Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Deck The Halls With Balls Of Bowie: Our Labyrinth Christmas Party Update

"How you turn my world, you precious thing PARTY. 

"You starve and near exhaust me."

Well, one out of two, anyway.

Soooo... hi!

As the countdown to our Labyrinth party ticks down John and I are swinging wildly from the depths of despair ("NEVER AGAIN") to the highest levels of giggle-fueled inspiration. ("Wait! The 'Toby Toss' needs CRASH HELMETS!")

Needless to say, this party is going to be completely ridiculous. 

Here comes a whole slew of props and projects, in no particular order.

(Fair warning: there are a LOT of double entendres coming with this party. We've decided to embrace them for maximum hilarity - so if ball jokes offend you, BEWARE, AND GO NO FURTHER.)

The last knocker sculpt I showed you got scrapped entirely; the Model Magic was a VERY bad call, and cracked all over. Not to mention it's not a good choice for sculpting fine details.

So I started again with these pink insulation foam layers, layering them up with tin foil:

(How's that for nightmare fuel?)

Then my friend Karen helped me again to sculpt a whole new face out of cheap air-dry clay:

This clay was so soft and easy to work with that it made a world of difference:


 The trick was to keep the clay wet, so it wouldn't dry out and crack. We spent 2 nights refining it, then immediately handed it over to John to make a brush-on silicone mold:

John then filled the mold by pressing in epoxy dough, which is extra soft and squishy but dries rock hard. 

(Must. Not. Make. Ball jokes.)

We made some rookie mistakes with our sculpt, like keeping the eye cavities WAY too deep, so unfortunately John had to destroy the mold later to get the cast out - and then the cast had several cracks. We were still able to salvage it, though:

Unfortunately this cutie has been on the back burner ever since, because it was taking SO much time and we had a million other projects to finish. If we finish everything else soon (haha SOB) then I hope to go back and finish him to hang on our front door. And even if we don't, I plan to finish him after the party, as well as make his nosy partner. I already have a wall in our steampunk room picked out to display these guys, so no way I'm abandoning them.  

We've themed our back room to the goblins' castle, so John adjusted our suit of armor to fit:

  That new face plate is made of craft foam - didn't he do a great job matching the finish?


The goblins' Christmas tree has eyes, just like the eyeball lichen, and it's decorated with weaponry, armor, and these beauties:

We're using our enormous fake fireplace again from last year's Hufflepuff Common Room, swapping out the House Crest for Jareth's throne room clock:

John made the clock using blue foam (both blue & pink insulation foam have been our go-to for almost everything this party) and made the grooves using drywall mud:

He slowly rotated the clock and used a slotted piece of cardboard to make the grooves in the spackle. Genius, right?

Then John used our leftover Model Magic to sculpt the dagger hands:

 The Model Magic worked great for this, since they're relatively small & simple shapes. Plus Model Magic dries as a foam, so they're incredibly lightweight and flexible.

 We used our Cricut (bless that thing) to cut the clock numbers out of craft foam, then painted and aged everything:

Amazing, right? John is so FAST with these builds, it's almost annoying. I feel like I have to overthink everything for at least a week before I even start most projects. ;p

Our clock doesn't have a pendulum because there's not enough room on the fireplace, and our numbers aren't suspended the way the screen-used ones are, but DANG does this thing look cool. I want to convert it to a working clock after the New Year so we can keep it out year-round - although actually READING a 13-hour clock will be a little tricky, ha.

We've made some other small modifications to the fireplace I'm excited to show you, but I have to keep SOME things a surprise, right?

Here's a peek at a little of the decor back there, though:

 That's one of Jareth's pendants on our color-changing potion light.

And there's one more big surprise in the Goblin Room:


Yep, we brought our dear Junk Lady out of retirement, and gave her her own photo opp in the back corner. Not only is she and her junk pile decked out for the holidays, she ALSO has her own mini junk tree beside her. It's made of everything from broken toys to old boots, and it is glorious and made us laugh very much. We brought in a little ottoman and extra lighting so our guests can sit beside Agnes for a picture or selfie. (I took this before we finalized the lights, it's better now!)

Ok, Ok, I can't resist - so here she is:

"This is NOT junk!" Agnes positively radiates the holiday spirit.

(I'm debating adding some white trim to her Santa hat. Does it read as a Christmas hat as-is?)

And that, my friends, is just the Goblin Room.

I'm going to break this update into two parts, since I'm starting to realize this will take a while. We still have Sarah's (Escape) Room, The Bog of Eternal Stench, Bubble Ballroom, costumes, and NSFW party games to get through! And I want to give you time to really savor all this absurdity with me.

I'll leave you with one final piece of decoration in the Goblin Room, made from a thrift store frame, gold foil vinyl, and way too many hours with our trusty Cricut:

My hashtag lives on!


