How to Throw an Outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

Holiday season this year will be a bit different, especially Halloween. We’re used to dressing up, trick-or-treating from house to house in the neighborhood with family and throwing large, fancy costume parties. Due to social distancing, we unfortunately have to cut back. Luckily, Nickell Morgan of Simply Handmade shared her idea of an intimate, socially distanced Halloween gathering right in her yard. Check out how she pulled it off below.

The Planning Phase

For this year’s Halloween Style Challenge, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to be able to spend some time with a select few friends, since we haven’t been able to because of COVID-19. My husband and I came up with the idea of a “mask-querade” party so we can enjoy each other’s company safely!

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

I was so excited to find out The Home Depot’s entire Halloween collection was available online for me to browse at my convenience, and not have to worry about going into the store. Not only did I manage to snag amazing Halloween items, I also browsed their entire website for gorgeous flatware, and plates to go with the moody theme I wanted to achieve for the dinner party. My friends and family were surprised that The Home Depot had everything I needed to decorate the space, from the Halloween Decor to the flatware!

DIY

I did a few DIYs for this backyard get-together! The first thing I created was the DIY sign using copper piping and plexiglass!

Materials Needed:

Instructions:

I painted the design I wanted on the front of the plexiglass with acrylic paint and a paintbrush. Once complete, I spray painted the back of the plexiglass with several layers of spray paint to make it nice and opaque.

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

Once I had the design the way I liked, I cut the copper down to the sizes (listed below) using a pipe cutter, then assembled all of the pieces. No glue required! You can easily take this apart, or glue to keep it together. It’s totally up to you! I ended up using a ribbon to attach the plexiglass because I didn’t realize my hooks were too small! Make sure you get the hooks where the opening is ¾ in.

(2) 22 in. 

(2) 26 in. 

(4) 6 in. 

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

Donald and I also tried making a quick and easy canopy over the dinner table, which worked well inside, but with the slope of the yard, it just would not hold up! It ended up falling, and instead of scrapping that part of the project, I hung these curtain lights to incorporate a little of what I wanted. I think it still turned out great!

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

In order to make these name place cards, I repurposed these backsplash tiles by lightly spray painting them with Rust-Oleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. I added the names in copper and bam! Affordable name cards.

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

Enter If You Dare

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

We set up the mausoleum archway as the entryway for guests to enter through. My husband and I were able to put this together rather easily! The mausoleum came with instructions or you have the option of downloading the Bilt app for interactive step-by-step instructions, which is so helpful.

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

Honestly, this mausoleum set the tone for the overall dinner party! It’s definitely the first thing guests will see when they’re coming over.

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

We played around with headstones and put the zombie girl  in front with some fog using the low lying fog machine, and it looked really cool!

Setting the Table

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

The next thing I did was set up the dinner area. I went to the flower district in NYC and purchased flowers that gave off moody Halloween vibes. Then, I made the arrangements and moved onto setting the table.

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

I created some polls on instagram, allowing my instagram family to choose the linens, along with the copper accents, these gorgeous dinner plates, and even the colors of the floral arrangement! Most of what you see here is from The Home Depot. The cheesecloth was dyed black to match the aesthetic, the dinner plates, goblets, and flatware are all from The Home Depot! No, I’m not kidding.

Arranging the Photo Booth Area

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

I created the copper frame for the photo booth in a similar way as the drink sign a couple years back, and I knew I wanted to use it as a backdrop for this event. Since I already had the white fabric and curtain lights attached, I just added black sheer fabric I had laying around along with the skull and chains (similar) I got from The Home Depot a few Halloween’s back. Also, I added the zombie girl, her zombie sister, tombstones, skulls, a skeleton, and the head of a zombie horse I also received from The Home Depot a few years back.

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

This is specifically where I wanted all of the Halloween decor to shine! I set up a little graveyard area and used the Halloween decor as props to use. Everyone was thoroughly entertained by the creepy sisters, especially.

The Final Reveal

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

The final look of the space was magical, especially at night. The soft light from the curtain lights coupled with the dark colors, and Halloween decor made the space just gorgeous.

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

How to throw an outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party

I hope you’re inspired to decorate your space – whether indoors or outdoors for Halloween! Check out my YouTube channel if you’re interested in seeing videos of  how the products look and sound on camera!

The post How to Throw an Outdoor “Mask-querade” Halloween Party appeared first on The Home Depot Blog.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

Ghouls and goblins may dominate the Halloween scene, but a giant dragon is sure to also delight and fright. Scott Stoll of Stolloween is back with another unique project for The Home Depot’s Halloween Style Challenge. This time, he’s sharing how to create a haunted mine dragon lair. Enter if you dare!

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

In the small town that I grew up in there is a local legend that is passed from generation to generation. The story revolves around a very wealthy man known only as “old man Grafton.”

