Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Haunted Mansion Halloween: DIY Singing Busts!

I don't want to alarm anyone, friends, but Halloween is less than a week away. Have you watched all the spooky movies? Had enough pumpkin-spiced things? Glittered your bat wings? I'm just saying, this is the week to EMBRACE YOUR SPOOP.  

(To that point, I'm currently wearing gold foil stars-and-moons leggings for the first time ever. John declared them "distracting." MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.)

Now let's get to my most requested - and ironically, easiest - tutorial of all our Haunted Mansion builds: the singing busts. 

Yes, this is in our yard.  Honest.

This DIY is so simple you're about to call us big ol' cheaters - but remember, you can cheat, too. I can show you the worrrrrrld... of cheater DIYs. Just keep scrolling.

While the build itself is cheap and easy, you are going to need a digital projector, which is a definite cost. I'm told you can get holiday window projectors for as little as $30, but make sure you can plug in a USB to supply your own video.

John and I have a fancier projector that plugs into a laptop, left over from my book tour days, which gets a lot of crafting use. So if you make a lot of large signs, props, etc, it's worth the investment.

Right, let's get to this oh-so-easy build. Ready?

1) Find a Singing Busts video on Youtube. (We used this one.) Project it onto a large piece of pink insulation foam, backing up until they're the size you want.

2) Trace

This is tricky because so much of the busts are in shadow, but do your best to fill in where the heads *should* be.

3) Tweak your outlines 'til you're happy:

My bases were super wonky, so I went over them with a paper template to make them more symmetrical.

4) Cut Using A Long Craft Blade

Remember to leave the bottom ledge, so the busts are all connected on one piece of foam! This will keep the spacing right.

Also try to cut all the way through with the blade in one go, for smoother edges.

5) Paint The Fronts White

No need to paint the edges.

6) Make A Stand

We re-used the stand from the "I Wet My Plants" game at my Jungle Cruise Party, then hid it behind more pink foam. You could just use a folding table, though.

You'll be tempted to hang the busts on a wall, but for the illusion to work they can't have anything behind them. So make sure your stand is at least 10-15 feet away from any flat surfaces behind it.

Testing the projection. See why it doesn't matter if you paint the foam edges?

The perfect spot for these fellas is between two house, so you have lots of open space behind and in front for the projector:

We're using this strip between us and the neighbors. That unfinished tombstone is hiding the projector, to give you an idea of the distance you'll need.

And because I know someone will ask, here's the 10th wonder of the world:


And here's what our projector set-up looks like:

Our laptop is inside the top egg crate, which offers a little more protection and camouflage.

That unfinished tombstone is almost done, after I spent last night working on it:

And finally, here's a look at the Singing Busts at night:

Blown out reference shot:

And now in action!

John and I are almost ready to film the full yard walk-through, so stay tuned for that this Friday. We're squeezing in just a few more DIYs before then, plus I can't wait to show you our costumes.

I hope you're taking time to enjoy all things cozy this month, my friend. We're getting to the season where time speeds up, which means we have to make a conscious effort to slow down. It's easy to get bogged down in the million things shouting for our attention, when what really matters are the people right here around us. So please, check in with your loved ones. Take a night off and watch a movie from your childhood. Maybe invite some friends over to join you. Breathe. You've got all the big stuff - the little stuff will follow.

You mean more than you know to people you don't, and I am so, SO glad you're here, exactly as you are. Be good to yourself, k? And here's a squeezy ghost hug for the road:



It's getting near the end of the month, have you entered my Squeegineer give-away yet? Winners get to choose their prizes from the increasingly random things I find in my office closet, like these Haunted Mansion bat necklaces:

Everyone who donates any amount to Epbot via Paypal is automatically entered each month, or you can enter for free by e-mail! Check out the details and prize galleries here.


  1. What a creative way to do the singing busts! I was really curious how you pulled it off. It was like a riddle that when you hear the answer you feel dumb for not knowing it right away. Ha! Our Halloween plans have been to make a brain aspic, finish watching Dahmer on Netflx (so good btw!!) and give trick or treaters candy on Halloween itself and watch a Lord of the Rings parody.

  2. I usually hand out glow sticks, but I forgot this year. So I found some glow tubes on Amazon, and I'm going to hand those out. I have the spectacular cloak I found at Spirit Halloween and had tailored for my height. I have the dragons out, and I'm getting out the bubble fogger and witch's cauldron. I also have Voice Play's Oogie Boogie song on my phone. If you haven't checked that out on Youtube, you should. Geoff is an absolutely astonishing bass vocalist.

  3. Fabulous! I love this too much!!!

  4. hooooly crap that is SO COOL!!!! This has got to be my favorite of your decorations yet by far. Simple in design but incredibly effective in result!! Excellent work you guys!! I'm only disappointed that I won't be able to see this in person (I'm nowhere near FL). Can't wait to see videos of the whole yard put together!! Happy Halloween!!

  5. What do you do if it rains?

  6. This is absolutely amazing! I’m in awe, and jealous, by your talents! How do you protect the computer/projector against rain or moisture?

    1. Oh we don't leave the laptop & projector outside; we have to set them up each time we use them. So that's a Halloween-night-only feature. :)

  7. You guys are rockstars! Well done!

  8. Tried to email to enter the monthly giveaway and got blocked. Bummer!

    1. That keeps happening to me as well.

    2. Oh no! I just tested and the address seems to be working on our end. You're using squeegineers(at)epbot(dot)com, right?

  9. Thank you for sharing your build and a tour, so l can live vicariously through the people who have the joy of experiencing your Halloween house in person!! (note: still really jealous of those people LOL)

  10. moment of appreciation for "the back side of the busts"


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