In this Instructable we will be going over how to quickly build some creepy basement doors as a Halloween Prop. This is my first Instructable so be gentle ;) Feel free to provide feedback with do's and do not's for my future projects.
Please Note: We will be using potentially dangerous tools so gather some PPE before starting!
Step 1: Design
Let's draw out a basic outline of your design with a some quick measurements to fit your needs. I went with 3' x 3' wide, 2' high on the back end, and 1' high on the front. I wanted to put a fogger machine inside so wanted room to prop it off the ground and enough space to fill it with fog.
Step 2: Gather Some Materials
We are fortunate enough in my area to have a thrift style store that sells everything from screws to full kitchens so I grabbed some mismatched hinges for $1 each and a couple handles. I also stopped by an industrial area and grabbed a good condition pallet for nothing. As for the plywood I just had some scrap pieces that I cut to size.
- 4 small door hinges
- 2 gate handles
- 1-2 pallets (depending on your design and the size of the pallets)
- 1 sheet of plywood, any thickness.
- 1 2x4 or 1x2, you can even use up the pallet supports for this
- Some bloody hands (found at a Dollar Store)
- Wood screws or nails
Step 3: Tools and Equipment You Will Need
- Safety Glasses
There will be some dust particles so protect your eye balls
Splinters suck, I kept the edges fairly rough for looks
- Steel-toe boots if you have some
Dropping a hammer on your toes is always a bad time
- Make sure all guards are on your saws!
Fake blood on your props = The bloodier the better!
Real blood = Bad! (unless that's the look you're going for)
- Hammer (I used a rubber mallet to limit the metal on metal noise)
- Drill or screwdrivers
- Skill/Hand/Table/Jig saws (whatever you need to get the job done)
Step 4: Ripping Apart That Skid
Probably the worst part of any pallet project, just crank up the heavy metal and go to town. Don't be afraid to damage the wood as it just adds character to the final look!
Two ways to get this done.
1) Use a skill or jig saw and cut along the outer supports
Pros: Quick and easy
Cons: Shorter lengths of wood
2) Torturing yourself by prying each board off the supports, I'm a glutton for punishment so I chose this option.
Pros: Full size boards
Cons: Sore back and takes longer
Step 5: Cuttings the Sides
To cut the plywood to size I:
1) Measured 1' up from the corner, 3' in for the length, and 2' feet up from the 3' in mark. Drew a line from the 1' to 2' marks and cut it with a skill saw.
2) Repeat for the other side
3) Cut a rectangular piece 3' x 1' for the front
4) Cut another rectangular piece 3' x 2' for the rear
Step 6: Add Some Support and Assemble the Box
1) Create about 6 smaller pieces to help hold it all together and screw them onto your side parts.
2) Screw the front and back on the appropriate ends.
3) Create a center beam for extra support (optional)
Step 7: Creating the Doors
1) First lay out the boards to get a rough idea of how it looks and decide your final design. Originally I was going to make a cross-board but later decided against it as it would get in the way of the handles.
2) Break some wood! Smash/Split up a few pieces to give the fog/undead some room to escape from.
3) Cut boards to length and screw your doors together.
Step 8: (Optional) Paint / Markup the Project
Now would be a good time to add any additional features you might like. I choose to paint the hinges and the sides quickly so it's not so shinny. Maybe add a chain through the handles to lock those bad boys in or add a rotating motor to make the doors jump! (I was originally going to do this but procrastinated too long).
Step 9: Final Touches
Time to bring it all together! I would start by adding on your hinged doors followed by the handles. Add any extra body parts, fake blood (assuming you didn't get any real blood on it) and set it up where you want it.
Toss in a fog machine and strobe light and you are all set, enjoy your work!