Haunted House Shutters
One thing my house has apparently always lacked (who knows; it was built in 1925) are shutters.  Since we were looking to make it more like a haunted house this year, this seemed like a good time to add some in a way that gave the place a dilapidated look.



A view across the porch with both sets of shutters in place.  I put the "Enter At Your Own Risk" sign by the front door a couple nights before when we had our "Thirteen Days Until Halloween" party.

Here's their humble beginnings.  They were probably interior shutters originally.  They were broken in several spots, so I picked up the four of them for $10 (total, not each) from the local Habitat for Humanity store.

The house is already white, so I put the usual layer of black on them.  In hindsight, I really did too nice a job here as more of a rough, thin, half-assed coat would have better handled the illusion they had faded with age, much as their lopsided hanging was intended to convey.

Dani ties down some fishing line...

...which was then attached to an adhesive hook like this one.  These are supposedly rated for 5 lbs., but the shutters were probably a little bit beyond that.  The first one we hung didn't last a day.  A couple days later it rained and was really humid (this is Texas; it's humid even in the middle of October), and a second one came down.  We reapplied them, and held until a bunch of gusty winds preceding a thunderstorm took them down again a few days later.

As an alternative approach to the adhesive hooks, I also installed an anchored bolt in the ceiling (like the one in my hand; actual one was already in the ceiling in the background).  I then attached the shutter to it with fishing line to keep some of the weight off.

And here's what they look like up close.

2009 Update
Given that my shed was already over-crowded with Halloween decorations, it was easier to just leave the shutters and fences outside in the weather in the back yard.  The problem was that these are actually indoor shutters, presumably utility closet doors or something.  After a year in the elements, the paint hadn't really held up.

I have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, it's kind of neat that they're dilapidated.  On the other, subtlety is lost on details like this.  Things look better when you use bold strokes, stick to solid colors, etc., especially since this will be viewed from a distance by all but Trick or Treaters and my mail man.

If I'd had the time and cooperative weather (it was alternately rainy and cold leading up to Halloween this year), I probably would have stripped these and repainted them.


This spot got it worse than any.  The slats fell out and laid on the ground unnoticed for perhaps months.  They're actually held in place now with a thin strip of wood I tacked on there, which you can see through the gaps.

These shutters didn't get it quite as bad at least.  You can also see we gave in and finally just went ahead and put screws into the wood above the bricks this year.  The adhesive brackets we tried previously never worked for long.

In addition to hanging them from above, we also used adhesive velcro strips on the backs of the shutters at the bottom to keep the wind from catching them.  Didn't always work though, and they'd get spun around on windy days.




Copyright 2008-2009 the Ale[x]orcist.
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