Monday, October 28, 2019

Our Ghostbusters Halloween Decorations: Full Reveal!

[ground shaking footfalls]

[sudden silence]

[sounds of heavy struggle]




Yes, friends, Mr. Stay Puft has climbed the building. 

Orlando weather has been extra annoying lately, so John and I had to dash out on the only rain-free day out of the last 10 to do a trial run of our Ghostbusters setup. Even then it was still quite windy, so we had a stress-filled two hours of first puffing up Mr. Puft, and then watching him rock back and forth and knock around/over his support structures multiple times. Poor John got a work out scrambling up the ladder every 20 minutes to re-attach a line or drag him back into position.

And yet, STAY PUFT SURVIVED! We're honestly shocked. These tissue-thin plastic tablecloths are earning their keep.
With all the panic and running around I didn't get as many beauty shots as I'd like, but I did take as many phone photos and videos as I could to show you the transition from daytime to night. We still have a few more things we're going to add for the big night, but it's mostly all here.

So c'mon, let me give you the tour!

Here's the view from the sidewalk during the day. We used yard stakes and this caution tape to mark a clear path to the front door, since our driveway is too narrow to walk when the car's there. (Which it will be.)

That embarrassing dead patch in the middle of our yard should be getting a few plastic bones stuck in soon. I realized while taking these photos that we might as well make it look like an intentional dug-up grave!

This walkway will also keep folks clear of the extension cords and lights that they could trip on.

Tim the Thestral (aka "Ghost Horse" to fit the GB theme) looks rather magnificent even in broad daylight:

 Every year I have to patch up his rib cage where the old putty cracked off or through, but his actual bones and head are holding up beautifully well. If I could do it again I'd cover his whole torso with Apoxy Sculpt instead; then he'd be indestructible.

Our front door:

I love the way our orange door looks with a coating of slime and caution tape!

There's a planter under that giant vine bush where I usually set my pumpkin, but it's so overgrown it looks like Stay Puft-kin is just floating in a sea of foliage, ha. Oooh, maybe I should add some giant googly eyes in there!

Instead of a wreath I bought this plastic "No Ghost" wall decoration, then taped a strand of LED lights inside it. The plastic is so thin that it glows really well.

 Here we are at dusk, when all our pretty colored lights are starting to show:

This is John with our Slimer photo op the first time we set it up:

You can see how we did the proton pack here: it's attached to an adjustable stand, and a steel bar is holding the wand in place. I wrapped the legs of the stand in caution tape, so hopefully folks won't trip getting into position. 

And here's how it is now, with Stay Puft looming overhead!

This is another one of our neighborhood kids, since we again drew curious neighbors while we were setting up.

I will say that the pack illusion is more convincing when you put your arm *over* the metal support bar, like this:

 We're thinking we'll probably end being outside the whole time to help coordinate the photos - and because I'm busy making a cute little throwing game kids can play for an extra prize. (Halloween better get here soon, because I'm just going to keep adding projects to this 'til it does!)

Full dark here, when the Thestral Ghost Horse & Dog House really start to shine:

We hooked up a fog machine to Zuul's dog house, which of course looks amazing with the colored spots. 

 The fog comes from inside the doghouse, and almost completely obscures the head sometimes. Again, looks super cool. (And that's a flickering green light on it - the same green lights we used to make our Floo Portal at last year's Harry Potter party.)

Here's some video of all the lights in action:

That last snippet was taken while we were deflating Stay Puft. Gozer vanquished, for at least another night.

Oh, and obviously I can't include music for copyright reasons, but we'll be blasting the Ghostbusters soundtracks all night, and I fully expect to perform the On Our Own rap multiple times in my Tully costume.
I've been waiting my whole life for this.

  More majestic Tim photos:

 I'm so happy his eyes still work! You never know what will happen when you store things in a baking hot shed all year.

Stay Puft has a white spotlight AND a flicking orange flame light on him. We kept the flame effect subtle since I still want Puft to look mostly white, but it does show up more than you can tell in photos & video. If I amp up the color you can sort of see how it looks IRL:

 Also the proton stream on Slimer looks SO GOOD here. We added a battery spot light under the eaves to light Slimer's face, plus there's a ground spot to light the whole scene when someone stands at the pack.

We're in the process of deflating Stay Puft in that picture, so here's one last look at his smirk as he shrinks back into his other dimension:

 I hope you enjoyed the tour! The only other thing I'm adding is a giant "No Ghost" symbol throwing game, where kids can chuck a marshmallow through the ghost's mouth to win a prize. I'll set that up to the right of the proton pack on the driveway.

This is just a sheet of blue insulation foam: we projected the logo for me to trace and paint in. We'll add an easel back and probably tape it to the driveway, since it's so light.

It took me 15 tries to throw a marshmallow in his mouth, sooooo yeah. We're gonna make the mouth hole bigger.

The prizes will be these tiny little slime putties:

... which I'm hoping to put "Ghost Goo" stickers on. (These are not edible, so I'll be stressing that while handing them to the parents, not the kids.) I got 48 of these little jars for only $15 on Amazon!

