In this tutorial I will explain how to make your house into a giant character that will transform your neighborhood into a real life cartoon.
I find it enjoyable to illustrate my lists, even if it involves stick figures and words that are misspelled for the sake of humor.
Tools and Materials:
Heaps of cardboard
Spray paint, house paint, paint marker or sharpie
Nutz, boltz, washers, eye hooks
Velcro purchased in bulk
Staple gun and stapler
And last but not least, friends!
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Step 1: Concept Drawings and Measurements
The first step is to take photos of the house you are working on and draw out some concept sketches. I printed out a couple pages worth of photos so I could draw directly on top of them and have multiple ideas to play with. It helps if you bring down the opacity on the images so you can see your drawings better.
When you are happy with your design, take measurements of said house. Measure everything! You don't need an architect's blueprint to get accurate results, but the more measurements you have the better off you'll be. For the "Neighborhood House", I measured the width of the window, the distance between the window and the awning, the width of the house itself, etc. As you can see in the measurements for "The Bird House", I went into great detail, even measuring the width of the bricks on the porch and the distance between them.
Step 2: Gather Materials!
For this project, I was able to score large sheets of cordboard from a big box store that my friend worked at. I also dumpster dove boxes from appliance shops. Big screen tv boxes are great because they are large and strong.
I used cardboard for this project because it is free and readily available but for future projects I will exclusively use coroplast because it is stronger, lightweight, and waterproof.
Step 3: Assemble Your Pieces!
This is where your measurements come in handy. I took my cardboard sheets and laid them out according to my notes. I used nuts, bolts, and washers to hold all the pieces together to get the rough shape of a mustache to adorn The Neighborhood House with.
Since this piece is so large, I put in some eye hooks on the back of it. When it's time to assemble, I will use a rope to loop though the eye hooks which will go into the windows of the 2nd story where they will be anchored by weights. Since I don't own this house, I had to be careful not to damage it during the installation.
Step 4: Paint and Go Nutz
I began by laying out a rough outline of the mustache using spray paint. Use a light color such as yellow or light blue because it will allow you to paint over it without any of your initial lines coming through. As you can see, I have the shape of the mustache plus the teeth painted.
Once you have the outline where you want it to be, use house paint and spray paint to fill in the rest. Use black (Rusto 2X is my personal favorite) for the outlines and let dry. Then use a box cutter to cut out your newly created masterpiece. Take a black marker such has a sharpie or a Moltow marker and go over the edges where you just cut, so you won't see any cardboard color, just black.
Do the same thing for any other house designs, such as eyes, sunglasses, teeth, beaks, etc.
Step 5: Install!
If you're working on your own house, you won't have to throw this on the roof of your car like I did.
Each house will be different and each house presents its own sets of challenges. I used rope on the back of the mustache and looped it though the eye hooks and into the windows where they are held down by weights. The reason that the mustache sticks out the way it does is because of aforementioned lamp. Its in the way and makes the mustache stick out but I couldn't take the lamp off because its not my house. A creative solution would have been to design around the lamp by having a missing tooth.
For the eyes I used velcro to attach them to the windows. This is non invasive and comes off relatively easy. In the future, I will be using vinyl cut stickers to make the eyes. This will look cleaner and more streamlined, allows people to still be able to see out their windows, and is easy to install/deinstall.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Creation!
People who are traveling down the block will be taken aback by these crazy installations.
Participated in the
Halloween Decor Contest