Written by 12:25 am Movie Props

Make the Nightmare on Elm Street House out of Paper Mache

If you listen very closely, you’ll hear the sound of Dokken playing Dream Warriors in the background. Yes, that’s right geekies. I’ve been wanting to do this one for a while and I figured, Halloween is the perfect excuse for some new décor!

Today we’re making the paper mache Freddy house from Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

It’s so deliciously creepy looking, and with some RGB LED lights rotating through the rainbow on the inside, let’s just say it’s ripe for nightmare material – enjoy!

The Plans?

As I’m too lazy to draw up plans for this, here are some pics of the house next to a tape measure! https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ar0yMiYqGfNFg4NotgPldtP4aspbLw?e=49pach

Materials

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  • Cardboard Box
  • Newspaper
  • Popsicle Sticks (https://amzn.to/2ELjXJg)
  • Elmers Glue (https://amzn.to/3kX2xsQ)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Wax Paper
  • Vallejo Black Surface Primer (https://amzn.to/2EFSQ2f)
  • Tamiya Flat White (https://amzn.to/3l1FwoF)
  • Tamiya Flat Red (https://amzn.to/3jdoNhy)
  • Tamiya Park Green (https://amzn.to/36d8uh2)
  • ½” Pipe (or tube of some sort)
  • Color Changing Battery Powered LED Light (https://amzn.to/3jczsc5) – this is not the one I used, I had an old LED light laying around that I repurposed for this project.

Tools

The Measurements

The screen cap shows that both sides of the house use full length popsicle sticks, so this made my job very easy. What was difficult was finding popsicle sticks that looked like what I saw on screen!

I picked up a couple of boxes from my local craft store. Come to find out, there’s a standard size of popsicle sticks and that’s 4.5”. That was way too tiny. After some Amazoning, I found 5.5″ x 0.39″ popsicle sticks. These were longer but the same width. To me they were perfect!
With popsicles in hand I calculated about 3.5″ for the door and 0.195″ for the edge of the house. That brought me to approximately 14.765″ (rounding up to 15″ for the first-floor piece.

For the second-floor, and roofline, I went 15.5″ (to give a .25″ overhang on both sides. The height I just calculated to be the length of the popsicle sticks (specifically 5.4375″).

Then for the sides of the house, which remind me of a very demonic looking face… I created a pattern on rosin paper by eyeballing the angles, for one half of the house. Folded the paper in half, and then cut it out, creating a full-size pattern. Eventually I may digitize that, I just need to figure out a good program to lay the patterns out in. Any suggestions?

After I had my pattern on paper, I transferred it to a piece of cardboard then cut it out.

Paper Mache

I went with an Elmer’s glue recipe because I didn’t want to run the risk of mold or rot in a flour-based glue. Probably completely unfounded concerns but I want to make sure that this will last awhile.

Here’s the recipe I used:

  • 1 Cup Glue
  • ¾ Cup Warm Water
  • 1 tbsp salt (no idea why, that’s what the recipe had and who am I to question instructions I find on the internet?)

After stirring it all up to the consistency of whole milk, I just proceeded as normal. Tear the newspaper, dip into the glue, remove the excess, place on the cardboard, repeat.

Also, be prepared for lots of glue pools on your work surface so be sure to cover your table with paper or, even better, wax paper.

Painting & Gluing

There’s lots of painting on this one, but it’s all easy stuff.

First,

The House

You lose a bit of the texture and muting that you get with a flour based glue, so I lightly sprayed Tamiya Flat White over the whole house to mute the newspaper colors a bit.

The Clapboards and Roof Shingles

I first primed all my popsicle sticks with Vallejo Black, and then top coated with Tamiya Flat White for the clapboards, and Tamiya Park Green for the roof. I liked using the airbrush for this because you can really control the density of the paint, making the black primer stand out in some spots but not in others, to make a really nice weathered look.

The Window Boards

This was fun. Vallejo Black primer, then washed down and scrubbed with a wire brush to really weather it up. I then cut the sticks down to ragged pieces.

The Door

Just Tamiya Flat Red.

Once all the paint was dry, I just glued all the sticks on with Elmers, following the screen shots I took from the film.

The Columns and Overhang

The overhang was a little tough. I had a piece of styrene, so I cut it to size, and then rounded it a tad. The overhang isn’t a true arch, it’s pretty slight actually.

Once I got the shape I was looking for, I hot glued the styrene to the house, and then hot glued on the green shingles onto that.

The columns I over engineered a bit. I used ½” copper pipe, cut to fit the space. I then paper mached over the columns. In hindsight, I could have just rolled up some paper, taped it, and then paper mached that. Ah well.

Lighting

Here’s where it comes to life.

I took some wax paper and hot glued it around the windows to help diffuse the light.

I then found a color changing LED light that I had laying around. I just popped it inside the house and voila! Creepy lights!!

And that’s it. This project took only a few days and most of that was spent drying.

Leave me a comment below if you decide to tackle this project, I’d love to see how it comes out!

Sweet dreams,

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Tags: , , , Last modified: September 2, 2022
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