The Art of Darkness

We All Need This Sign

September 23rd, 2014 by Cobwebs

No Costume No CandyA couple of Halloweens ago I was helping a friend hand out candy on her front porch, and we started kicking around the idea of having a series of buckets marked with different letter grades. Trick-or-treaters would be allowed to choose from the bucket we thought their costume rated; the “F” bucket would be reserved for teenagers with no costumes and would contain toothbrushes.

However, I believe I like this idea even better. This gorgeous sign was designed by a haunter named Jeffrey Sherrard, and would be a splendid outdoor decoration.

I unfortunately don’t have any additional information about the materials or construction of this particular sign; Shellhawk’s Nest, where I found the image, points to The Garage of Evil, but that site requires a cumbersome registration process for access. Poop.

A reasonably similar, albeit simpler, version might be DIY’d using a hardware-store sign bracket, an oval (wood or foam, depending upon your skills), and the small wooden letters sometimes found at craft stores. Spray everything with metallic faux-finish paint and festoon with fake spider webs.

I quite like the Haunted Mansion-esque feel of this sign, but googling something like “diy halloween sign” will turn up plenty of other options: Birds and Soap, lil blue boo, Home Heart Craft, and print with my pic all have tutorials, and there are lots of others too.

Hang your sign, give full-size candy bars to kids who show up in homemade costumes (no matter how crappy, because they tried), and threaten to hex anyone who dares to darken your doorstep in street clothes.

Update: StoneMaven and Fiend4Halloween were both kind enough to share the details from the original post:

The texture on the oval insert & lettering is created by using sanded Dry-lok. I simply mix a small amount of clean, dry, construction sand into the Dry-lok and ‘pounce’ the paint on using an old brush to create a textured surface. I will do two or three light coats that way, allowing an hour or so of dry time in between. Then I lightly sand the top of the letters to return them to a slightly more flattened surface. That is followed by coats of flat black, brown, and bronze spray paints as base colors, a couple light coats of spray poly, and whatever decorative top coats are needed to finish the look. In this case it was just a light finger-dabbing of metallic bronze paint on the letters & scroll decorations. Also, there are 3 small neodymium magnets embedded into the back surface of the wood oval using a strong 2-part epoxy. This allows me to swap out the sign content very(!) quickly.

So, no real details about materials for the sign itself, but some good information about achieving the rusty-iron look. And the use of magnets to switch out signage is brilliant.

Thanks, guys!

Posted in Paint It Black | 4 Comments »

4 Responses

  1. StoneMaven Says:

    Woah! That’s a lot of steps to register for a forum! You want me to clip and paste the instructions for the sign?

  2. xJane Says:

    Oh man! I love the idea of rating costumes (and letting them know). “Yousir, with the lopsidedly-sewn witchhat: a full sized candy bar!” “You, madam, with the sexy eggplant costume: a toothbrush and a sweater, gods, you must be cold.”

  3. Kathy White Says:

    I light the pumpkins at five pm. I blow them out and bring them in at 8 pm. Trick or treating is for kids (kindergarten to grade eight). Anyone else belongs at a party. I reward homemade costumes with an extra handful of treats and if the kids make me laugh I give them another handful.

  4. KG Says:

    Grades, what an awesome idea. I wish kids trick or treated in my neighborhood.

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