Making Props out of Junk

A lot of my decorating projects emerged from seeing an opportunity in throw-away junk.  Sometimes it was my own trash, other times it was simply an opportunity someone set out on the curb for me.  I hope these serve as an inspiration to make your own things out of other people's junk.

Note that the links go directly to the project page for a full explanation of how each was made and better views.

Haunted fencing.  The primary material, the slats, are all taken from old pallets.  You can find them for free on Craigslist or behind lots of retail places.

Haunted house shutters.  I picked these up cheap from a Habitat for Humanity resale store, then painted them black.

The roof spiders.  These were made out of a bolt of black burlap fabric I found on the curb in my neighborhood.

Coffin.  The framing was made out of new 2x4s, but the sides and door were made from old fence boards when an apartment complex replaced theirs.  The boards were at the curb.

Deadwood trees.  These were branches I had cut off the tree in my front yard.  The leaves dried up just about the time I was decorating for Halloween.

Santa O'lantern.  We bought the pumpkin around Halloween and still had it months later when xmas came, so we carved Santa into the face of it.  Unfortunately, there are no pictures of it actually carved since it was turned to mush in a freeze shortly after we set it out.

Fogger cooler.  I had planned to build one of these anyway, but serendipity smiled on me and put one on the curb.  It was a dirty old one that belonged to my neighbor's ex-boyfriend.

Enter At Your Own Risk!  This sheet of scrap wood was the back of an old dresser a friend had given me when she moved.  It fell apart several years later when we tried to move it while the drawers were full of tools, but the back made an enticing piece of material for a project.

Area 521/2 sign.  Again we used a set of old fence boards I had originally picked up to use for firewood/kindling.  I had the idea years earlier to make a sign out of them, and this was the first opportunity that presented itself.

Shining typewriter.  The pages were just printed out from the computer (see article on Projects using paper and posterboard), but the typewriter was literally found in a dumpster one day when we were looking for boxes.  We always had it set out with other antiques and interesting found objects, but I re-purposed it for Halloween.

Haunted TVs.  I could take up a whole page showing all of the tv sets I converted for Halloween projects.  One year I had converted seven of them, everything from an early-'60s Philco Predicta to a big-screen projection set to a tiny tunable set and pretty much every model in between, then stuff them with lights (strobe, color-changing) and/or props.

Under construction still.

Knife switch.  The main piece of the whole thing is just a section of a scrap 2x6 I had lying around.

Additionally, you can see examples of things I've made on the Halloween Materials page.  Many of the projects mentioned on that page included scraps or other salvaged components.  For example, many lights I've installed have been in old sockets from broken lamps.  Similarly, the cords have been from broken electronics I've found.

Copyright 2012 the Ale[x]orcist.