
- Hot glue (double sided duct tape or velcro could also be used)
- Duct tape (regular or double sided)
- tape measure
Step 1: Take Some Measurements
The first step is to take some measurements. You are going to need to measure your window diagonally. The actual board will need to be a few inches longer because it has to be "nailed" to something, right? All your other boards will attach to this.
The other boards that will be attached to the diagonal board don't necessarily need to go past the window. As you can see in the first picture, some do and some don't. This gives the appearance that some of the boards may have broken or whoever put them up just used whatever they had laying around.
Step 2: Cutting and Shaping the Foam Board
Before you start cutting, I suggest removing the film from each side of the foam board. Another optional step would be to take a mouse sander to the surface of the board, after the film is removed, to remove the texture (I do, but it isn't really that necessary).
Next, cut all the boards you will need for your window. You can cut them curvy, straight, or however you like. I wanted mine to look like old boards that were laying around for years before being put on the windows, not something that just came from the local hardware store.
The next step would be to use your fingers, knife, screwdriver, and mouse sander (use the tip or side of the sander) to rough up the ends and edges of the board.
Step 3: Making It Look Like Wood
Take your screwdriver and lightly make lines in the foam. Make long ones, short ones, and start and stop in different places.
Then, use a little more pressure and drag the screwdriver through the foam. This will make the wood look rotted and brittle after it's painted. Try different techniques. I use the white foam board because of how it looks in this step.
I also like to use the point of the mouse sander to create areas where maybe a knot in the wood fell out. I can't stress enough to just try different things.
Step 4: Painting
I suggest, if possible, that you go to your local hardware store and see if they sell "oops" paint. I got my paint for $5 a gallon.
You can paint the boards with a brush, but it's very important that all the gouges and cracks you made get colored with the brown paint. I suggest using a paint sprayer if you have one.
After the boards are dry, you are now ready to use the gray paint. For this, you are going to dry brush (remove most of the paint from the brush) the gray paint over various areas on the surface of the board (not in the cracks). This will really bring out the gouges and cracks as well as make the boards look older.
Step 5: Attach the Boards
Once the paint is dry, you need to attach your boards to the diagonal board. I use hot glue for this, but you could also use double side duct tape, or even velcro if you would like to take them apart for stacking. If you use hot glue, use the low temp if possible so you don't melt the foam too much. You also might find it easier to attach your diagonal board to your window and then attach your boards however you want them.
Now, all you need to do is put a few pieces of looped duct tape or double sided duct tape on your diagonal board and stick it to your window.
In the second photo, you can see there is a border around my front windows that juts out. If you need to, attach a piece of foam to the back of your board and then duct tape it to the window. I needed to use a piece that was a couple inches thick.
That's it! Now, you can put some cobwebs on them or whatever.
Another cool effect (not pictured) is to buy some cheap plastic table cloths (white and black). Shred and tear the white ones and attach them inside your house to look like curtains. Then cover the entire inside of your window(s) with the black table cloths.