Friday, October 29, 2021

Our Beetlejuice Halloween: The Big Build Update!


It's almost time for Beetlejuice Halloween!!


So last week I showed you the biggest part of our project this year: the inflatable Sandworm arches and candy slide. Since then John and I've been busy crafting more movie-related props and silliness, and WOW do I have a lot to show you. Just... so much.

I should mention if you've never seen Beetlejuice most of this won't make sense. In that case I recommend stopping here, and, y'know, going to watch Beetlejuice.

But for the rest of you, iiiit's.... TIME TO START THE SHOW!

Starting with the iconic Beetlejuice marquee sign. John cut the shape from pink insulation foam:

Then installed patio lights from Amazon around the edge:

(The lights he ordered were way too long, so he cut the strand in half - which actually worked, woot woot!)

Here's what the back looks like, with all the wires duct-taped down:

We weren't going to have our sign pointing at Beetlejuice, though, so we changed the wording:

 (I may tell the kids to chant "candy" three times to get their treats.)

We cut the words with our Cricut, then used strips of red poster board for the raised edges.

This turned out SO STINKIN' GOOD, which is annoying because I keep saying we're throwing all this away after Halloween. You know, to save on storage space. Grrr.

I'm not the only one thinking John should be wearing fishnet stockings here, right?


Last step was adding a stand at just the right height so the arrow points to the sand worm's mouth:

John's building everything with scrap from the garage, which is why the stand's a bit piecemeal.

Right. That was fun.

Next project!

Of course we had to have Barbara and Adam in their $300 designer "ghost" sheets. We didn't find any movie-accurate patterns at the thrift store, but decided these would do:

We mounted 2 Styrofoam heads we already had onto PVC pipe, with pool noodles on the ends of the "shoulders" to round them out:

This one is for Barbara. For Adam we made the shoulders wider & padded with shopping bags, plus added a hat to make his head larger.

I painted the eyes on the heads since they showed through the eye-holes, which resulted in some truly hilarious horror art:

They look like floating Uncle Festors.

We installed them after dark because my sleep schedule is so wackadoo sometimes I miss the daylight. Just me? (Hang on, I know it's just me, don't answer that.)

Besides, how else will we keep the neighbors talking?

Our tree is too short to hang the heads, so John installed more PVC pipe from the back and zip-tied the supports to horizontal branches:

You can't see the supports at all from the front, so they really look like they're floating!

"No feet!"

Even better, these are the ONLY decorations we've had up all week. (Nothing else is weather-proof, so we have to install everything the day of.) And why yes, the neighbors have been asking questions! ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED

We did a full dress rehearsal on Wednesday, and spent 6 hours installing, re-arranging, tweaking, repairing, photographing, and finally removing the entire yard's worth of decor. So much work, but worth it to get everything figured out ahead of time.

For example, I'm realizing the secret to a great Halloween display is lighting. Initially we started with flickering purple lights on Barb & Adam:

... but that didn't look right, so we switched to a static white light instead:

Barb & Adam are the ONLY elements in the whole yard lit by white light, so they really pop in the best way. Plus they photograph better:

Next, some easy paper silhouettes.

I love projects like this: all we had to do was project our silhouettes onto large sheets of butcher paper:

Then I traced them and filled in with craft paint:

More accidental art: doesn't this remind you of the Scary Stories books we read as kids?

I remember the art being even scarier than the stories.

I don't like scary stuff for Halloween - and I really don't like scaring little kids - but I figure just a shadow of Beetlejuice's snake head is OK:

Finally we taped the paper inside our front-facing windows. From outside you can't see the "shadows" at all during the day, so we've left them up.

Here's how they look from the sand worm arch:

Our next paper project was a life-sized standee of Beetlejuice. You can buy a cardboard version on Amazon for about $50, but I didn't like either of the design choices. Plus, and I really can't stress this enough, I dislike spending money.

So instead, I found this fantastic hi-res scan of the Beetlejuice Blu-Ray disk, and we tile-printed it on our home printer:

John trimmed off the white edges, glued each section down to Dollar Tree foam board with spray adhesive, then cut it out with a craft blade. Taped a long stick to the back to prop it up, and we had ourselves a life-sized Ghost with the Most!

Woohoo! I think this looks better than the online ones, and only cost a few dollars to make. In fact everything we're doing this year is low cost; our most expensive purchases were more lights and extension cords.

