September 20, 2016

Haunted Mansion

Hello everyone!

As the weather turns cooler and the leaves begin to change where I live, it's time to think about Halloween, and designing a new haunted house.

This year I was inspired by several Tim Holtz products – the 2016 8x8 paper stash, "Materialize", the "Rickety House" die, and the Halloween-themed Idea-ology products.

The "Rickety House" die was the jumping off point for my house design.  I took inspiration from the porches, the many windows and the roof design.  As is the case with most of my designs, this house is built around a secret compartment – but more on that part later.  The house is entirely made of chipboard and paper.

The house uses different types of lighting.  There are three LED tea lights – two in the dormer windows and one in the front entrance.  Windows on three sides of the house and the square tower are illuminated with strings of tiny LED lights.


We'll start our tour at the front entrance.

Here we have a grand staircase that leads to the front door.

Above the door is a round window illuminated by an LED tea light.

All of the windows are made from plastic tinted with alcohol inks, and have both cardstock and lightweight chipboard frames.

On the front of the Entrance gable I used a Tim Holtz Halloween token for the house number.

Behind the entrance there is a rectangular tower, with windows on each side.

The front side of the house has two long porches.

Access to the porch on each floor is by French doors. Lighting inside the house illuminates these doors (more on how the lighting is accomplished is in a section below).

Coming out of the main gable roof is one of the two dormers, with a light in the window.


The porches have bases of chipboard, balusters made of 1/8" dowel and railings of chipboard.

Turning to the left side of the house, we can see lights behind the windows towards the front of the house, and lights from the side of the bay window towards the back.

We'll come back to this side a little later to see the secrets inside.

On the back of the house there are bay windows on two stories with lights behind them.

The roof has the second dormer, also with lighting.

On the left we see the square tower which ascends three stories tall, topped with a mansard roof. 

There are two small porches on the back of the house and steps lead up to the back door on the first floor, where a tiny black cat is standing watch.

In the top window of the tower there is one of the two ghosts that haunt the mansion.

Turning to the right side of the house, we can again see the square tower on the right, with the other ghost in the bottom window.

There are two little porches on this side of the house as well.


On the left side of the house, there is a section of the building that pulls out.

Attached to the building unit is a shadow box filled with all sorts of Halloween-themed items.

Many are Tim Holtz Idea-ology products and the others are from my stash of Halloween items.


The square tower, as well as the front, left side and back of the house has window openings cut in the chipboard walls.

On the inside of these openings I used crumpled tracing paper to diffuse the lights.

Each string of tiny LED lights has 15 lights and they are placed behind the window openings; the tower has two sets of lights since it has so many large windows.

The controls for the front and back lights are hidden in the base of each dormer.

The dormers are only held in by gravity, and can be pulled out to access the light switch for the LED lights, as well as to turn on the LED tea light.

On the square tower, the roof has an opening to hold the light controls, and the roof is held on with a couple of magnets.

The LED tea light in the Entrance is reached by removing the Entrance roof, which is held in place by gravity and one magnet.


If you would like to build a Haunted Mansion of your own, the construction videos as well as templates and the Material & Cutting Guide will soon be available.  I'll post all that info as soon as editing is completed.


If you would like to take a 3D tour of the project, I've made a video which is linked below. In part of the video I've lowered the lights in my workroom so you can really see the effects of all the lighting.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing this project.
Thanks for visiting, and Happy Halloween !!


Judi Markel said...

Your house is amazing, I love it. Definitely would like to try this one. I love seeing all your projects.

Roxanne Pafundi said...

This is truly a great work of art/project! My witches hat off to you! so many areas of interest and I love that you figured out unique ways to light and access the lighting! Very very nice! What a great display piece for Halloween....even centerpiece of table! Absolutely Love it!

LindaFS said...

Fantazmo! As always the attention to detail is what makes your projects so extraordinary. The lighting is so cool -with the diifferent lights and the ghosts.Excellent dark shot shows the display possibilities -both day and night display. That is particularly nice for Halloween. Really like the jack-o-lantern and the cat and of course the "hidden" cupboard is full of wonderful surprises. I have to say that the doors and their entrance decorations are my favorites -the design and the choice of paper is super. Wonderful. Happy Halloween!

kizzy said...

Absolutely stunning!!! The interior is so cool too... Don't actually know what to comment on first, I love it all so much.