Thursday, November 28, 2019

Our Labyrinth Wall Illusion Entrance - And The Trick To Building Your Own!

John and I are in full Panicked Party Production mode, and it's starting to pay off! Considering how we claimed this would be a smaller-scale party than last year's, it's kind of amazing how much the house is slowly transforming. 

Our biggest and most impressive build so far is our Labyrinth wall entrance, which allows people to walk through a solid wall the way Sarah did in the movie. We're super excited about this thing, because it turned out so much better than we imagined! John's even been going around showing random cashiers videos of it on his phone, lol.

Here, have a look:




We took a risk adding those extra 3D bricks, since they may have spoiled the illusion a tiny bit - so here's a look at the wall before we added them:

 
 
I like the extra bricks too much to take them off again, but you can see they really aren't necessary.

Ah, but it gets even better when someone walks through it!



John is especially delighted in showing this off at JoAnn's. (He's there so much I think half the store knows what we're working on, ha.) Since all we see are the flaws, it's really heartening to watch people react to it!

So... want to see how we did it?

The illusion is extremely simple in concept, but tricky in execution. It's literally all done with light.

Here, I'll walk you through the build.


If you've been here a while you know we already have a faux brick archway - made of paneling you can buy at the hardware store - that we've used before for Diagon Alley. So we re-used those side panels, shortening the top to make the entry more narrow:

Next John built an L-shaped wall out of 2X4s to sit about 3 feet behind the entry. The wall is roughly 7 feet tall, so it's well short of the ceiling, and we put felt pads under it so it slides out of the way easily. 

Here's the wall from behind, standing inside our back room:

John stapled a dollar store plastic tablecloth to the back to give it a finished look.

So while it looks like a solid wall from the front:

It's actually a narrow hallway:

You step forward, then turn to the right to exit.
Again, the trick is all in the lighting. 

Here's a look at when we first put a light between the two walls:

(And the cats rushing over to investigate, ha.)

It took a few hours of adjusting the lighting levels, positioning, and even the light temperatures to finally get the illusion just right. (John adjusted the light temperature with red-painted masking tape. Surprisingly effective!) I took pictures of every adjustment, since the camera shows the differences better than the naked eye. We could only work on the lighting at night, since sunlight throws off all the color tones. 

We used a total of 4 lights: 2 bar lights for the side, then 2 spotlights overhead.
 
 

That's right, Trek fans, "There are four lights!"

(If you get that reference you are SUCH a geek. Let's be friends.)

Ahem.

Our side lights weren't quite long enough to light the very bottom of the wall, so we improvised by setting some mini-trees in front:

John found the plastic planters at Lowe's for $12 each. Aren't they great? They really elevate our cheap 3-foot trees.  (bah-dum-CHA)


Another off-angle to show you the distance between the two walls.

Now let me back up and show you how we finished the walls themselves, since I think they turned out pretty cool.

 
 First John painted the brick paneling a dull gray, then aged it with a cheap black glaze. The glaze was old and left tons of lap lines, but happily those don't show in the finished product.

 

 

I added a light dusting of spray glitter to the wall - which isn't nearly enough glitter according to friends who've seen it, ha. This glitter is silver, though, and I didn't want metallic speckles. If we'd had more time I would have searched for a clear glitter spray to really go all-out with the bling.

As it is, though, there's a subtle glittery sparkle as you walk towards the wall, which I like.

Our final steps were adding 3D elements, including a dozen or so protruding bricks (one of which holds the Blue Worm I sculpted for Junk Lady) and my Eyeball Lichen:


 ...plus bunches of moss and "wet spots" I painted on with Mod Podge Super Gloss.  

The watery drips are hard to see straight on in photos, but they add so much life in person!

Then, after a little vacillating, we decided to outline the whole wall with garland:


(I love this photo of our friend Karen adding moss to the back wall; it both breaks and makes the whole illusion. :D)

Right, I think that's everything on the entry! Feel free to ask questions in the comments if I missed something - or to suggest additions to the glittery stick wreath, since we can't decided if that needs something more.

I hope you guys got a kick out of this, since I still have loads more Labyrinth things to show you! The Goblin Castle back room is just about done, but we're still finishing the Bog of Eternal Stench Bathroom, Bubble Ballroom photo opp, and Sarah's Escape Room. We're also making some absolutely ridiculous party games that are not for the easily offended... so I think you guys are gonna love 'em. ;)  I promise I'll have another miscellaneous party project update very soon.

I also hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving, and that you're able to sit somewhere peaceful this weekend, take a breath, listen to your favorite song, and remember that all the cruddy stuff you're dealing with right now will pass. If you need a happy distraction in the mean time, come hang with me in my Stories! I promise I'll have plenty of cats and silly Labyrinth builds to help you smile. 