The standee looks best in daylight:

...but we set up the fog machine right behind it, so at night with all the colorful lights it looks pretty rad, too:

I love how the fog spits out from his grave; I'll try to get some video of that Halloween.

And finally - at least for this post -  I had to do an homage to my favorite waiting room resident, the tiny-head dude we've dubbed Herman.

This is a quick and dirty build, but with highly hilarious results. I started with a $3 thrift store doll, which I immediately decapitated and mummified with tin foil:

I added a wire neck glued into a foam base for support.

Ping-pong balls for eyes:

...and Foam-Mo foam clay for some roughly blocked out features:

Foam-Mo is terrible for sculpting because it doesn't blend: every edge will be incredibly obvious. That's the clay we had, though, and this is a one-use prop that will only be viewed at night... so I think we're good.

After a little more tweaking:

And finally a coat of craft paint. I didn't even age it; the clay has plenty of texture:

The wide-eyed worried expression has been a source of MUCH amusement over here.

For Herman's body we stuffed some of John's clothes with painter's drop cloths and towels. I make that sound easy, but it was actually super hard, and our friend Arielle finally took pity on us and did the final stuffing:

For added hilarity - and because it's all we had - we used my gloves and little size 3 boots.

Now because I can't help myself, here comes a dirty joke. 
Either brace yourself or scroll past quickly.

You know what they say about guys with tiny shoes and hands, right?

That's right. TINY HEAD.


Herman is set up to give the Maitlands permanent side-eye, and makes a great photo opp when you stand between them.

We plan to have a small seating area complete with coffee table in front of the garage: our own makeshift waiting room. We have friends coming Halloween night in costume, so I'm looking forward to getting photos of them all sitting around looking bored under a "Now Serving" sign.

(Note to self and John: Make "Now Serving" sign.)

We're also filling in with a few non-movie extras, because when you have a life-sized thestral you are required to use every opportunity to show her off, dangit:

I'm doing some repair work on the thestral's body, so we've had her inside the last few nights and Eva looooves her.

I do hope you're getting a kick out of all this, because this project has consumed my life and it's really all I want to talk about, ha. This build has been fantastic at keeping my mental health monsters at bay, since I've had a steady stream of easy projects to keep me motivated, and tangible results littered all over the house making me smile. :)

I hope to update after this weekend with even more fun photos, including our costumes! (They're hilarious, can't wait to show you.) Plus the general mayhem of the night.

And finally, to reward you for getting through this gargantuan post, here are a few more pretties from Wednesday's trial run:

The green porch lights are these remote-controlled color-changing LED bulbs, which are SO FUN, highly recommend.

Oh, and in addition to the thestral there's also a dragon skeleton on the roof and a goblin suit of armor in the bushes. We're calling it, "Beetlejuice: The Expanded Universe."

I can't quite fit everything in frame; I'm missing the worm's tail, plus the thestral and Herman over to the right.

Hold up, John stitched together some photos for us! Nice!

Last one looks like the thestral is photobombing, which makes me grin:

That's all for now!

K, gang, your mission this weekend is to have a FANTASTIC Halloween, whether that's going out, staying in, dressing up, or refusing to get dressed at all.  However and to whatever extent you celebrate, may it be filled with people you love and lots and lots of laughter.

Thanks for sticking around, love you lots.



UPDATE: But wait, there's more! Want to see how our Halloween went? I have a big update - with all our costumes(!!) - right here.


P.S. These are the porch lights we're using that change colors, you can use them in any fixture that takes candelabra bulbs, and the remote has all kinds of fun settings to play with:

Color-Changing LED Candelabra Bulbs

We'll be using these year round inside after Halloween, I'm sure. Heck, I want ALL our lights to change colors now!

Which reminds me, we're rapidly approaching shopping season, so remember to bookmark my Amazon shop for fun gift ideas! Anything you purchase through my links or shop - even if it's not on my lists - gives a little back to me and John, so THANK YOU for helping support Epbot while you shop.


  1. You guys. YOU GUYYYYYS! You rock SO HARD I CAN'T EVEN WITH YOU TWO!! Everything. EVERYTHING! Be proud of yourselves, seriously. Look at that stuff and smile, inside and out. Y'all two kill me.

