It’s quick and easy to make a great looking haunted house sign, warning sign, or Halloween lawn decoration. The sign below was made with a foam board, some gray, black, and red paint. It took about 1 hour and cost under $10.
You can use any saying you’d like. Make a ‘keep out’ sign, ‘you’ve been warned’ sign, ‘only death here’ sign, and so on. More suggestions at the bottom of the post.
– a small foam board (can be made out of scraps if you have them)
– gray water-based house paint
– a small amount of black and red paint (acrylic or water-based house paint)
– paint brushes (one large and one small)
– a box cutter (to cut the foam)
– a flat-head screwdriver (to make the wood grain)
Step One: Make the sign board
First, decide how big your boards will be and how many boards you want. Above, you can see that I separated my board into three sections, three ‘boards’. Using your screwdriver, run the screwdriver down the lines repeatedly, pressing hard each time to get a nice deep groove. It’s better if you lines aren’t so straight. This is an old sign and our boards have warped slightly.
Second, take your box knife and start hacking away at your board. Shave off some edges and splinter the ends of your boards. You can make cracks and more, but the more small details you make the harder painting will be to get down in the small places.
The third step is to make it look like wood. Using the screwdriver, I made some knots in the board. Then, I ran the screwdriver lightly down the boards going around the ‘knots’. There’s no rule for this, just let the wood grain flow (not straight.)
Step Two: Paint
Paint the whole thing gray as your base. Use a little black in the grooves between the boards. This will give you a bit more depth and natural look. I also brushed on a bit of black along the edges. This creates more of an older look and also some shadows. You can also see some brown brushed on here and there in my picture. It’s not necessary but adding a few colors makes the prop look more realistic.
I made a stencil for the bottom sign. The idea was the sign was there originally and someone came along later and painted a warning in blood. After painting the sign gray, I stenciled the letters on in black. Then, I brushed over it slightly with my gray paint. That will make it look older and faded. Give it a day to dry.
Once that dries, you can paint your warning message. I painted the ‘Haunted! Stay out!’ message with a small paint brush. Then to get a dripping effect, I picked up the sign and held it upright. I banged it slightly on the ground until the paint started to run down. There are also some small splatter spots as well with the same effect.
Let it dry and you’re done!
Here are some more ideas for haunted house sign sayings:
– Dead End!
– Haunted! Keep out!
– Death Awaits!
– Run! If you can
– Enter! House of the unholy
If you do make this haunted house sign post, let me know. I’d love to see pictures or just hear about how the craft went.