Haunted House Ideas – make your own haunted house – decorating ideas for a 2015 haunted house display

I made a haunted house for my Halloween party last year, facade, entrance, accessories, maze, decorations, the whole deal.  Making the coolest haunted house in town is pretty easy to be honest.  The haunted house below was primarily made with gray fabric, a magic marker, styrofoam, glue, and a little house paint.

haunted house ideas for entrance haunted house entrance

Haunted house ideas for decorationsmake your own spooky facade

This is a great way to transform a garage into a haunted house or make a room of your house into a haunted house walk through for your Halloween party guests. To make the walls for the outside of the haunted house, I used strips of gray fabric.  With a black magic marker, I drew horizontal lines across the fabric, added what would appear to be wood grain and technically you’re done.  I did add some broken board type artwork and peering eyes, but that’s up to you.

haunted house decorations haunted house exterior decoration haunted house exterior decoration  haunted house backdrop

If you want to read a more detailed explanation on how to make a haunted house facade, check that blog post.  You could stop here, but the blog post also goes into how I shaded the fabric with black paint and how to make a simple doorway.

Haunted house idea for exterior decorationsadd spooky trees and a cemetery fence

I made the cemetery fence posts and wrought iron fence in about 3 hours.  The fence posts were made out of foam insulation boards and gray house paint that you can find at most DIY or home improvement stores.  The fence was made with black PVC pipes and black wire.

how to make a cemetery fence prop how to make a cemetery fence prop how to make a cemetery fence prop how to make a cemetery fence prop

Taking the foam board, you can cut it into strips.  I layered the strips to make what looks like stone fence posts.  It’s much faster if you don’t have to “carve” or “etch anything.  So instead of carving a design into the foam, I carved some pieces to glue on.  You can see sample text for a cemetery fence in the final photo above.  All of the pieces were glued together with wood glue and then painted with gray water-based house paint.

how to make a wrought iron fence prop for Halloween How to make a graveyard fence for Halloween graveyard fence Halloween prop

To make the fence post props, you just need to cut up some PVC pipes for the size that you’d like.  My fence had two horizontal crossbars and five vertical fence posts.  I placed them on my floor in the design you see in the center picture.  Then, using black wire I tied the posts down in their positions.  You can adjust the positions after you have secured them.

For a full explanation with more detail on steps and adding haunted house accessories to your scene, check out these two posts: spooky tree Halloween prop, how to make graveyard fence posts and how to make a graveyard fence.

Make a Haunted House Sign – how to make an old creepy sign

haunted house sign

Using just a piece of foam board or real scraps of wood, you can make a great looking sign to hang outside your haunted house or use the sign to direct trick-or-treaters down  a certain path. The sign above took about 1 hour in all to make. Starting with the foam insulation board, I sectioned out the sign, added wood grain using a screw driver, and painted the whole thing gray. Once it was dry, I used some bright red paint to paint my haunted warning. Another idea is to use paint that glows under a black light.

For a full explanation, check out the post on how to make a halloween sign.

Make a Grim Reaper – Add a guard to your haunted house

Grim Reaper prop Grim Reaper prop template 

Using some black fabric, PVC pipes and a little chicken wire, you can make a menacing figure to sit next to a doorway or somewhere inside the haunted house. It took a little over an hour to construct. You can add accessories like a skeleton hand, lantern and scythe. Adjusting the length of the PVC pipe, make it as tall as you need. Check out the post on how to make a Grim Reaper for full details.

Haunted house ideas – How to make a haunted house maze or walk-through

how to make walls for a haunted house maze

I spent a long time trying to figure out how to make a simple and kid-safe haunted house maze.  I wanted something sturdy, easy to assemble and something that didn’t create a lot of trash in the end.  So, you can see why it took me a while.

In the end, the answer was 2×4 pillars and 1×4 braces.  It seemed like it would be a ton of work but in the end, it was very quick, simple, sturdy and above all ours ended up “kid-safe”.  Well, they all survived to tell the tale, anyway.

We used 1x4s across the top and on the sides for stability.  I had one L section and a floating wall that you can see in the diagram above. I connected the two sections with a board across the top and so everything stood strong and supported itself.  Different from the design you see above, I added two “doorways” by using another pillar and top crossbar.  That increased the overall stability and gives you a place to hang things, like a curtain, spider webs and even just a secure fixture for black lights or Halloween lights.

how to make a haunted house maze how to make a haunted house walk-through

To make the frame into walls, we used black farming plastic.  It’s super cheap, but you can use anything you can find.  Use an old plastic Halloween scene setter for example. The inside of your haunt should be dark and most likely no one is going to notice what the walls looked like.

This is just a suggestion and above all, think safety first.  Each environment is different and I have no idea how destructive your guests can be.  The maze can never be to secure or too sturdy.  Please use your best judgment, get advice from friends and you can certain run ideas by me by commenting below.

Another thing to think about is overall height.  In the end the cross bars were just over 6′.  If you are expect a basketball team, you might want to build it a little taller.  In general it’s good to have someone at the entrance reminding you victims, I mean guests, not to run, push, kick, fight, etc. until they are out of the haunted house, preferably not until they are down the street on someone else’s property :D.

