23 Days 'Til Halloween - Reaper Gravestone

This is an unexpected new gravestone for the lawn this year. Originally it started as a zombie but while working on went another direction in a moment of "I wanna try something" thinking. The torso is a "blucky" ribcage and head mounted on a post attached to a wood base. I dunked old curtains from my material stash in a 5 gallon bucket of gray colored house paint and draped over the torso. It only took a half hour to make but there's a trade off, it took a good 3 days to harden. I finished by dry-brushing on a lighter shade gray to bring out details and weathered with brown washes. For a creative experiment, I'm really happy with how it turned out.


  1. Wow. I would have never guessed the outer draping was old curtains dunked in paint. Looks great!

  2. One popular haunting decoration uses a similar technique. Instead of paint, folks dip fabric (usually burlap or something large and cheap) into a slurry of something that resembles gray plaster or cement. I'm not exactly sure what's used. The wet fabric is draped and "sculpted" over a temporary wireform into the shape of a reaper. When dry, the wireform is removed, and the prop stands on its own. It's rock-hard and weather-proof. The finished item looks like a shroud-clad ghost or reaper, but upon closer inspection, the form is empty as if the specter is invisible to mortal eyes. Really creepy!

  3. Trader Sam,
    I've read about "Monster Mud" which is a slurry of dry wall compound and paint ( Where my thinking came from, just didn't have the dry wall compound).

    I've know of similar projects you've described to create ghosts with sheer fabric and liquid starch. They are temporary but look great. I'd like to try that one day.

  4. For future reference (for the readers) the recipe for Monster Mud is about 1 gallon of black latex paint to 5 gallons of drywall compound. The color of the paint can vary - black gives a nice gray base color for statues and tombstones.

    Lots of good info about Monster Mud here: http://terrorsyndicate.com/tsp_mm.html