In addition to all that, there will be at least three of us around in costume. John will be his own Ghostbuster in a faux khaki jumpsuit, I'll be a gender-swapped "Louise Tully", and our friend Karen will be Dana.

We've invited all our local friends to come by, too, so if we're extra lucky we may have more fun characters goofing around with us. We'll see.

We've been anxiously watching the forecast here, since it looks like this rain is going to continue all week, arg. Cross your finger for us: as of today the forecast says Thursday will be clear, and I REALLY hope it stays that way. Not gonna lie, I'll be pretty devastated if we get rained out.

Stay tuned for the full report!


UPDATE: Dang, y'all. DANGHere's the full report, I promise you don't want to miss this! :D


  1. Can I ask how you attached the slime to the gutters? I am trying to do a similar effect for a gingerbread house for Christmas. Last year's scalloped cut foam trim kept flipping up because I didn't want to attach too tight to the few spots I could zip tie it.

    1. We used thumbtacks widely spaced to hold the slime trim up. I'm not wild about putting holes in the eaves, but at least it's only a few, and they're quite small. The plastic slime is so light that you only need a few tacks! (Our windows have wood trim on the sides, so the slime is tacked in on the edges there, too.)

    2. Yes, I read the thumbtack on the previous post. I may try some two-sided tape on the metal gutters.

    3. If you have metal, could you employ strong magnets?

  2. Love the decorations!! I have a friend who is a filmmaker, and he just made this awesome Ghostbusters stop motion video! Thought you’d enjoy seeing it! You can find the video here!

  3. Looks great! I thought you posted how you made the proton pack/Slimer, but can't find it.... I'd love to do something similar for next year!

    1. The slime on the roof was covered here:

      The proton-pack make might be here:

  4. My whole yard in Lake Mary is decorated also, for the tenth year. I hold my breath every year about rain lol.

  5. So much fun!
    Our city symphony orchestra performed a program of "scary and spooky" music on Friday. The orchestra was all in costumes, and much of the audience. (I was a spider) The concert opened with the Ghostbusters theme, and the audience was invited to join the orchestra in shouting "ghostbusters" together at appropriate times. What a fun evening!

  6. That looks so cool! I hope your neighborhood enjoys it. [Nice picture of Eva too.]

  7. This is just awesome & amazing - wish I could hire you two to come decorate my house in Kansas - wouldn't we have a blast with the Wicked Witch, Flying Monkeys, & Munchkins!!! OH, and sending "Rain, rain, GO AWAY!" thoughts for you - we're expecting snow in the Midwest for Halloween ��

  8. Wow! Super impressive. Also impressed with your warm weather. It's -10 Celsius here and everything is covered with snow. Plus the wind makes it feel like -20 Celsius (I think that's about -8 F).

    What's the slime trim made of? Looks awesome.


    1. The slime is made from plastic table cloths from the dollar store! We only needed 2 for the whole front of the house.

  9. I wish I lived near you! I'd LOVE to see all this in person! You guys are absolute goals.

  10. What flowers are in your front yard under the windows? They look really good.

    1. Thank you! The ones in the window box are fake ones from Dollar Tree, lol, and under that are flowering Ixora bushes. It's a happy accident they ended up matching so well!

  11. Looks amazing! Just said a prayer for good weather on Thursday for you!

  12. You two are so fabulous! And the slime really does look amazing. (Slimer and Mr. Stay Puft are a whole 'nother level of completely awesome.)

    I hope your neighborhood appreciates you. Good luck with the weather.

  13. I'm contemplating if a road trip to Orlando from Pensacola is too much at 7 months pregnant just to come trick-or-treating at your house...This is amazing! As it is, I will be rocking your Hei Hei costume design with my kids dressed as Moana and Maui. We tried to convince the husbot to be Tomatoa like John was, but he wasn't going for it.

  14. I wish I was in Florida so I could come see it in person!! Love it!!

  15. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! I hope you have PERFECT weather Jen!!!!

  16. I love how you get Slimer and Mr Staypuft in the proton pack photos. Perfect placement there. At first I thought that I liked Staypuft not fully inflated like the first photo, but then by the time I had scrolled down to the night shots, I was convinced. You guys know your stuff! Sorry for my moment of doubt.

  17. You did a fantastic job - this will be an event. I love that you created a game as well as the usual tricks and treats. I hope rain stays far away.

  18. Love it all Jen! Thanks for sharing! If I get a treat in Eva or Suki's mouth do I get kitty luvin's as a prize?

  19. Looks terrific! Y’all did a great job!

  20. Your Halloween stuff and themed parties bring me thisclose to wishing I lived in Florida and could come see it all in person. :)

  21. What is the blue wire material called that goes with the proton stream? Where can i get that? thanks!!!

    1. That's blue EL wire, you can grab it for cheap on Amazon - less than $20!

  22. How did you make your Zuul?

    1. Zuul's head is cut from pink insulation foam and painted, then suspended on black velvet inside the dog house. I think I have more build photos of her in my first Ghostbusters post, if you want to check that out.

  23. WHERE ON EARTH did you get that Stay Puft head?!?! I need to do this for my kiddo's 16th birthday

    1. We made it! Stay Puft is sewn from cheap plastic table cloths - if you do a search I have a post with build photos and more details.


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