Make A Haunted House for Halloween
It’s Ocotber and that means cooler weather here in New York and one of our Family Favorite Holidays…Halloween!
I love this Haunted House made from recycled boxes, toilet paper and paper towel rolls.
This Haunted House is a great decoration that can be placed in your window to display, it could also double as the centerpiece on a table for a Halloween party. On Halloween Eve, I plan to place this on my covered front porch next to the candy jar for Trick-or-Treaters.
- X-Acto Knife and Blade
- Box Cutters
- Black Marker
- Hot Glue & Hot Glue Gun or Another Adhesive Suitable for Cardboard
- Clear Tape
- Black Matte Spray Paint
- Black Gardening Liner Paper or Black Tissue Paper
- Assorted Small & Medium Boxes, Toilet Paper Rolls, Paper Towel Rolls
- 12-24 LED Tea Lights
I selected old boxes that already had cut outs in them to build my Haunted House design from. You will see the Mason jam jar box above. (These jars have already been filled with pumpkin butter for fall) I did a quick rough sketch with a marker on the front of the box to plan my house design and cut outs. I added a door and one round window. Once you have your initial Haunted House piece started, you will need to build your entire Haunted House design around that and as large as you desire. I added a back room off the main house and top and side towers, which were made from smaller boxes, paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls.
After you have your Haunted House designed, you will need to sketch your windows that you want cut out so that the light can shine through. I used one window cut out to trace and cut out the rest of my windows on the cylinder towers.
After all sketching is complete, you will need to cut out your windows and doors.
Then you will need to assemble your Haunted House together. Since you want to allow the tea lights to shine through and light up the entire house, you will need to cut out large openings between any pieces you are gluing together on both the sides and top or bottom edges. You will want to allow a large enough hole to allow light to shine through, but enough of an edge or frame to actually glue the pieces together tightly.
To finish off the towers, I took an old brown paper bag and cut out 6″ x 8″ rectangular pieces and then rolled them into cones. I held them together with a simple piece of Scotch tape until I could glue down the outside strip. You will then want to cut the top of the cones flat as to create a roof for each tower. See photo below of the finished Haunted House:
Now you are ready to apply your first coat of spray paint to your Haunted House. I used a matte black spray paint and highly suggest it. A glossy black would show any imperfections.
Next, you will want to located a box that is aproximately an inch or half inch taller than your tealights, and big enough for your house to sit on. This box will become the base for your Haunted House and also hold your LED tea lights.
Spray paint both the Haunted House and the Base seperately, we will glue them together later.
After you have spray painted both pieces, you will want to cut out the bottom of the Haunted House. Remember to leave a frame around the bottom for gluing the house to the base which will hold your LED tea lights and allow the light to shine through. I roughly cut out the bottom as this will not be seen and left a 1/4″ border frame around the edge for gluing.
After you have cut out the bottom, lay your Haunted House on top of your Base where you want it to sit. Trace around the edges of the Haunted House with a black marker.
Remove the top Haunted House piece and roughly cut out the interior of the tracing to allow all the LED tea lights to shine up through the Base to the top of the Haunted House. You will again want to leave a frame for gluing the pieces together. Since I traced on the exterior of the House, I allowed about a 1/2″ cut from the traced edge for gluing.
In the back of the Base box piece, you need to cut a large hole that will allow you to easily place your LED Tea Lights in to light up your Haunted House. You want this hole to be tall enough to simply slide the tea lights into the base each night as you are turning them ON and OFF.
Next, you will want to finish your Haunted House by covering the windows and doors with a black paper. I used gardening paper lining as I still had a large roll left over from gardening this spring. It is transparent enough to allow the tea lights to shine through, but also covers up any holes or tea lights from being seen on the exterior. I imagine a black tissue paper would work as well.
I cut out strips and placed a few dots of fabric glue on the edges before I fished them up through the towers with dowel rods and pressed them into place. You want to cut one large strip for a tower full of windows. For the House, cut out the windows and door pieces separately and just a little larger than each window or door needs to allow for gluing the edges down on to the interior. Finishing the House windows was the easiest step as the entire bottom was cut out and I could simply do this task with my hands.
After all the windows and doors are covered, glue your Haunted House piece down to your Base piece.
To add extra room for light on the top of the Haunted House and to shine through the taller towers, you will want to cut out a few holes in the back to place your LED Tea Lights in each night. Keep these holes large enough so that you can easily remove the tea lights to turn ON and OFF at night. See below:
Finally you will need to spray paint the entire Haunted House to a nice finished matte black color. Be careful of the windows (you can overspray on them, but do not load up a large amount of paint on them or it will block the light from shining through)
Tip: If you are feeling creative you can add extra touches or framing to windows with black electrical tape. Or even add some all black stickers like bats or cats for spooky effects. You can purchase Halloween graveyard themed small black stickers here.
Once the Haunted House is dry you get to light it up! You will want to use LED Tea Lights as they have a longer battery life. You will want to use about 12-15 Tea Lights (or more depending on the size of your house). I use the LED Tea Lights that flicker and have the candle tip and glow color. They work perfectly for the Haunted House and on the inside of my carved pumpkins. You can get these same LED Candle Lite Pack of 24 Tea Lights here.
Here is the back of the Haunted House filled with the LED Tea Lights:
My Haunted House:
Happy Halloween, enjoy your recycled and repurposed Haunted House!
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