Check back soon for Part 2, and remember to take time to laugh today.


If you like all our crazy builds and projects and want to help us keep at it, then you can support me and John directly through Paypal! Whether it's a one-time tip or a monthly donation, every little bit helps us devote our time and talents to this blog and community, so THANK YOU.

Also I know this time of year is tight for a lot of us, so please never feel pressured to give. The fact that you're here is enough for me, and you can support us just as well by sharing my posts with your friends/followers.


  1. I have dreams of throwing parties this detailed and grand but never get there, so I'm TOTALLY living vicariously through you and John. You two do amazing work! ~ Jamie

  2. This is amazing and I am so jealous of your party guests! I think adding some white trim to Agnes’s hat would be a good idea. It reads more like a sleeping cap to me right now.

    1. Agreed! and it is all jaw dropping. I keep waiting to for the post that says one of the theme parks has reached out and asked to take you on as set designers.

    2. I thought the same on all counts! 1. Jealous; 2. yes white trim; and 3. HOW ARE PARKS NOT LINING UP OUTSIDE YOUR DOOR??? Love what you do!

  3. I shared this post and the one about the illusion wall from the Epbot Facebook page to a group I belong to, Labyrinth Fanfic Lovers. The NSFW double entendres are right up their alley, trust me. XD

    This party is gonna be SO AWESOME. Can't wait for all the pics and videos and details! John and Jen, you both rock.


  4. I'm glad I succumbed to the siren call of Instagram, it's been great getting the little previews and snippets of what you guys have been working on. How did you guys decide what to make, did you start off with making a list (checking it twice?), or does inspiration just grab you and you've been coming up with ideas as you go?

    Also I have to reiterate, it is so amazing to be called a 'hero of prop building' by you. I never would have started making stuff were it not for you and John. After reading your blog for a good many years I finally threw my hands in the air and went "I'll give it a shot!" and I'm really glad I did. It can be weirdly scary to make stuff and release it into the wild west that is the internet, but every time I've done it I've gotten a positive response for which I'm really grateful. It's been really nice to share things and find the like-minded people who enjoy my fandoms just as much as I do (if not more!). I'm also finding it's helping me learn to not sweat the small stuff, and it gives me motivation to keep me productive when I'd otherwise just sit around the house doing nothing.

    So thanks again, from the bottom of my heart. And remember, should you ever need me, for any reason at all... just call :)

    (Also I sort of want someone to add a sprig of mistletoe to Agnes' junk pile ha ha)

  5. Of course, once again you and John have done an amazing job (I originally typed "you and Jareth" so clearly your post has got me in the Labyrinth mindset)! I'm still blown away by your Agnes, but I think her hat could use some very dirty white trim - right now it's sort of reading like Sam Kinison's red beret/scarf.

    "NSFW party games" had my mind go right to "Oh, they're going to play pin the bulge on Jareth" and then I scrolled down and you had "Deck the Halls with Balls of Bowie" (I originally skimmed over the title of the post to get to the meat and potatoes) - it was kismet.

  6. Love these little previews and tours of your planned party set-up. However, I am wondering whether we should patiently wait until after the party before you share more details, lest you reveal things to partygoers. If that's not a problem, then by any means, show us more! Either way, I'll be eagerly waiting for the text update.

    1. Some of our guests are actively avoiding the blog so they won’t see spoilers! So yes, they’ve been warned. :D In past years I kept a lot more under wraps before the party, but then felt overwhelmed trying to show you guys everything before Christmas! So I’m definitely sharing more ahead of time, but I think you’ll still get some Wow moments with the final reveal beauty shots.

  7. These are all amazing!! I love it. <3 I do think a little white trim would make Agnes's hat pop, though it works as-is.

  8. Have you thought about making props for sale? Just asking....

  9. It all looks so authentic! You should charge admission. ��

  10. If the bog of Eternal stench is NOT set up in the bathroom.... with a hidden speaker that sounds out the farts form the bog... I shall be sorely disappointed. SORELY I say lol

  11. I think it all looks amazing and you've done an amazing job on it all! I think that the hat on Agnes would read more Christmas-y with white trim, but leave it as a last minute task as it's not a problem without it.

    I honestly think you should sell raffle tickets to FOEs for a chance to get an invite to the party...they'd have to make their own way there, but would get the invite. I understand that you may not want people to know your address, so I get that this might not be a reasonable suggestion, but i know you put a lot of work and money into these parties, and it would be a fun way to make a little money to pay for the party and all the other generous things you do for the FOEs/followers all year long! I'd definitely buy tickets! :-)

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  13. For Agnes' hat, make it look like the trim is coming off or torn in places. Like she found the hat from a used santa suit. :)


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