Necessity is the Mad Scientist of Laboratory Invention

This Halloween, I really wanted to transform the front porch into Frankenstein's laboratory more than any other year. It's always looked fairy empty compared to other parts of the yard. Foolishly I had hopes of making or acquiring more lab equipment, props and dressing for it, but like so many other ideas, just couldn't make it happen due to time and budget. I did what I could though... adding hanging chains, a few extra lanterns, my old caged spider and of course the (still not really finished) rocker switch tower from last year. Although not what I hoped it would be, it looked fuller and more in theme than any other year and that made me happy.

So Halloween day arrives and I forgot we needed something to place the candy bowl on (or in this case cauldron). I first grabbed an old metal stool from the garage and tried to dress it up somehow, but it looked lame. Then it hit me, there were great old wine crates in the stash. I stacked up and taped on fun body part inventory labels (easily made via computer, printed out and aged with coffee). I also happened to have a rubber foot and hand which added some creepy detail.

The crates not only worked great as a candy cauldron stand, but turned out to be a incredibly simple way to fill the empty spaces on the porch and help tell a story. They became a well liked detail too, pointed out with a smile by more than a few visitors that night.

I'm going to use these again next year and improve on with better labels or real stenciling. Be fun to have one labeled Assorted Severed Heads with several pairs of eyes looking at you from inside through a broken off panel.


  1. I love it when genius hits you at the spur of the moment. I think stencil is the way to go. Great story behind your great props!

  2. This might actually be one of my favorite of your additions this year. That's really funny.

  3. I use a similar box, but mien has some slats it in so you can barely see in. I put a hedge shaker in it, which is suspended on the box with wires attached to the sides of the box. The slats allow it to go off with motion sensor (I have to zip tie it loosely to my potion table or it will walk away as it shakes. ) When the lid is shut, it hits on top of the box making a thumping noise,and eyes can just be seen thru slats. Love the extra details you put out this year!


  4. Heehee, severed heads - love it!