Grafton trusted no one except his faithful pony that hauled gold from the mine and his cat named Mr. Sparkles who was said to have the ability to sniff out gold a mile away.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

Every night Grafton and his small mine crew would come to town, spend a few hours at the local tavern, raise a little ruckus then be on their way.

One day they suddenly stopped coming into town. After a few weeks the local towns people started to wonder what became of Grafton and his crew. Several expeditions ventured into the dark forest in search of the mine, some never returned.

Later that year on All Hallow’s Eve, a man frantically burst into the tavern screaming a tale of finding Grafton’s mine and how it was home to a gigantic fire breathing dragon. The fact that the man’s clothes were severely scorched would seem to support his tale. Sadly the man died the next morning and the mine remained a mystery.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

To this day it is believed there is still a lost gold mine in the dark woods of northern Michigan, and on Halloween night, if you listen very closely, you will hear the roar of the giant beast echoing across the land.

If you have not heard this legend don’t feel bad because I just made it up.

This year The Home Depot asked me to incorporate a dragon, pony skeleton, and cat skeleton into a spooky scene for the 2020 Halloween Style Challenge and I thought it would be fun to create the legend of old man Grafton.

Challenge accepted.

Developing The Concept

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

When I found out what Halloween products The Home Depot was sending, I developed a back story and challenged myself to turn our garage into a haunted mine shaft/dragon lair.

The mine shaft would depend on the forced perspective technique, an optical illusion to make objects appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller than they actually are.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

In addition to the dragon, pony and cat, I visited homedepot.com and ordered some skeletons and barrel planters of different sizes, as well as lanterns, a fog machine, builder’s paper, paint and vinyl plank flooring. The Haunted Mine Dragon Lair theme would nicely support the variety of different products.

Creating The Design

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

Armed with paper and pencil I drafted concept sketches to give me an idea of what I would need to create the illusion of our garage being the entrance to a lost gold mine.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

To ensure the effect would work, I made a small prototype of how I was going to approach the project. The miniature version proved that the effect would work and then it was time to build.

Shopping For Products

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

Most of the products were delivered to our house or local store very quickly, making the whole process very easy.

Building The Backdrops

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

The mine shaft forced perspective illusion was achieved by making five different backdrops. Each consecutive backdrop would be 50 percent smaller than the previous.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

Our garage door entrance is 7 feet high by 10 feet wide, which meant that the first backdrop would have to be that large.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

The backdrops were made using builder’s paper, a heavy brown craft paper used to cover floors and such when painting. The builder’s paper was glued together to get the needed size. Then I carefully crumpled the paper to give it a very stone-like texture.

The texture was emphasized by spraying flat black spray paint at a 45 degree angle which added a nice shadow effect.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

Next, the mine shaft support beams were made by simply gluing vinyl plank flooring to the paper backdrop. Due to the size of the first two backdrops, wood boards were attached to the back of the backside. Adding structural support.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

The second backdrop was created in the same method, only 50 percent smaller. Each backdrop was hung from the garage door rails using wire and clamps.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

Finally, a floor to the mine shaft was made from more of the builder’s paper. Crumpled and painted using the same techniques.

Designing The Display

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

Setting up the finished display was pretty simple. After the backdrops were hung and properly aligned, a variety of different scale props were added to reinforce the optical illusion.

The first backdrop featured some 5 feet tall skeletons and the second backdrop used 3 feet tall skeletons. Barrels of different sizes were used in the same manner.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

The last three backdrops were much smaller. So I drew some skeletons and barrels that were appropriate for the scale and attached them to the backdrops.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

The barrels were created by duct taping two barrel style planters together, a simple and economical means to make barrels.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

The dragon took center stage in front and the 5-foot skeletons, pony and cat took their positions.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

The entrance was accessorized with some cool Halloween themed lanterns and black plastic chains. Antique tools and crates finished off the scene nicely, giving the space a rustic mine shaft type of vibe.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

The Legend Continues

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

During daylight hours the scene was very fun and convincing. The 3-dimensional aspect of the forced perspective mine shaft tricked your brain into believing that the tunnel extends hundreds of feet into the distance.

Once the sun goes down the scene becomes magical. The dragon was lit with a blacklight spotlight and the remainder of the scene lit with red LED floodlights and yellow bug light bulbs.

The dragon performance is sure to delight the trick or treaters that dare to visit, animated mouth, snarling audio, glowing eyes and great plumes of “smoke” using The Home Depot 400-watt metal fog machine, Fog Liquid and Fog Hose Accessory Kit.

Haunted Mine Dragon Lair Scene

One of the cool things is that the fog spewing from the dragon’s mouth picks up the red and yellow light which makes it look like fire.

This was a fun and challenging project. It really proves that The Home Depot has everything you need to decorate your home for Halloween.

Wishing you and yours a fun and safe Halloween!

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