That ought to get you off to a good start with making your own haunted house, but if you have any questions about how I made something or just want more information on accessories and haunted house decorations, please leave a comment below.  I’ll be happy to explain more about how I made my Halloween props if people are interested.

Happy Halloween!

guide to Halloween printables on the Net

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 16th, 2012 at 2:36 am and is filed under holidays and tagged: , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

19 Responses to “Haunted House Ideas – make your own haunted house – decorating ideas for a 2015 haunted house display”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi, I am very impressed with the form board use. I never thought of using foam board. It looks like you layered a few pieces of board together. What thickness foam board did you use & how many pieces What are the dimensions of your pedestals? They look to be 4′ I am just curious to know the width and depth.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

  2. printwithmypic Says:

    The foam boards are sturdy and light. They are also easy to sculpt. If you sand them, they’ll take paint pretty well too. It’s a nice medium for this project.

    The fence posts are 2’11” (90cm). The board itself was 4cm thick (1.5 inches.) The top layer was 2cm. It would be better to follow the post for making the fence posts to get a better idea of how that part was done.

  3. Rachel Says:

    Where do you buy black farming plastic?

  4. printwithmypic Says:

    Rachel – I can find it here in most home improvement stores. I would suggest taking a look at one near you. Any material that’s cheap and can cover your area will work. That was just the cheapest and easiest solution for me here.

  5. scott Says:

    I haveplenty of wood to build frams for the walls, it going to be an out side walk through with room of to the side. what was your overall cost for that plastic and do you think it is good for cool weather?… this is going to be my first year with my own haunt.

  6. printwithmypic Says:

    That plastic was about $10, but I just needed to line the interior maze frame, not the exterior as well. The plastic is just something that’s cheap and readily available here (in Japan.) Cold weather wouldn’t be a problem, but wind might.

    My suggestion would be to take a look around a local home improvement store and see what they have that’s cheap and would do the trick.

    Good luck with the haunt!

  7. scott Says:

    oh im in America and thank you I will look in to it…

  8. scott Says:

    how many rolls of the plastic did it take ??? ima making a rather long trail was just wondering???

  9. printwithmypic Says:

    We used 1.5 rolls. I’m pretty sure it didn’t take a full 2 rolls.

  10. Rachel Says:

    do you have any other pics of how you decorated the inside? This is super fun!! I am trying to figure out how to replicate a haunted house I went to at winchester mansion. They had parachute material being blown together. You had to find the middle and walk thru. Once you walked in the material toally emcompasses you. It was super cool. Have you seen that or any idea where I could figure out how to do this?

  11. printwithmypic Says:

    I can’t say for sure but my guess is they used windbreaker-type materials and large fans. I’m sure with a little trial and error, you can make something similar. You’ll need strong fans on both sides and enough material sewn together to hold the wind while people walk through the space. Securing the material to a wood frame should keep the shape and make sure the sheets don’t fall or get pushed down by the guests as they travel through. Leave slack so that the sheets can surround the people.

    Only negative to this is the fans will make a lot of noise … not spooky noise … You can get around this by placing the fans further away and using air conditioning ducts, but it increases the total cost of the effect.

    It sounds like a fun idea, and I might do the same for my next haunted house if I can figure out how to efficiently silence the fans.

  12. nathanial Says:

    how much money do you spend?!!!

  13. printwithmypic Says:

    Nathanial – I bought and built each prop separately, so I don’t know the total cost. I made most of that over a three year period. However, if you check the individual posts, I usually give you an estimated cost of all of the pieces you’ll need. Those are based on what I spent to make the prop.

  14. michael Says:

    On your backdrops, did you have it go all the way down to the floor?

  15. printwithmypic Says:

    Michael – I measured them out to be a little taller than the area I was using – from the floor to the ceiling. However, you can do whatever you’d like with your space. If you have a lot of things in front or some other border, it’s not necessary. Just as an opinion, I don’t think it will look very good to have an opening at the bottom.

    You will probably need to secure the sheets at the bottom, or you will need to connect them all down the sides. So, if they reach to the ground you can tack them down or use duct tape.

  16. Doug Says:

    Is it better to wrap the black plastic verticle or horizontal. And what did you uses to top/ or ceiling for your haunted house – or did you leave it open?

  17. printwithmypic Says:

    Doug – I wrap the black plastic horizontal. What I can get here is one 50m long sheet, so it’s easy to just roll it around horizontally and tack it to the 2×4 pillars as we go.

    I don’t cover the top. I just leave it open. There is about a 50cm gap between the ceiling and the floor. It would be better if it was taller but the opening at the top lets a little light in from other spots where I use a projector and black lights, so it’s not pitch black. Kids can see a little to move around (and hopefully not get hurt.)

  18. Kelly Says:

    I am in love with this tutorial! Wish I had found it earlier, as Halloween just ended! I attempted to make a cemetery fence from PVC also, but I used strips of wood as cross bars and hot glued them together. This was an epic fail, because it came a huge storm and as soon as the fence got wet, it fell apart! Lmbo Now I know how I’m going to make it for next years haunt, plus I’m going to add your awesome pillars!

  19. printwithmypic Says:

    Kelly – sorry to hear about the Halloween disaster, but I’m glad to hear that the tutorial has inspired you. Good luck with the project and please email me some pictures. I love to see what other people have made.


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