Halloween Crypt Prop




Introduction: Halloween Crypt Prop

We do a pretty large home haunt every year and I've made quite a few tombstones for our yard, but I've always wanted to make a larger item for the graveyard. This year I finally did it....a full sized crypt with a woman on top. It was time consuming but not difficult to create. I'm very excited with how it's turned out!

This instructable was created as an afterthought, so I'm sorry I didn't take more pictures of the different stages. If you have any questions let me know.

Step 1: Tools & Supplies

Polystyrene Foam Board
Hot glue gun and plenty of glue
Duct Tape
Styrofoam head
News paper
Exterior grey Latex paint
Joint compound
Soldering iron
Drywall trowel
Black spray paint

Step 2: Making the Body Form

First you have to find a someone willing to let you wrap their entire body in duct tape. For this I recruited my lovely teenage daughter. I wrapped her in cling wrap and then got started on the duct tape. Using small strips I covered her body only leaving her head, hands and feet out. Once that was done I cut the suit off of her by cutting up the back of her legs, arms and torso. Once she was out I patched the cuts up with more duct tape and stuffed it with newspaper. Now I had a body form.

Step 3: Making the Crypt

I started by cutting the sheets of polystyrene foam board into the pieces needed. I made my crypt 2' x 6' x 2'. The lid is 2' x 6''. I also made a 4" platform to go under it. See picture. Using the hot glue put the pieces together to form the box and the platform. Do not glue the top on. I also glued a few small blocks on the underside of the lid to keep it from sliding off.

Step 4: Front Design

For the front I made up a name, birth and death year and found a quote I liked online. I also used a stencil for the leaf design. I made a JPEG of the words and used my projector to project them onto it while I traced the words with a sharpie. Don't worry about being too exact as it will look rough when it's done anyway. Once the words and any design you want are traced onto it, it's time to burn them into the foam. Practice with the soldering iron on a scrap piece first. It will melt the foam quickly. "Carve" out the design by melting it with the soldering iron. Just use light small strokes until you get it how you want it. "Carve" out the design by melting it with the soldering iron.

Step 5: Prepare and Paint

Sand all the edges rounding them somewhat. I filled any cracks with the joint compound then once it dried sanded that smooth as well. I like a rough concrete look so I then sponged on the joint compound and spread it using the trowel. Allow to dry. You can now paint it grey. I painted black inside of all the words and design to make it show better once the grey was dry.

Step 6: The Grieving Woman

Position the body how you would like her. You may need to use duct tape or glue to get her just right. I also used some wire in her leg to get it to stay. I used some dollar store fake feet and duct taped them to the ankles. The hands I made out of latex gloves stuffed with poly fill. I put an old long sleeve shirt on her so that the small part of her arm that showed would be covered. I bought a female styrofoam head at the craft store and duct taped that into the neck hole. Mix up some monster mud. I found instructions online. Just mix joint compound and the latex paint together at about a 5:1 (joint compound 5 parts to 1 part paint) ratio. It doesn't have to be exact, that's just the suggested ratio I found. use a drywall compound mixing attachment and a drill to whip the two ingredients together. Coat the sheet/cloth in the monster mud. I found it easiest to dip the sheet in the bucket and wring it out (this actually took an extra person as the cloth gets quite heavy). Place the sheet over the body and position it just how you want it to stay. Once dry it will not move at all. I then covered the head, hands and top surface of the lid with the monster mud using my hands to spread it. I dipped the wig in the bucket and then placed it on her head and positioned it. I had to really work with the hair to get it to lay how I wanted. Time to let her dry! Once she was all dry we used a paint sprayer to to put a coat of the exterior latex paint all over the lid.

Step 7: Final Touches

I used black and brown spray paint to dirty it up and make it look older. I mixed brown paint with water in an eye dropper and dripped it down the front to cause the streaking. That wasn't quite enough for me so I also mixed a bit of brown paint in a spray bottle and sprayed a bunch around the to top (right below the lid) until it ran down. I glued some moss around a few spots too. (Done after the pictures were taken.)

Halloween Decor Contest 2015

Second Prize in the
Halloween Decor Contest 2015



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    Tiny Home Contest
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    Creative Misuse Contest
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    Fix It! Contest

20 Discussions

Finally, a large Halloween prop, that anyone can make (with hard work that is)! Most Instructables like this require movie props, or are so complicated, that newbs like me could never figure it out. This is straight forward, and easily understandable for everyone! Thanks so much for sharing!

Great work! Very impressive. I'm working on similar props right now. The DOW foam boards are a bit pricey at my local Lowes. Anyone know of where I could buy similar boards in bulk at a lower price? It's crazy that foam boards are what take the biggest chunk out of my prop budget.


2 years ago

This is awesome!! Great job!!

Yes they are the same as insulation boards. We buy them at Lowes.

Just lovely. Are the polystyrene foam boards, the same as the insulation boards? Wanted to search where to purchase.

The prop contest says that it is for something that adds a wow factor to your costume. Since this is a yard decoration not a costume piece, I entered it in this contest. Thank you all for your comments!

This is awesome but it's a prop not a decorations. If it was moved to prop I would definitely vote for ut

I'm loving the dog in the cut the back out pic. Looks like s/he is going "this is my hand now". The final effect is absolutely AMAZING if I could get the supplies I'd so make this. Thanks for the idea x

It's beautiful but entered in the wrong category of Halloween contests. This is a prop not a decor item.

truely brilliant. well done and thankyou for bring this to us here at instructables. I've never voted for anyone before but have voted for you in 2 catagories. good luck. oh I like the other ones you did to. maybe I'll try the one with roses on next year. (did you spray paint this one) thanks again.

This is pretty amazing! I plan on trying this myself, but downsizing it to child-size, just to save space in my yard. Keep up the awesome work!

Such an amazing sight!
It looks so realistic and cool

My favourite Halloween instruct able yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOW cool instructable!

Wow. That turned out pretty awesome. I never would have guessed what it was made of.

I have wanted to make something big for my graveyard for a long time too, but I always end up running out of time. That or someone throws away my materials on me, or convinces me to throw them away because I "still haven't done anything with that junk". You have inspired me to see what I can do with the few pieces of foam and assorted bits and baubles I have managed to hang on to.

Great job on your first Instructable. You should keep documenting your projects and publishing them whenever you can.

Amazing! I attempted to make a coffin a few years ago with a similar technique, but used plaster cloth. It looks good, but isn't weather proof & not very sturdy.

Agreed! This looks amazing! I love the idea of making the body with duct tape. It looks like fun for all envolved!

Wow! This is really awesome. The statue of the woman looks like she's really carved from stone, not miscellaneous parts dipped in plaster. Thanks for sharing how you made this! I hope we see more from you in the future.