I haven't ever participated in an Instructables contest so I thought I'd make something for this one instead of just stalking other people's projects. You can make this without breaking the bank, and the construction is pretty straight forward so anybody can make it.
Step 1: Materials
- Large basin (Size and shape is really up to you! I used a large Tupperware storage bin I had in the shed. You can make a smaller or larger fountain depending on your size constrictions.
- Great Stuff Expanding Foam- I used 3 cans for my fountain. Larger or smaller ones will take more or less of course. It's twice as expensive at home improvements stores than Wal-Mart by the way.
- ""Spray Paint"" - Whatever colors you want. I ended up with Almond, Aluminum, and black.. but made it work out alright in the end. Though I should have bought two cans of black instead of one.
- Masking Tape - You'll need strong tape to both secure things until you can foam over them, and to mask off areas you don't want painted on.
- Fountain pump with tubing - If you want a large fountain you can purchase just a pump for garden use or if you want to go cheaper just buy a table fountain from the thrift shop, Wal-Mart, Dollar General, ect.
- Water - Water for the fountain of course!
- Red food coloring - Lots of this! I used a whole large bottle of red, and it wasn't enough!
- Cardboard - You just need one large section for the backing - But you can add more if you want other shapes. Foam from packages works good for this too!
- Bones - I used a 'bag of bones' I bought on sale last year after Halloween, but you can omit this if you want just the rocks or to use something else too!
- Tea Light Candles - I thought candles made it look cooler, but you can get rid of them or probably even sub for plug in lights!
- Cobwebs - Just for show!
Step 2: Make Your Backing
First we have to make a backing for our fountain. Lay your cardboard on the floor and draw out the shape that you want. I used a tombstone shape, but you can do anything you want.
Using an exacto knife or scissors for thing cardboard cut out your shape, and tape it to the back of your basin. Make sure it's on there good - The tape won't really matter later. You'll just cover it up anyway!
Packaging tape is what I used for this step, but masking tape could work too. Just put the backing up against the back of your basin, and wrap it with tape. Make sure it's tight so it doesn't fall over later.
Step 3: Make Any Other Attachments
This step depends on how you want your fountain to look. I added a little card board shelf to help hold up the skull, but you don't need it if you omit that portion.
If you want to add other large objects like bones or maybe something else you can do that now by taping them on. Don't add anything small like the candles yet, because they'll get foamed over.
Try adding more chunks of cardboard, foam, ect. to get more shapes if you want!
Step 4: Add the Pump
Add the pump into your fountain. Now you're going to want to do some testing to make sure it works as most pumps are not very strong!
I originally had my skull at the top of the backing only to discover the pump would not operate from that height. Usually pumps just give the water 'a little push' and let gravity do the rest. So get one that's the right strength for your project or else you'll end up doing some last minute fixers like me!
That bowl there is to hold the pump close enough to the skull for it to operate since I was using salvaged parts instead of buying new stuff. You can get a much better looking result if you buy a pump specifically for the project, but I wanted to mostly use things I already had around.
My skeleton bones are foam - So I just poked a hole in the bottom of the skull and stuck the tubing through it. If you are 'omitting' the skull just tape your tubing to the backing of the fountain and attach it to the pump in the bottom of your basin. You can cover the tube with foam later to hide it.
Step 5: Foaming
The next step is foaming the fountain to give it some texture, and a nice rocky look. I used 3 cans of great stuff to do my fountain. I originally wanted to foam the entire thing, but ran out of supplies.. I kind of like it the way it is though now.
Try not to go to fast or else you'll just get air coming out, and blowing the foam all over. It's easier to work with if you start at a base, and build on it. If you need to do layers you can easily come back and add more later after it's dried a little. This will make a solid foundation for you to build on. If the wet foam gets too heavy it will collapse and may mess up your project.
Be warned this stuff is very sticky, and hard to get off things! Including skin! Last time I played with this for my vivarium project it had to wear off my fingers naturally..
Gloves are useful, but I got by without them this time.. mainly because that's what I didn't buy at the store this time around. Foam around the objects, and leave as much or as little exposed as you want since we'll be painting this stuff anyway in a bit.
It dries pretty fast, and fully 'cures' in 24 hours I believe.
Step 6: Add Finishing Touches to Foam
If you've got any little stuff you want stuck in the foam add that in now. I added some tea light candles, but I only added the little metal cups so I could change out the wax portion when they burned out.
Stick those into your wet foam, with a little bit of a push, and you're good to go!
Step 7: Painting
Now it's time to paint our foamy Frankenstine! Start off by covering any parts you "don't" want painted with masking tape! I wanted my bones to remain their normal color - So I covered them to the best of my ability with some tape to protect them from the spray cans of doom.
I masked off a portion of the basin with 'RIP' spelled out in tape. The idea was that the blood would show through the unpainted portion and it would show the 'blood' in the basin.. but it's really too dark to tell. I think I may end up painting over the letters or outlining them with some red, drippy acrylic paint.
After your satisfied with that you can break out your spray paint and start coloring. I used three shades, but you can use more or less and of course different colors depending on your tastes!
Once your paint is dry, and your satisfied with the result you can take off the tape. Some of it may need to be cut if it's under the foam - Else you may end up ripping your 'rocks' off the fountain.
Step 8: Add Blood and Finishing Touches
I wanted to make some nice thick looking fake blood, but for the size of my fountain it just plain required too much corn syrup! I ended up just filling it with water a bottle of red food coloring.
I filled mine to the top based on the requirements of my pump, and to fill the letters. You can of course use more or less depending on your situation.
I dribbled some food coloring down the skull, bones, and rocks too for the heck of it.
Oh, yeah! And stir the food coloring with your spoon, and not your arms. I was messing with the pump after dying the water, and now I shall be going to work tonight with red up to my elbows. heh.
I also added in my candles, and cobwebs!
Second Prize in the
DIY Halloween Contest