*****

Oh hey, if you're shopping online this weekend - which really is the wisest choice with Black Friday crowds - remember to check out my Amazon shop front! I have lists of funny gifts and clothes and toys and such that might help inspire you for those hard-to-buy-for types:
 


Also, I keep forgetting to mention it, but John added a new shirt design to the Epbot Threadless shop!



Extra shiny, by popular demand. ;)

30 comments:

  1. This is so awesome, I can barely contain myself!!! :D:D:D

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  2. That looks amazing! Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

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  3. WOW.

    Just... WOW.

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  4. I SO want to be friends! There are, indeed, four lights!

    OK, I'm going to go take my geek off again so all the cyclists and fit-freaks stop staring at me as if I'm an Andorran.

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  5. I am so blown away by all the stuff you guys are making, more and more I wish I could be there in person (I would absolutely love to try the escape room you're putting together! Why haven't more people done a Labyrinth themed escape room?). That wall illusion is absolutely flawless, I hope you two gave yourselves a big pat on the back when you got it all done! I think you guys really set the bar for themed parties! I already decided to do a Beauty and the Beast theme for my next big party but your posts are really making me want to go back to Labyrinth stuff again ha ha. There is nothing more inspiring than seeing all the fun/awesome things other people are making.

    You guy aren't planning on moving up to Canada anytime soon eh? If you ever do then just so you know I will be first in line to become your neighbour/best friend ha ha.

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  6. This is so amazing! I always look forward to your builds. Can't wait to see what else you two come up with.

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  7. Jen... FRIEND!!!

    Because I didn't just get the 4 lights joke. I knew it was coming! <3

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  8. (Dang commenty thing. That was supposed to say, "in Ludo voice" but I bracketed it... oops!)

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  9. jaw dropping!! absolutely fantastic!

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  10. I just got so excited and had to tell my husband about this. Its awesome and it sooo works. You're collective creativity blows me away. It makes me want to throw a super themed nerdy party. Thanks for all the cool ideas and i can not wait to see the rest of the party (including possibly offensive party games).

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  11. *picks jaw up off the floor*

    Definitely let's be friends!

    Come to the Toronto area. We have cookies

    ;)

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  12. I can't blame John for showing his video to random cashiers, that looks amazing, and if someone came into work with a counterpart, I'd definitely want to watch it. I only spotted the illusion by looking really hard at the floor, so don't worry, your 3D bricks don't spoil it at all.

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  13. Ack! I'd resisted the merch until now....!

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  14. Outstanding! And I think the 3D bricks make it even better. It was a great choice.

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  15. I'm not sure I follow how the lighting works in the illusion. Maybe once the party's done, you could share some of those process photos you took and show us a diagram? Not that at least 50 of your readers are planning to steaAHEMborrow this idea or anything... ;-p

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    1. Bahaha, steal away! And yes, I'll post a photo from behind the entry next time, so you can see where all the lights are positioned.

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  16. That looks phenomenal! I actually love the 3D bricks. You guys blow me away with each new thing you do!
    As for your shrubbery and wreath... faeries? Maybe a couple jars of Hoggle's captured faeries sitting at the base of the bushes, or just create your own tiny critter that looks like it would belong there :)

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  17. I am definitely pro 3D bricks! Great job guys!

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  18. A-maze-ing... (see what I did there?) :) This is sooooo good. I had to watch the video a bazillion times because my eyes were arguing with my brain over what they were seeing. What if the wreath had a little leather pouch hanging in the middle of it, like Hoggle's treasure bag? And you decorated the wreath with plastic beads?

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  19. Eee, it looks SO GOOD! I'm moving to Florida just so I can start coming to these things!

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  20. Fantastic - I knew how it had to work but it looks SO GOOD! Did you try flooring the hallway area with bricks too?

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  21. I have to admit that I haven't the faintest idea what Labyrinth is (other than I guess a movie) but I love love love to see all your awesome crafty-ness!

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  22. OMG this is actually amazing! It looks so good!

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  23. I literally gasped when John walked into the wall. I was totally fooled and amazed. You guys are the best. BEST.

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  24. Squee! Kermit flails! This is awesome! Love the 3D bricks. I wouldn't have figured out the illusion if you didn't tell me. -Cowgirl

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  25. The wall looks amazing. You asked for ideas for your wreath. Maybe some contact juggling balls (or some clear ornaments that look like them) or maybe masquerade masks or both.

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  26. oh my god i literally went WHOAH!!!!!! watching that video. i am SO impressed. amazeballs xxxx

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  27. This is amazing! And I think the 3D bricks add to the illusion rather than steal from it, but maybe that's a trick of the camera.

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  28. This is absolutely incredible! Great job you two!

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