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Halloween Guide and Ideas
Halloween Guide and Ideas


Last night we were watching the movie "Urban Legend" and towards the end the main characters are trapped in an old, boarded up building by the killer. This reminded me how foreboding an old building looks when its been all boarded up, simultaneously invoking both curiosity and fear of the unknown.

I remember when I was a kid there was this old house at the end of the street behind where we lived. It had been long abandoned and all the windows and doors had been boarded up years before. It was very creepy and naturally, every kid in the neighborhood believed that it was haunted and steered well clear of it. Everyone except me that is.

The following is a fairly simple Halloween project for building boarded up window and door facades that will make your house look apparently deserted and dangerous. In this example we made the prop for one of our windows.

Since you will probably only be boarding up the windows and door at the front of your house, you will only need to build one facade panel for each of these. Just make sure that you make the prop panels large enough to fit over the real window and door frames.

The frame for the "boarded-up window panel" is made from 1" by 2" boards, and the outer boards that will be nailed onto the frame from 1" by 2"/4"/6" boards. Begin by measuring the width and height of the window frame. In this case the outside of our window frame measured 59-1/2" x 30-1/2".

To build the frame for the prop we cut the 1" by 2" boards into the four pieces and nailed them together to make the frame. We added a 1/4" to the width and height just to make sure it would fit over the window frame.

Next, we cut the 1" by 2"/4"/6" outer boards at different lengths between one and three inches longer than the wooden frame we made. Next, we nailed them onto the frame using one nail 1-1/2" nail on each side for small boards and two nails on each side for the large boards. Be sure to leave gaps between the boards and that you attach them at slight angles for a hap-hazard look.

The pine boards looked new because they were new. To make them look weathered and old we stained them with Walnut colored wood stain. Don't worry about painting the back of the panel unless people will be able to see them from inside the house. Wood stain is messy, so be sure to lay down a drop cloth to work on and wear plastic gloves and old clothes.

Before placing the panel on the window, we taped a piece of Creepy Cloth over the window to enhance the eeriness and help hide the sun screens. For this window we used the dull green cloth, but you could also use the black or off white. To attach the prop to the window, simply slip it over the real window frame. If you are worried about it falling or being pulled off, you can drive a machine screw through the wooden frame and into the real window frame. But bare in mind that this will leave two small holes in your real window frame.

The boarded up door panel is assembled in the same manner as the window panels, just larger and to the measurements of your door frame. Because of its size and weight, you will need to drive a few machine screws through the wooden frame of the panel and into the real door frame to attach it securely.

A final touch would be to add a couple of "Keep Out" and "Danger" signs. Lastly, apply  a small amount of fake cobwebs to finish the whole thing off.

Boarded-up Window Prop

Boarded-up Window Prop - Frame

Boarded-up Window Prop - Outer Boards


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