My family tends to go a little overboard for Halloween. Our theme was Harry Potter, so we set out to make enough props to fill our rather small front yard. as my first foam project i think it came out wonderfully.
A little back story; We live off a main drag in a small town in NJ that host a halloween parade every year. the house I grew up in was lucky to get one trick or treater for halloween, so when we moved to a house in the middle of a town and had a little over a hundred trick or treaters the first year we set out to make the best halloween we could. Nine years later we had over 1200 kids come to our house on halloween and enough people stand to gawk that the town closes our road to cars. we are crazy people, but the kids love it and so the show must go on. the madness can be seen here: http://mapleavehalloween.weebly.com/2014.html
Step 1: Finding the Right Image
First thing I had to do was find the right image to make a template. after looking at google images for hours I decided on the image to use and needed to modify it in adobe. The location we were planning to use would not be able to hold a scale model of the car so I squashed it, slightly cartoonish but it worked.
From that squashed image I made a black and white template used to make the main body of the car.
Step 2: Foam Carving
After tracing the template on to 1" foam insulation purchased at Home Depot, I used a Hot Wire Foam Cutter to carve the sides of the car. If you only get one tool for making halloween props I recommend the foam cutter, it has been the best purchase I ever made and made my first foam project so much easier and more enjoyable than if i had to use a serrated blade and get little foam bits everywhere.
We propped the sides against the packing foam that came with our coffee machine which ended up being the right size and used foam insulation glue to secure them together.
Step 3: Every Car Needs a Roof
We used a thin plastic poster board that our local staples carries as the roof of the car. measure it, cut it, glue it. we used the same foam glue for the whole project.
Step 4: Wheels
The wheels were done the same way the sides were. We tried different sizes of paper plates till we found one we liked. Trace to foam and carve (Hot wire foam cutter is the best tool I got this year). An easy way to carve the circle is to put a nail through the center of what will be the wheel and secure the foam cutter at the distance of the radius so that you turn the foam and don't have to move the cutter. It gives a much cleaner cut than trying to move the cutter in a perfect circle. You should have large enough pieces left from the sides to fit the wheels so you shouldn't need to buy more foam.
Step 5: Trunk and Hood
Front and back foam supports were added to shape the hood and trunk. A couple of cheap "For Rent" signs found at the dollar store were positioned as the hood and the trunk. before they were glued we hit them with a fine sand paper to ensure that the paint and the glue would adhere. they were coated with the cheapest white spray paint Home Depot had and glued in place.
Step 6: Details
Once the body was pretty much figured out the template was then used to add the window and door details. the lines for the windows and doors were traced on and lightly carved in to the foam with a pencil. additional details of headlights, tail lights, and grill had templates created for them. the grill was then cut from a wire mesh grate that we had left over from installing a french drain in the yard. the light were all made of the same plastic poster board as the roof. the emblems and badges were taken from photos of the real cars and cropped so they could be printed in high quality, cut out and laminated.
the grill, emblems and lights were made but not yet attached because the painting needed to be done.
Step 7: Window Images
to create the images that would go in the windows of the car, I took actual screen shots in VLC while watching chamber of secrets for the 100th time. the screen shots were cropped, sized to fit the sizes of the different windows. the digital files were taken to staples to be printed and laminated to make them weather proof. the picture for the windshield was then mounted to another piece of the poster board that had been cut to fit the frame.
Step 8: A Little Paint and Glue and We Are Done
Before the window images and the hardware were added 3 coats of light blue paint made the car the right color. add a stripe down the side. The wheels got painted black with a silver disc in the middle for a hubcap (sorry don't have a separate pic of them) and glued in place. Add the images, grill, lights and emblems. a license plate made from word art that had also been laminated was added on the front and back.
Step 9: Place, Mount and Enjoy
Our car was placed in our Whomping Willow, held up with a 1/2" electrical conduit with a platform built onto it, 1/2" pvc was not sturdy enough.
Enjoy your finished work of art. If anyone would like to see more of our crazy halloween you can find it here: http://mapleavehalloween.weebly.com/2014.html