Making the Leprechaun Door


I meant to post this the other day, but just plain forgot.

On a general note, my impulsive St. Patrick's Day lawn decorating was a success. The neighborhood reaction (that I saw) brought many smiles. Several passersby made it a photo-op with their kids. My hope to bring a bit of that Halloween and Christmas decorating magic that makes myths real worked. Bring on the Easter Bunny. I wish there was a nationally recognized Giant Squid Day!

But I digress. Here's how I made the Leprechaun door. Know that I knocked it out pretty fast using what materials I had at hand, so there's lots of room for improvement.

The door was cut out of foamcore board. Then scored vertically (where the seams of the wood planks might be), so It could be bent matching the tree trunk curve.


Next it was coated with brown tinted "monster mud" (left over from my yarn bombing tree project). I used a stick to create wood grain and softened the hard lines a bit by going back over with a paint brush.


Once it set up, I painted on a thin coat of green. While still wet I lightly dragged a rag over pulling off paint from the high points, revealing some brown underneath, creating a weathered feel.


The shamrock window frame and hinge plate hardware were cut out of 1/4" thick craft foam.


The hinges themselves were pieces of cardboard tube found on dry cleaner wire hangers. The tips were glued on wood plugs. I also used larger wood plugs for the rivets on the hinge plates.


The door handle was made with Model Magic. A tape roll was used as a jig to wrap the clay around to create a decent circle.


I painted all the hardware with gold spray paint, then pounced on a coat of thinned black acrylic to age and weather them. I glued a sheet of black card stock behind the shamrock window and sprayed with a clear gloss coat to help give a feeling that it's actually glass. In retrospect, I should of used a sheet of clear acetate first, then the black paper. Oh well, next time.

Once all the pieces were dry, they were glued together. I looped two lengths of bailing wire through both sides off the door, and tied around the tree trunk to hold in place.


12 comments:

  1. Brilliant! I am so making one of these for my tree! I'm thinking of an everyday Tree Troll door. That way it can stay up all year - and just decorate it for the holidaze as needed. Such a wonderful fount of inspiration! Thank you!
    Now, where can I get my hands on some monster mud?

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    1. Thanks Creepy,
      Monster mud is a custom mix of dry wall compound and latex paint. So it's easy to find and make via your local hardware store.

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    2. BTW, here's a link to a tutorial on mixing it from the folks who coined the phrase "monster mud"...www.terrorsyndicate.com/demos_page_8.html

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    3. Thanks for the link! Terror Syndicate is my new favorite site after your blog, of course!

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  2. you are seriously one of my favorite people. and i've never even met you.

    amazing.

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    Replies
    1. And you're now one of my favorite people just because of your comment.

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  3. You are the positively the MacGuyver of prop making.. Two pieces of cardboard tubes from a coat hanger, some foam core board, crayola model magic and craft foam and *BAM* one explosive prop made from items you scrounged up!

    I could have a budget 100X that of which you spent and not have it come out as good!

    Glad your display brought smiles to the neighborhood! I'm sure if you coined up a national squid day you'd have some followers!! :)

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  4. "Cardboard tubes from a coat hanger"... that cracks me up!
    Family-friendly props like this, on a low budget-- someone really ought to tap you to write a prop-making book for kids- they'd love it! (Of course, we adults would buy it, too.)

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    1. Thanks Trickortreat. I've been tempted to try putting a book together. One day maybe.

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  5. "The MacGuyver of prop making"... he he he, exactly. Amazing job. Lucky are the folk who live in your neighbourhood! :)

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