Halloween Countdown: creepy projects for crafters & hobbyists. (Monster models, knitting, cross stitch, paper cutting & more.)Posted: August 22, 2014
Today, August 22nd, is just 10 Fridays before Halloween.
Show your love of Halloween and drive your friends crazy by sharing the above image on your social media sites this week.
The signs of the season are starting to appear! Yesterday, I noticed a Halloween issue of a women’s magazine on a grocery store rack and today I bought a bag of prominently displayed candy corn at Target 🙂
I stayed up waaaay too late last night, updating this week’s countdown post. I got sucked into learning more about monster models in particular. There’s a whole new section about “Monster Scenes” and the controversy surrounding them when they were first released. (Hint: they were banned in the USA, due to their sexual and sadistic flare.)
I’ve added some fresh knitting & cross stitch patterns for the season. I’ve also double-checked all the existing links, and redirected or modified as necessary, so that all the information is accurate as of today.
to browse some options, or to be inspired to find a new hobby, or pick up one that you’ve set aside in the summer.
To see my overall plans for the 2014 season,
and to catch up with the countdown so far,
please visit The Halloween Countdown Homepage,
which is also freshly updated.
The polar vortices, repeatedly roaring down from the arctic, seem to be keeping us huddled under blankets on our sofas. Here at The Paranormalist, there’s been an uptick of hits on posts offering entertainment ideas for paranormal-type folks who can’t get outside to cryptid-hunt, UFO-watch, or graveyard-prowl.
Yesterday, I gave you the rundown on what’s happening on TV right now, and in coming weeks. Today, let me offer a few more suggestions.
WATCH A MOVIE:
The most popular post at the blog is: The 13 most haunting films, for ghost story lovers (and another 13+ worth watching.) I’m not surprised – it is a treasure trove of creepy ghost movies recommendations, thanks in large part to the fantastic comment thread, where folks have been chiming in with suggestions of their own.
If ghost stories aren’t the ideal movie entertainment for you, just pop over to the Courting Creepy section to find suggestions for scarier fare – films featuring writers or zombies. You can also shore up your knowledge of classic horror flicks or risk intensifying your cabin fever into full-blown insanity by exploring a selection of the best psychological horror films.
DO SOMETHING A BIT MORE ACTIVE:
If you’ve reached the point where you need to DO something other than sit passively on the couch, I’ve got a few options for you.
If you have access to a treadmill or indoor running track, check out Zombies, Run! a fitness app with a dark twist.
If all you’ve got is a cell phone (and a bored friend or two who also have cells,) look into the sci-fi techno-babble game Spaceteam.
If you want to have something to show for your isolation, review Halloween hobbies: monster models, knitting, cross stitch, paper cutting and more. Despite the Halloween-theme of the original post, there’s plenty of ideas there that can amuse a winter-trapped horror / paranormal fan.
CURRENTLY BEING REVISED AND UPDATED FOR THE 2015 SEASON
It’s high August. Here in Minnesota, we’re having our dog days of summer. Our temperatures are ranging from the mid-70s at midnight to the high-90s at noon. It’s hot. It’s thick. It’s muggy. Our air conditioners are running overtime. And, mostly, we just want to stay inside and be cool.
It’s the perfect week to pick up a new horror-friendly hobby or start a new creepy craft piece. There’s time to finish the work before Halloween, and the unstable weather of late summer and early autumn can provide lots of opportunities to settle in with a handcraft and a great scary movie. (Maybe an iconic old horror film, or one about Halloween or ghosts?)
A little later in the countdown, I’ll try to gather up some links and suggestions for larger projects to turn a home and yard into an appropriately spooky venue for Halloween. The following list is for smaller things, for hobbies that can be indulged year-round, and that can fit into the idle edges of the busy back-to-school, end-of-summer days.
NOTE: All photographs and images below are used for the sole purpose of referring readers to the original website that offers the pictured merchandise or content, At posting, all links are current and active. If a link fails to direct properly, it is due to a change by the vendor which is out of my control. I have NOT made the following projects, so I cannot guarantee that patterns are correct.
I do NOT need a new hobby. That said, I am lusting after a monster model kit or two. Michael Thomas-Knight, over at Parlor of Horror, hooked me on this idea a while back, with his post: Aurora Monster Models and Prehistoric Scenes Kits. Ever since, I’ve been resisting the pull of these beauties. What saves me is the fact that I really just want to HAVE the models, not so much spend the time MAKING them. (I did ask Ogre last night if he missed model making. Perhaps there is a trip to a hobby store in my near future.)
NOTE: It appears that any given model might be available from any number of sources. I’ve linked to the ones I found, but if the suggested site goes out of stock, just google the proper name of the creature and see what comes up. Click around a little to find your favorite monster – many different designs are available. Be careful, though. Some listings are for reproduction boxes only. Others are for more expensive models in vinyl or resin. Some models might be available at your local hobby store. I’ve gathered a selection that shows a cross-section of the available plastic (styrene) model kits.
