Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It would be true to say that I have too much time on my hands at the moment. It was a ghoulish nite in Tuart Hill and all Halloween broke loose on the chipboard here at work. Danielle my daughter, who turned 22 today, was asked to make Halloween decorations for her work. She is working at AMF bowling in Joondalup and I guess they are a US company and of course they will be celebrating Halloween on the 31st October. Here in Oz – we do not generally celebrate this US tradition, but we do have kiddies trick or treating, although I have not had any children come to my door since my kids were little.

So..... I said to Dan “I will help you!” Next thing you know I decided to make a haunted house. Well I do have lots of materials at my fingertips, and I only bought one thing to make this project, the black paint.

I started off with a rectangular shape, decided to have a pointy roof. Covered the roof in tiny tiles of black core board and trimmed the fascia with the scalloped edges. I really, really wanted a gargoyle for the roof, but I couldn’t get one or make one : (
I did fashion shutters using some of the frames by cutting strips and layering them behind the frames. One of the shutters is off at an angle to depict a broken down shabby look. By this stage all sorts of ideas are starting to materialise. Imagination is going crazy and getting out of control. Too late - I am in too deep now, I am committed to the end. I promise it won’t take over my life.
As you can see I have used several products from the Collections Elements range including:
0438 Sash Windows
0642 Pickett Fences
0633 Nesting Birds
0449 Little Windows
0650 Art Boxes
0487 Scallop Edges
0342 Baby Alpha (has the numbers in it)
0942 Super Sponges to dab on texture to the paint
0468 Flexi Sander to smooth out the edges

A few days later I decided that after making sash windows I had better put some xmas lights inside to light it up. So I dragged out some low voltage lights that I bought from Ikea about 5 years ago that had a nice long extension cord. Now we have windows, better put in some ratty drapes. Crikey! then if you look inside the windows through the shabby drapes you had better see a ghost. Holy cow “what next?”
The door was next – and guess what? I wanted a good looking door with a porch. Hey the art boxes will do with inserted little windows to give it the “Stanford look”. Great - I found a tiny door knocker charm, brilliant, just left some grey bits on so it’s not lost with all the black paint. Next came the porch roof, again used the black core board bits to tile it. The number 31 will look appropriate for the top of the door for the street number.

I had to anchor this entire crazy house onto some heavy chipboard, so I made a base for the house to slot into. Actually whilst all this was going on I was thinking that I will make it so it can be taken apart so I could deliver it with ease. The top of the roof also comes off. The trees on the side also come out of their supports, thank goodness I saved the inside roll of my dymo printer labels or the tree would not have stayed upright so easily. The house itself is hinged to form a tall square shape, it needed to be tall so it’s looks like a haunted house. I didn't paint the inside black because it needed some lighter colour to reflect out so I left that plain chipboard.

I was going through my purchases from Scraptivate (I had bought some charms) and hello! a cute metal spider popped out. Good that’s going on a wire hanging on the roof. My good friend Kelsey suggested I should make some cobweb from some open weave fabric. I stained it with a bit of black paint and hung the spider on a wire just below it.

Now the ground area looked pretty bare so I decided “tombstones!” Looking around at some of the scraps around my work area shouted cut some gravestones out of chipboard, so I did and then I spotted some crosses made out of the centres of the sash windows. I made some small ones and then three in row different sizes. Now I just wanted to finish this thing but I couldn't stop, one more thing. I needed some tree for the side of the house, not just any tree it had to be windswept and finely branched (is that a big ask?)Collections chipboard trees won’t suit I need something to match the scale of this tall house. Okay I admit it I walked the neighbourhood until I found the perfect one. So there it is the perfect branch, the dead branch came from a tree up the road, on the verge, near the flats not far from here. I’ll be honest I only spent about 20mins to find it, true!

Well there was something else (one more thing) I needed that I couldn't buy here in Australia, friggin pumpkins, tiny little pumpkins. Now the folks in the US probably have millions of these just rattling around in their cupboards but we just don’t here in Oz. So out came the plain flour and salt and hey presto baked tiny pumpkins were born today! Just the right size too, they got the paint treatment and a lovely orange contrast to all the black.

Earlier I had just walked past the laundry and the broom said “cut me” so I did and a witches broom was born. Not only was the coarse hair on the broom not synthetic it was real. I aged the satay stick handle with Frayed Burlap – sweet! Better glue that to the side of the porch, I reckon someone would like to souvenir that one.

What is a haunted house without bats and cats? A bat-less and cat-less house that is. So “one more thing” was born chipboard bats and a cat, and the answer is no, I am not making them to sell!

Where’s the cat supposed to sit? On a fence of course, so out came the picket fences. Do you know how long it took me to glue those little posts together? A VERY long time.
Finally when I took the photos I put my bright orange homemade candles flanking either side of the house to balance it all out. Now all I have to do is take it to Dan’s (and Lauren’s) work tonight.

I must remind myself not to get sidetracked with soap and making things, I need to concentrate on work, but it was a lot of fun making it. Hey thanks for looking!
The haunted house is 640mm (25”) high, and the tree is slightly taller.

Popped into AMF Bowling and wished the twins Happy Birthday and caught them with "twin friends" how cute are they! (sorry forgot their names by the time I got home!)

Oh had to add just "one more thing" Not a great shot but I made a witches hat and a sign that said "gone AMF bowling - the WITCH!
Below on the counter where it is displayed, hopefully it will remain intact! Lauren, myself and Dani pose for a quick snap.

Here is Dani behind the house so you can get a perspective of it's actual height, thanks for looking!


Jen Crossley said...

OMG OMG this is awesome girl I really want one I love halloween,you did say you had time on your hands so it shouldnt be a problem LOL

Gretz said...


Just one question... where is the soap? LOL

Joanne said...

WOW! You certainly have the Halloween spirit, you are so creative Julie, thanks for sharing!

Sarah said...

My OH my, I want one too. Awesome job Julie, I bet you did all your girls school projects too when they brought them home. I think I will have to play with my stuff too and see what I can come up with..

Tamar said...

Fantastic - you are so clever Julie I love this!!!!
Tamar x

kelsey said...

Can I live there please Julie??? I'll take care of it promise...even the little bats and the kitty. Abso-freakin-gorgeous!!!!!!!!

Julie van Oosten said...

HI Jen, I would love to make you one but once I have made one I am really over it! Good try LOL!

Julie van Oosten said...

Greta, the soap has gone nowhere! I am seriously not posting soap for a while because I don't want to upset anybody! LOL!

Suze said...

Completely FABULOUS...puts us Americans to one here has made anything that spooktacular (oh..I take it back...Debbie Tlach did a lighted one last year!) are mega creative & way too brilliant for me !!!!!. Luv you.

Linda Cain said...

Absolutely fantastic! I LOVE it.
You really outdid yourself here!

Your Friend in ART,

Linda Cain

Glenda said...

Its absolutely fabulous Julie, where is your mind at LOL.Nah.... you are way creative and I wish I was nearly that good. Kelsey I will come visit you when you live in the house.

Tenaha Wilson said...

oh wow Julie - I am blown away! This is awesome! I want to amke one now for 2010. Love your work

Sue McGettigan said...

Your haunted house is just SO much fun - what a great project!! I love how one little thing leads to one more, then another ... isn't that always the way?

Household 6 said...

That is the COOLEST halloween house ever! And I'm loving the tree... the tree has my heart!

Genevieve said...

Talk about getting carried away - we might just have to find that straight jacket for you! Another amazing JVO masterpiece.