In my previous post, I talked about the paper maché pumpkins that will be a part of this build. Let me start by saying that the idea for this build came from Pinterest. The site the pin linked to is Grim Hollow Haunt
I’m following most of his instructions with a few exceptions. I didn’t use pre-made pumpkins for my build, I’m did mine entirely from paper maché. I feel like I covered those pretty well in the previous post, so I’ll skip to the steps that make the grim different from the little guys and what’s different from my inspiration.
Done entirely of paper maché, homemade paper maché clay and acrylic paint. I built this by wrapping an actual pumpkin from the grocery store. The reinforced eyes and mouth were done with strips of cardboard glued in place and a few toothpicks.
I used paper mache clay to amp up the lines and create the eyebrows/forehead scowl. The waxy drips were just hotglue that I painted over.
I coated the entire head in gloss black, let that dry (mostly) and then went over it in a couple shades of orange. I wanted the black underpaint to show through, so I used a fairly dry brush and went over the steaks with a completely dry brush. (You can see this in the video below.) After the orange dried, I detailed the stem and drips around the eyes.
We’ll be working on the framework for the body this weekend. I’ll add to this post when that part is finished.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN friends!
We had our party this weekend and the kids seemed to love the Grim. Not sure they loved him more than the fog machine I had set up in our fake graveyard, but ah well…
I promised to finish telling you how I did all this, so here it is.
My husband Tom helped me with building the frame of the Grim because I have arthritis AND I’m only 5’5. He’s 6’0 and if you look at the pictures of him standing next to it, it’s somewhere around 7′ or so, which means I need a stepladder to reach past it’s hips.
Most of the frame is built from 1×2’s and 1×3’s which means it’s very light for lumber, but also fragile and not especially stable. We changed up the build a bit from the Pin I was working off of, which helped some, but he still lost an arm during a storm the following evening that had to be put back on once he was moved to the barn. I managed to knock the other off as well while moving him.
Betty Cat decided she wanted to help with the build. 🙂
I can’t tell ya’ll how glad I am to be on here right now instead of TikTok. I had NO freaking idea how incredibly awful it would be to listen to myself talk for 6 minutes about this stuff. I’m so bad at it. Give me the keyboard any day. I can’t freaking backspace when I’m talking and it’s incredibly annoying.
I found this wad of green bailing twine lying on the floor of the tractor barn and decided it might be just the thing for tying up the joints of the Grim. It also looked kind of cool hanging down, like he’d ripped himself loose from the garden or something. This firmed up the joints enough I was confident that the arms would stay on well enough to let me do the next part.
I used two kinds of Saran Wrap on this build. The regular see-through kind and the opaque kind that will stick to damn near anything it comes into contact with. Normal Saran Wrap doesn’t hold in cold very well either, but the Press and Seal stuff is crazy sticky and will hold to itself even if it freezes. I used the expandable foam that you get at the hardware store for sealing up gaps and cracks in your house. It also sticks to raw wood pretty well unless you pick it off. The foam was used to make “vines” all over his body, to form the feet, fill the gaps between boards and create knobby joints. It expands as it dries, so it gets into all the tiny splits in the wood that we made while screwing it together. (Even pre-drilling, 1x lumber is delicate)
The ribs are garden stakes that I jammed through the foam in his spine, then bent to curl in like a ribcage. I wrapped them in Saran Wrap and a bit of twisted foil to give them a bit more girth. I then wrapped the entire Grim in clear Saran Wrap, from his neck to his ankles.
Using the heat gun on the clear Saran Wrap shrinks it down against the foam and wood, puts a few holes in in it here and there and wrinkles it up so it looks like aged, desiccated skin. I thought this was a really cool effect. The opaque sealing wrap does not behave this way though, it only shrinks up and contorts or melts. I used a combination of both on the Grim’s hands since I wanted some of it to shrink and form to the fingers and some of it just to add bulk.
I made fingers from twisted foil first, then used the sticky opaque wrap to go between and down each finger, wrapping the remainder above them to form a palm for the hand. After I had the sticky wrap on, the fingers were stiff enough to be posable. I left what looked like a creepy hot mess overnight and came back to paint it the next day.
I used a combination of black, brown and green over the entire body, keeping the green mostly over the places where the foam stood out so that it would look like winding vines on the skin. Covering all the foam and wrap really made him look like something more realistic.
Here’s the final build, with the head on, his little Jack O’ Lantern captives over his arm and a few dead vines from our garden to drape over the rib cage.
My daughter added some red glow sticks to his head before the party and a white tea light in each Jack O’ Lantern so he’d glow after dark.
And that’s it! My first monster build. We’re already talking about what we may create next year.
Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone!