Tuesday, September 1, 2009

So what do you use to hold

up such a big chest? How about two small monks that are chained into servitude.

Hum, I kinda have to say I like the idea. :D

So here is how it happened.

So here is the poultry wire frame for the monks. One is bending down forward resting the trunk on his shoulder, the other is rest the trunk on his back shoulders. You can tell that from this picture - right? :)

We decided to have these match the monks on the drive way, so I cut out two layers of burlap to dip in the monster mud. The get a first layer that is tighter to the body with less draping, and then the next layer needs to look the black sack cloth cloaks that mourners used to wear. We mix our monster mud with gray paint, so they look almost white when they are dry.

We then painted them completely black with a paint sprayer. We make sure that none of the gray shows through by covering it a few times. I then took a light gray paint and dry brushed both of the monks on the folds for contrast.

Our new helper Mike had a plan for aging the treasure chest, so he took a hammer and a chisel and made it look beat up and weathered. Looks great. We then painted it black again.

After it was black we took some hammered finish gold spray paint and sprayed it into a cup and then took a brush and highlighted the metal areas to look weathered.

We took a piece of extra wood from the treasure chest and routered the words "Donations" in it. We then put some Great Stuff along the edges of the wood to make it look like, it too was aged metal. We did the same spray paint technique as the other metal pieces. Mike too the sign home and used a bright white paint to paint the letters and even painted on some serifs to the edges that we were not able to route out. It is bright and very easy to read.

Husband then removed the placement wood (the pieces that we put on there while we were mudding so we knew where the box would sit) and screwed the chest into place.

Side note - the slot on the box that the comment guy is holding was always getting beat up and looked bad about two weeks into the season, so we took a piece of aluminum left over from the cages, and cut a 1/4 slot through the center and put it over both the opening of the comment box and this chest. BTW - they were a pain to create, he marked the area and then took a drill and drilled a line of holes down the center of the area he wanted to remove and then cut the remaining with a dremel and jig saw. I am really glad he still has all his fingers :)

We then took plastic black chain and chained the sign and the trunk around the waist of both the small monks, to show that they are chained the chest, like some form of penance. Sweet!

The chest does not open from the top, there is a smaller door in the back that opens and we have a black bucket in there that will be used to catch that donations. I might need to get a few more, I am expecting lots of donations. :) Like last year, the Milwaukie High School Dance Team is our main charity as that they will be performing the complete "Thriller" number in the yard several time throughout the season.

We are currently working on treating and painting the black chain and then this prop is completely finished. I will share more pictures when it is all ready to go.

This thing weighs a ton, but as one of our fellow haunters said....chain it down so some a-hole does not run off with it. We hear you buddy!

We will use real chain for that! :)


  1. That thing looks heavy and marvelous! Love the mini monks forced to carry their chest for a lifetime.

  2. Such a awesome work... I love the monks idea!

  3. Now THAT is a donation box. Very cool.

  4. So creative! I think it's great that it totally flows with your haunt and isn't just a random donation box =) Love the idea of the money going to the dance team =) Awesomeness all around!

  5. This is so cool! If I ever have a haunt I want something that looks this awesome. Love the monks! Very clever idea and it looks amazing. I'm very jealous.



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