Check it out! We threw a circus theme Halloween party this year for a bunch of teenagers.
These teenyboppers needed to play little circus games to win tickets to get candy and this is how we displayed the candy.
I give you the "Candy Hutch!"
Step 1: The Hutch!
We actually got this badboy for free years ago!
For the paint job we used:
-Heavy duty cleaner like TSP
-Good primer like Kilz
-Paint (We used milk paint)
-Top coat like Minx Polycrylic
We live in Japan, so used local brands similar to the brands I listed.
Painting the outside of the hutch!
1st- You're going to need to clean the entire hutch with the heavy duty cleaner. You'll want the hutch dust and crust free for the best adhesion and smoothest paint job. When it's clean, put painters tape on the areas you don't want paint on.
2nd- Prime the hutch! Just follow the direction on your primer and prime away. You won't need to prime if using chalk paint. I love chalk paint, but it has a feel to it when it dries. I suggest Annie Sloan. It gets pricey, but it's well worth it.
3rd- It's Optional, but I like painting a base coat. This is the first layer of paint intended for the application of the color. Base coats also tend to operate as the base of the color scheme, where other layers of more transparent or colored paints can be then coated on smoothly. We used white milk paint.
4th- Paint your hutch! We used a wine colored milk paint on the outside and Khaki colored paint on the inside. It took three coats to paint this thing. What's milk paint you ask? Milk paint is made from skim milk, lime, or just casein and pigment. (Our paint has casein). Milk paint is not harmful to the environment and the materials used are natural so there are no harmful fumes. It's pretty awesome stuff!
5th-You'll use the top coat to protect the new paint job. There is a massive selection available too with options like polyurethane or epoxy.
6th-It's optional, but we antiqued the hutch with an antiquing liquid. The brand we used goes over the top coat You can also use a tinted wax like Briwax or Annie Sloan dark wax. You won't need the top coat if you use a wax.
Fabric on the shelves! We found a whole bunch of this granny fabric on sale (I'm all about this kind of fabric) and we used some of it on the shelves. Just staple fabric to the shelves with a staple gun. Be careful when putting the shelves back! You don't want to scratch off any of the paint inside the hutch.
Step 2: The Sign!
I love signage, so I made a candy sign for the top of the hutch.
For the sign we used:
-A sheet of plywood
-Ruler, tape measure, pencil
-Brown water based wood stain
-White and wine milk paint
-Power drill and screws to attach the side pieces.
-Sander for distressing
-Light Brown Briwax to seal the sign
For this, I used a jigsaw and cut a simple shape and matching side pieces out of plywood and then stained it.
I had trouble at first with the sign being too front heavy. Keep that in mind if you don't intend on attaching the sign to the top of the hutch. This sign was only going up for two months.
For the lettering, I used a tape measure and ruler to draw out 5 equal boxes, one for each letter. I drew the letters with white paint and a little brush. I used the wine color paint for details that match the hutch color.
The pencil marks sand off easily with the distressing. This was freehand and I was going for an old looking circus sign.
When you get that perfect distressed look, wax and buff the sign to a shine.
Step 3: The Top Lights!
I have a big bag of rubber pigtail sockets I wanted to use for something. I got them on sale for about $1 each at my local home center!
For the top lights, I used:
-7 E-14 sockets/ 7 E-14 LED bulbs
-Heavy Duty 3-in-1 wire tool
-7 s-14 pipe clamps/ 14 screws
-14 wire clamps/ 14 screws
-7 plastic cases (not UL listed)/ 21 screws
-5 meters of 0.5mm electrical wire
-Plug (not pictured)
-16 wire staples 20cm from the box on each wire
Parallel wire 7 pigtail sockets together.
This sign was only going up for two months, because I like to change it up every year. Next year will be something new and hopefully more creative.
Everything I used, I already had in my workshop except for the s-14 pipe clamps.
I screwed 6 little junction boxes on the back of the sign low enough to not be visible to people looking at the sign.
Possible dangers! Be careful with electrical work!
-Short circuits. This is when a live wire touches a neutral. This will usually make a fuse blow, but if that doesn't happen, the connection will get hot and then melt and then possibly cause a fire.
-Overloads. If the flow of current exceeds the wires specs, the internal wire heats up. This could cause the connection to melt and cause a fire.
Info on the things I used:
Junction box:Whenever you splice wires together you should enclose the connections in a junction box. This is a safety measure that prevents fires that can occur if the wires overheat and also protects people from getting shocked by live wires.
Closed end crimp connectors: Closed end connectors are crimp-able for a quick, inexpensive, easy and permanent electrical connection of two or more wires. You can seal up the connector using dual wall heat shrink with adhesive, or you can wrap it with standard electrical tape. I wrapped these in electrical tape. The maximum voltage rating for closed end connectors is 300 volts. For single/small boxes, push in connectors are easier to use.
Nylon wire clamps: Clamps are specially designed to hold cables, tubes and components and allow you to easily mount bundles of cables to walls, ceilings or any other surface. The clamp has quite an easy application, simply screw the clamp to surface. Single/small boxes do not require clamps inside, but the wires must be stapled within 8in/20cm of the box.
You don't need to ground plastic boxes, since they are made of a non conductive material. Nothing will short out if it touches the side of the box.
Step 4: The Inside Lights!
For the lights inside the hutch, I pulled two strands of 500 lights through two small holes I drilled. The inside of my hutch is painted, so holes are easily filled and repainted over. I wasn't too worried about making holes, but if you are, you can use battery operated lights.
These are called 'fairy lights' and I ordered them from AliExpress.
It's better to use tension rods to hold up the lights, but I went with black rope. This is the most difficult part of the candy hutch. I stapled rope to the top and bottom of both sides of the hutch and slowly wrapped the light around it while keeping the rope tight. These fairy lights are awesome, but tangle up easily! I wouldn't recommend them if you're not running on 100% patience. Don't worry about evenly spreading out the lights until they are all wrapped around the rope or tension rod. You can do that once the lights are on and tight.
Use wood trim to hide the rope or tension rods. I simply cut trim and painted it black.
Step 5: The Finished Hutch!
My lovely wife displayed the candy using glass bowls and cups to reflect the LED's.
We made those tickets signs in photoshop! They were printed out on printer paper and glued on card stock.
Step 6: Circus Tickets!
These are the tickets the teenyboppers won! We made the design in photoshop and printed it out on dollar store construction paper. You can easily perforate the tickets using a ruler and perforation cutter.