Life By The Seat Of My Pants

Posts Tagged ‘prop

I am in Halloween costume HELL! I don’t know if you have been following the drama with me on Facebook or not, but this year’s Halloween costumes are are by FAR the biggest, stupidest, most elaborate fucking things I have EVER undertaken!!!! Every single day I ask myself : “WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING???!!!!”

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I am now on my FIFTH attempt at making thse damn costumes, and it’s not looking good. I have tried four other techniques and all of them were utter disasters. I have decided to try and carve the base for our masks our of styrofoam and this fucking Styrofoam has become the BANE of my existence!!!!!!!

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I am working with 4 inch thick pieces of styrofoam and I have FOUR pieces of it glued together. I have been hacking away at it with a kitchen knife because the $20 piece of shit Styro Cutter Plus I bought from Michael’s SUCKS ASS!!! I broke down yesterday and bought a Hot Knife from Harbor Freight and I am praying to the Halloween Gods that it does the job. If not, I SWEAR we are going as ghosts!!!!!

*End rant*

~~~One quick note before we get to Thrift Shop Thursday – I have noticed that some of my blog posts have the WRONG video content and I have no idea why. If you go to an older blog post and the video does not match the project, you can always find the correct video on my YouTube Channel. I apologize for any confusion and I will be working on getting it corrected. ~~~
On to happier news – the thrift store has FINALLY put out Halloween decorations and I am sooo excited! I went a little crazy this week and bought several items for my collection of Halloween goodies. Come along with my on my trip to the Thrift Store and see what I got 😀


To order a Hocus Pocus Spell Book Replica, please email me at Thank you!


Hocus Pocus is one of my all time FAVORTIE movies! We watch it every Halloween without fail and someday I WILL make one of those witch costumes.

Christopher and I decided to watch Hocus Pocus last week and I made the offhand comment that we should make Book. Before I had even finished the sentence, technique ideas flooded my brain and I exclaimed “We should make BOOK!!!!”

So… we did!

You can view the video with a full picture tutorial below.

Thank the Spirits for HDTV and a pause button! I have scrutinized this book for days and tried to get every detail as close as I possibly could.

I found the perfect book to alter at my local thrift store. I thinned some of the pages and hollowed the middle of the book.

Next I started sculpting. I made the first knotted snake on a base using polymer clay. I started making the second snake but it was not tuning out as good as the first, so after some mental debating, I decided it would be much better to have a mold. I mixed up some Amazing Mold Putty® and created a mold for my knotted snakes. Since Amazing Mold Putty is oven safe, I was able to fire my polymer clay right in the mold which helped a lot! I made the two long snakes and the basic eyeball shape, also using polymer clay then fired them all in the oven for about an hour.

While the snakes were baking, I started working on the spine of the book. I sculpted the fingers with polymer clay, then I debated on how to fire them. If I pulled them off of the book, I risked ruining the shape and fit. If I left them on the book, I risked setting my house on fire. I decided a more precise replica was worth the risk, do after much dowsing with water, I put the book in the oven.

The original Book has an intricate clasp, with a circlet around the eyeball on the front, an animal claw on the back and a braided piece connecting them in the middle. I needed the clasp to be sturdy and hold up to regular wear and tear, so back to the polymer clay I went. I created the circlet and added a gem on the end. I had to make sure if fit exactly around the eye, yet still leave room for the stitches. Once that was finished, I sculpted the animal claw for the back, again leaving room for the stitches. I added tiny hinges to each piece, and then created the connecting braid to fit. All of the pieces were fired then painted with a coat of black, then layers of metallic silver to create the look of aged metal.

The next step was adding the stitches. I decided to use Creative Paperclay® instead of polymer for the stitches because I really didn’t want to have to bake the book two more times. I added Paperclay logs, and then sculpted the cuts and thread holes with a tool.

I painted the eyeball and attached it to the cover of the book, then using more Creative Paperclay® I sculpted the eye lids and creases of the eye.

I needed to create the look of skin, so I covered the entire book with layers of tissue paper until I reached the desired look. Next came three coats of paint in flesh tones and titan buff, and that was just the under painting!

I still needed to darken and age the book, so I created several different washes of brown paint and just layered it on until I was happy with the color and look of the book.

While the cover was drying, I painted all of the large pieces, first with a coat of black, then layers of metallic silver to match the clasp. I made the base plates for the long snakes by embossing chipboard, then painting them to match the other pieces.

The stitching was the trickiest part for me because no matter what thread I used, nothing looked right and everything kept raveling. It wasn’t until I tried using help cord that I got the look I wanted. I spent four and a half hours cutting and gluing each individual thread on the book.

Once everything was set and dry, I glued all of the large pieces to the book using E-6000. I let it set for a full 24 hours before moving on to the final step.

For the finishing touch, I added actual spells from the movie to the front of the book. I printed my pages, soaked them in a tea bath for aging, and then glued them in using gel medium. I had left a few original book pages in the front of the book, so I glued one spell page to the front and back of each of those pages.

And so, after five days of pretty steady work, that is how BoooOOOooook came to life  😀

I love, love, LOVE the way Book turned out and I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. You can see more photos in the video slideshow below.  Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section.

I have decided to make and sell these replicas, as well as the eyeballs, so if you are interested in purchasing one, feel free to email me at