MONSTER SCENES SNAP-TOGETHER MODELS
If even the level 2 kits I’ve spotlighted above are a little too intimidating, there is another option. Monster Scenes models are snap-together, rather than glue-dependent. The scale of these models is 1/13, and each kit is intended to work with all the other kits in the collection.
SEX & SADISM IN A KIT
Yes. That does mean “The Victim” fits inside “The Hanging Cage” … and in every other torture and restraint device in the dungeon diorama pieces.
The Monster Scenes line was created by Aurora, who had enjoyed massive success in the 60s, with classic Universal Monsters models. In the early 70s, they introduced this set, which quickly attracted the ire of religious and feminist groups. (And probably most parents.) Remember, the suggested age on these “toys” was 10 and up.
You can see how the pieces can be used to create multiple scenes in the following video, and get a glimpse of some additional pieces that may be available if you’re good with a search engine.
Get The Victim, The Hanging Cage & Gruesome Goodies at Moebius Models. ($25 – $30 each.) Try MegaHobby for: The Feral Cat, Sabre Tooth Rabbit, The Skeleton. Amazon is another resource which currently stocks The Pendulum, and Dr. Deadly himself.
Having never been a model builder, I had to do some poking around to even begin to understand what to do.
I found this:
A beginner’s guide to making plastic models. (This is a general site, that talks about model vehicles,)
How to Make (Plastic) Monster Models by Dex Robinson. Where Dex shows various stages in the process resulting in this masterpiece:
— just to get an idea of how expensive (outside of the cost of the models themselves) this hobby is.
Megahobby Modelers Pack Set 4
“Great for getting started in Modeling”
You get the Testors Hobby Knife, Liquid cement with applicator, Special Value paint set and Testors sandpaper.
Approximate Price: $19.79
Megahobby Tool Pack
This set includes Testors liquid cement, a three-pack of fine sable paint brushes, a Model Expo sprue cutter, a Testors assorted sand paper pack with three different grits, and a Testors standard hobby knife.
Approximate price: $22.99 0r, if you want a Mega Hobby tee, $29.99.
I know, of course, that the actual supplies to complete a model would be far higher.
Especially because, of course, I want to do this:
FREE HALLOWEEN KNITTING PATTERNS:
New in 2015:
- Sam Haim by Zombie Kitten
- Bokaclava by Anne-Marie Dunbar (Ravelry)
- Knitted pumpkin by – she has a crocheted version here too.
- Boo! Ghost Knitting Pattern by Knitted Toy Box
- Halloween Pattern Fair Isle Scarf By: siouxsiestitches.com
- Read more at http://www.allfreeknitting.com/Halloween-Knits/Halloween-Pattern-Fair-Isle-Scarf#ptcDAQihd4sPxFFK.99
From years past, but checked for availability:
- Classic Zombie Doll Knitting Pattern from CraftFoxes
Knitted Halloween Witch from Craftbits
Halloween Candy Bag from Learn Knitting Stitches
Hallowig from Knitty
Happy Halloween Mitts from Home Makers Insanity
Jakyll & Hide from Knitty
Lacy Jack-o-Lantern Dishcloth from Coats
Boo the Ghost & Pumpkin
Witch in Flight Dishcloth from Wicket Stitch
Witch’s Hat Washcloth by Colour it Green
Skull and Crossbones Lace Pattern by Knitting-and.com
- Halloween Ghosties by Jean Green Howe
I never learned to crochet, but there are some great free patterns out there. Google away 😀
FREE GENERAL CRAFTS INSTRUCTIONS:
Here’s a particularly cool site for gothic, creepy, pagan, horror-based crafts from all disciplines. I’ve picked out three, but click around, especially if you don’t do any of the crafts I’ve spotlighted in this post.
FREE CROSS STITCH PATTERNS:
Haunted House by FreePatterns.com (You may have to register at this site – I already was.)
Halloween Friends by Kreinik
Happy Halloween by Kreinik
Halloween Cats by Krienik
11 little embellishment patterns from HobbyLoco.com
FREE PAPER CUTTING / SCHERENSCHNITTE INSTRUCTIONS & PATTERNS:
First, I’d love to introduce you to Tong, who has a bunch of patterns and instructional videos available a www.tongs-paper-cutting.com Links to her Halloween-specific work can be found here: Halloween Cutting Patterns. I love watching and listening to her videos – they are just deeply relaxing. Here’s an example, in which she cuts a pumpkin:
Here are a couple of downloadable templates, by Scherenschnitte: Cindy Ferguson, for these designs:
This week is a great time to enjoy the heat of summer in the days, and anticipate the cool of autumn in the nights. In the day, when it’s not too blazing, spend time on or in the water if you can. In the evening, grill, or enjoy a bonfire.
We’ve just passed the Green Corn (Sturgeon, Grain) full moon, but it’s still hanging large in the sky. Due to atmospheric conditions common to August nights, it often appears reddish. When it wanes and waxes twice more, we’ll be getting very close to Halloween.