Have you ever wanted to own a haunted house or abandoned asylum, but just don’t have the resources? Do you crave the smell of craft glue and sharpies? Today, Dirgeling, is your day.
I am currently furnishing a witch’s cottage in 1:12 scale. A warning to the wise—making dollhouse miniatures will cast a spell on you! While searching the dark corners of the web for furniture ideas, I discovered a site called Haunted Dimensions. It features the work of Ray Keim, a multi-media artist and design wizard who makes props and models for Universal Studios and is a key member of their Halloween Horror Nights team. Out of the kindness of his dark heart, Keim has made paper model versions of his larger haunted house models freely available for download. Yes, you heard me. Free. All he asks is that you credit him and not repackage or sell his work. Other than that, you can craft to your heart’s delight!
Fancy a replica of the Norman Bates house from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic, Psycho?
Or the Haddonfield, Illinois home of Michael Myers from John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978)?
If you’re feeling elegant (and ambitious), you might consider Phantom Manor, a Victorian nightmare in paper and glue.
I chose to make a paper model of the Skoolhouse, which was a part of Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando (2008). Keim writes that it “stood at the entrance to a spectacular jack-o-lantern forest.” I’m all about that.
When you download and print the PDF from the site, you will get detailed instructions and the building pieces, ready to cut. All of the pieces are in living color, but in honor of DIRGE and my love of German Expressionism, I decided to print them in black and white on plain white cardstock. (You really can’t use regular paper for this project, or you’ll get drooping walls and a flaccid steeple. No one likes a flaccid steeple!)
For added dimension, I used a fine-tipped permanent black marker (sweet fumes!) and added detailed lines and shadows. I also used a black colored pencil for more subtle shading. It was incredibly relaxing. Before assembly, I also used a craft knife to cut out the little window panes.
Once your pieces are cut, follow the instructions and glue them together using tacky glue. Hot glue doesn’t seem to work very well because it adds too much bulk to seams with tight tolerances. Here is my little Skoolhouse awaiting its steeple.
After attaching the steeple, I got out the glue gun and went wild with miniature moss, which can be found in the floral section of most craft stores. I also added some pebbles near the foundation to give the structure a little weight, and a silver skull door knocker.
I also cut a little flap in the bottom of the house
to let in the demons so that I could put a battery operated tea light inside.
Because these wonderful models are tiny, you are going to want to make a bunch of them. Assembling the Skoolhouse was time consuming but extremely relaxing and rewarding. And now I want to make a bunch of pumpkins and fence posts and cauldrons out of polymer clay.
Miniatures are the devil!
If you are looking for other paper models to play with, check out RavensBlight, who has a whole page of haunted toys to cut and assemble.
I wish you wicked crafting. Don’t forget the moss!!