Thursday, May 23, 2013

Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero's Dog House Grave Stone Tutorial

This is a tutorial on how to make Zero's dog house from the movie Nightmare Before Christmas. In the movie, Zero is a ghost dog, so his home is, what else? A tomb stone in a grave yard! This is how I made it...





Supplies Needed:
                                                                                                         
Pink Foam Insulation - Home Depot
Caulk
Glue
Screws
Drill
Cardboard
Knife/Saw
Exacto Blade
Paint/Brushes

Approx. Cost: $15+

Time Invested: 4 Hours



Additional measurements and cutting visual aid:

Click to view enlarged image


(Description corresponds with picture tutorial above)

*1a. Step one is always look at a reference picture, get your scale, measurements & a plan.

1b. Cut two identical pieces of foam in the doghouse shape. This will give the dog house more depth by stacking the foam. You will cut the door  into the top piece, the second piece will only  show through the door cut out. Cut a Zero shaped head and cross bones from foam as well. Glue them together with caulk. Let it dry.

2. Cut cardboard to use for the roof. It should be slightly wider than the foam roof, and overhang ( like a real roof). Also use three cardboard strips to make the covering for the apex of the roof. Use screws and a drill to quickly and easily attach the cardboard to the foam roof.

3. There is also a 1" cardboard lip that runs the length of  the front edge of the roof (eaves). These were cut, dry fit, trimmed, and glued into place.

4. Use an Exacto blade and carve the name "ZERO" over the door opening.

5. Make roof shingles. To make shingles, cut a long strip off of the pink foam board about 2.5/3" wide.
Round two edges of the strip with a knife and sand them smooth,  making a horse shoe/domed strip. Now slice thin pieces off ( like slicing a loaf of bread). Repeat until you have enough shingles to cover the roof. Use a gob of caulk on each shingle and stick it too the cardboard roof. start at the bottom and overlap/stagger your way up the roof.  Use caulk to fill any holes or unwanted gaps that are visible.

6. Sand any imperfections on house with a fine sandpaper.

7. Patch any holes, imperfections, & seams in the foam with caulk

8. Cut a cross from foam, and sand it a little. Attach cross. You can use glue. I was able to screw upward through the roof overhang into the cross making it very sturdy.

9. Prime. I used flat grey interior wall paint that was in the garage.

10. -Paint black details ("ZERO" , door opening, Zero's eye sockets).
      -Paint roof with a wash of black paint and water ( may need two coats)
      -Using a dry brush technique, age and antique the rest of the dog house so it doesn't look so bright
      and new.

Comment if you have any questions... Good luck.
      



21 comments:

  1. looks fantastic! Do you know the brand of "Pink Foam"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I made a post all about this foam. Please view my other posts to view this information

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  2. Found it on you blog!!!

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  3. Would hot glue work in place of caulk?

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    Replies
    1. The foam melts with heat. In my experience the foam melt away in the hot glue sinks in creating holes. I would not recommend using it. However somebody had commented that they had success using a low-temperature glue gun. Honestly though it's just not the best choice. Please refer to my pink foam insulation blog post
      -K

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  4. I have a question. In your first pict of the tombstone, it looks shorter at the point and longer in other picts. did you do the point in 2 parts?

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    Replies
    1. Hey tawni! its just an optical allusion bc of the angle. It is the same length in all the pictures.
      -k

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  5. Hi there, What dimensions are your tomb stone? What brand/kind of caulk did you use? What kind of glue did you use? Did you use water repellant sealant on it? My congrats your tomb stone out great? Do you sell any pieces. I live in La Mirada, CA and would be interested in just zero's tombstone..... Thanks, Vlad........

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    Replies
    1. Hello Vlad, the tomb stone is about four feet tall, and twenty inches wide at the widest point. These measurements are approximate. I used the caulk itself as the glue to hold the two foam house pieces together, as well as all the shingles and the dog skull&crossbones. After I glued all the pieces together I used the caulk to fill in any seams or visible gaps and cracks. I bought my caulk at Home Depot. The brand is DAP and it was just the regular white typical caulking. You can weather proof your foam creations with "Drylok". Then paint on top of it. It is found at hardware stores. Thank you very much for your compliments ! My Zero tomb stone is not for sale at this time. Thank you for your interest. Please feel free to ask if you have any other questions.
      -K

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  6. Thank you So much, you were very helpful, I'll pick your brain once in a while if you don't mind. Thanks again for your advice and time.
    Vlad

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  7. You had mentioned in your supply list glue, what do you use it for and what brand may I ask???? Last did you free hand. Zero's skull and bones? Is the skull foot long and bones to???? Thanks again. Making it for my kids for next Halloween..... :)

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    Replies
    1. Glue was used in assembling the card board roof structure. Step # 3

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    2. I used wood glue and had to sit there holding it waiting for it to dry. I would have used HOT GLUE, but it was late at night and I was out of glue sticks!

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    3. blue prints have been posted here!

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  8. If I were to send you white construction paper 4' x 4', would you be able to see me a diagram or blue prints of the tomb stone with Zero's head and cross bones it old really help. My kids are counting on me and I don't want to screw up S "daddy is perfect and can do any thing''. I don't want to let them down and I want to make it perfectly. You understand. I'll pay you for your time and troubles. Once I have the template and measurements, the rest should be easier. Finally were Zero's. Skull and bones. Sculpted and free handed and his eyes scooped out and painted black or not scooped out at all. Sorry to put you thru this but my kids keep asking me to them one and I don't want to let them down, you understand. Thanks once again very kindly, Vlad, vilinsky88@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Vlad, I will email you re: blue prints

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  9. Apologize for the grammar it's 3:30am and I'm very tired. ; }

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  10. Kristie, You have an amazing blog! For Christmas, I decorate our yard in NBC. Here's a video of my latest pieces. I'm building 3 large Jacks in a box http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7xY81g48Vk

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    Replies
    1. Joseph, OMG... I watched your video. Your jack- in -the- box is amazing. It is great how it moves up and down. Very crafty. Thank you for sharing.
      -K

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  11. I love everything you have on here

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