    I have been busy today going through every box of Halloween-related stuff and random bits n' bobs that I've saved for Crafty Use Someday, and I'm putting together a super quick and dirty Mad Scientist Lab set-up for the room the Vulcan and I are working in my best friend's family's haunted house! We're gonna be The Doctor and the Bride, and it was just decided on like yesterday, so I'm just NOW getting it together; so many spooooky speeecimens! While I have experience as a Professional Scary Person working in pro haunted houses, my Vulcan does not. So getting him hyped up for it will be work, being a taciturn Vulcan and all, but I'm sure he'll embrace the part come showtime Saturday night.

    Sunday night when we give out candy at home, I will be a variation on the night before-- THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEVIE!! Mash-up the Bride and Stevie Nicks! Because I have the perfect wig (it looks like her hair in the video for "Sara", but black and white) and platform boots, so why not?

    I hope you guys have a fantastic time. I know you will, you'll be bringing SO MUCH MIRTH to the world after pretty much everybody had to sit out last year!

    Your Pal,

    Storm the Klingon

  2. This is fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  3. Have you guys thought about auctioning off the display items for a charity after Halloween? Seems a shame to toss such cool stuff!

    1. That's a great idea! You could donate it as well. They're really fun props others could use in the future :)

  4. Everything about this is amazing and wonderful! You always hit the right note of pitch-perfect Halloween awesomeness without tipping over into scariness. I love Herman so, so much. I could see him off to the side in one of the Maitland photos early on and literally squee-ed.

  5. Everything is amazing! I hope your neighbors appreciate your hard work!

    On a mostly unrelated note, I was trying to help my son do a crafty thing last night, and I realized that one of the reasons I rarely craft is because it spikes my anxiety. I think it's because I'm a perfectionist and I majorly stress when I have no idea what I'm doing - the only way to stop it is to ditch the thing altogether. So I'll just continue to enjoy your processes and results rather than attempting my own.

  6. Small recommendation which may be more annoying than helpful but I hope not? The shadows of Barbara and Adam doing the face melds would maybe look more realistic if their body shadow went all the way to the bottom (like Beetlejuice's neck does). Y'all never cease to amaze and astound!! :D

  7. Is it just me, or are others having trouble with photos not loading on Epbot?

    1. Same. I had to right-click on each broken image and select Open in New Tab. That did the trick.

  8. This is incredible in every way. I just hate the part about you throwing it away!? Maybe try to sell it on FB marketplace or online classifieds to someone who has the storage, and who could display your awesome creations every year! It's such a shame to think it'll be thrown out. You do amazing work!

  9. It's looking fantastic and so fun! Have a super Hallowe'en!

  10. WAAAAHHHH!!! I so wish I lived near you so I could visit your house. Your work is amazeballs! Absolutely freaking fantastic. Hope you have a fab Hallowe'en and am looking forward to the costume pics! Well Done!

  11. I'm very surprised your neighbours still ask questions at this point. Haven't they learned yet that all will be revealed in the fullness of time?

  12. I don't know what camera you're using for your night shots, but phone cameras often have a "panoramic" option to get those wider shots when everything doesn't fit in a single frame. Might be worth trying, if you want to save John from having to stitch pictures together. :D

  13. I've never seen Beetlejuice(*). I don't do Halloween. But if I lived in any kind of reasonable driving distance (and I live out west where that's a lot longer than on the coasts), I would find a costume and walk up to your house on my knees so it might be plausible that I'm not too old to Trick or Treat just to see all the decorations and get candy out of a worm's mouth.

    (*)I've seen lots of scenes, though, so I am somewhat familiar with it.

  14. You and John are just so dang creative! This looks amazing

  15. Ya'll are amazing!

  16. ahem is right... I want to be your neighbor. or even better, your craft/construction buddy. all your efforts are amazing!!!

  17. Because I work at a seasonal haunted house, I always miss out on seeing neighbors' decorated Halloween yards in action. Thanks for sharing. It looks great!

  18. You know, a "Candy Candy" sign could work with a LOT of Halloween themes, not just Beetlejuice, if you're looking for excuses to keep it...

    All of this is very cool! I saw Beetlejuice once, decades ago, and honestly don't remember much, but if I saw a house like yours on Halloween, I'd be be running up just to compliment the creativity and fun!

  19. Rather than throwing it out, why not throw the whole package on ebay? I'm sure someone would love to have it!


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