Concrete Lighted Step Spook—madebybarb Feature3

Concrete Lighted Step-Spook

This warm weather lately has let me squeeze in one last concrete project; a Concrete Lighted Step-Spook using fabric draping. It opens a whole new dimension to this art-form. I also like to keep things manageable and somewhat portable so this little fellow can sit on your step and scare the bad ghosts away…

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This is extremely low cost. Why throw it away when you can reuse it?!

Materials for the Concrete Lighted Step-Spook:

  • a large 2 litre plastic pop bottle (sealed and full of water)
  • Duct tape or packing tape
  • scissors
  • approximate 6″ sponge ball (dollar store)
  • paint mix stick
  • styrofoam meat tray
  • 2 small baby food jars
  • 2 longer thin juice jars
  • plastic sheeting or bags
  • fabric that will absorb concrete (towel or fleece)
  • Portland Cement
  • water, mixing container/utensil
  • cheap acrylic paint
  • basic flat paint brush
  • battery or solar powered light(s)

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I substituted this fleece for the terry towel. I like the strength that polyester has and it has so much fuzziness to hold the concrete in the fibers.

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The structure:

Time to put his body together. Position the sponge ball to the front of the bottle neck. Tape it up the back and around the front. This type of ball ensures that there won’t be any deflating or bursting. I really HATE when a ballon covered in concrete bursts! Choose one that is soft enough to cut up later. (ie, cheap dollar store)

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Secure around the ‘head’ from the back.

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The shoulders seemed too wide so I cut the paint stir stick a couple inches shorter.

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It doesn’t need to be perfect, just shorter.

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The small baby-food jars are meant to be the shoulders. Test how the proportion is.

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Tape the jars on across the back. He’s taking shape quite nicely… For the upper legs/ thighs I used longer jars and a styrofoam meat tray to have something to anchor to that is easily cut.

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To make it a bit more realistic I propped one leg up a bit with some plastic bag.

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Secure the legs to the tray. The bottle has a fair bit of weight so it will stand on its own pretty well.

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Look at him from all the directions to imagine his proportions.

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Good job! Minimal expense. The flaps were an attempt to make hands, but could be eliminated.

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Concrete Draping:

Now it’s time to go outside since it may get a bit messier…  Cover him in some plastic sheeting or bags.

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Make sure the fabric is right with a dry fit. I used 3 pieces of fabric. One for the hood (about 14″ x 10″) legs (about 14 ” x 14″) jacket (16″ wide x 14″ tall) It is very forgivable so a bit larger won’t matter. Different fabric may need more for more draping as well. You want something where the cement can get into the fibres.

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Put a couple scoops of portland cement in a bucket and slowly add water. Add a couple squirts of acrylic paint (I used white) but you could use whatever colour you prefer. Acrylic provides a binder for the concrete and has been known to add strength.

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Mix it until its like a milkshake thickness. Make sure there are no lumps.

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Put the hood fabric in the bucket first and knead it so that the cement gets into the fibres. It will take a fair amount of squishing. If it gets too dry add a touch of water. The fabric tends to suck the moisture out of the mix.

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Plop it over the head and adjust the draping.

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Do the same with the ‘pants’ and tuck at the sides. Make sure the pieces are well saturated.

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Lastly the jacket goes on. Work it over the shoulders and around the front working the folds evenly. Tuck the ends on the ‘lap’ where the hands would be.

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Amazing how easily it comes together. You can fuss wit the draping as much as you want.

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The fuzziness of this fabric made it very rough. Very ‘mud-monster-like’! If you like it smoother you can brush down the texture. Once you are happy, give him a chance to rest and cure. Depending on the weather and temperature it could take 24 to 72 hours. I covered mine since it was quite cold here. You don’t want to rush it.

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Hollow Out:

Finally… more fun. Now it’s time to pull the ‘guts’ out! Make sure this concrete step spook is sturdy and set enough and then flip him on his back. I left the front very open so that I could pull out the structure. I cut(stabbed) the bottle to empty it and started to disassemble the inside.

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Cut the ball into wedges to pull out carefully. Cut at the tape, squish the bottle and twist out. Pull meat tray from the bottom.

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Pull out his head… (hehehe)

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There you go! He’s now body-less; a true SPOOK, a concrete lighted Step Spook!

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Finishing touches:

You could be happily done or if you are like me, want to perfect the texture…. Mix up a bit of cement slurry with some acrylic paint and water.

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I want this to last for years and this coating will reinforce any parts that are a bit ‘soft’.

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Brush across the bumps and they will become filled with the cement.

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It will get smoother and stronger.

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There’s something oddly therapeutic about this… hmmm.

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Wowsa, I’m impressed how much personality he has.

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He sits nicely on the step as he was cast there. His weight keeps him sitting quite well.

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To add light I just added a set of battery operated lights into the open body cavity. You could run a small light cord if that is close by or there is much room in there to possibly even add a candle when supervised.

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I like the fact that he is portable and can sit anywhere. He weighs about 8 pounds I think.

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Oh he is so spooky! And he will be able to withstand all the elements to protect your place year round!

barbmaker

I'm an artist & I make things... all kinds of things.

This Post Has 15 Comments
  1. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is wonderful, as well as the content!

  2. Greetings I am so grateful I found your website, I really found you by error, while I was searching on Aol for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a marvelous post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the awesome job.

  3. I absolutely love this little guy! If it wasn’t 20 degrees and snowing out I would make him now. He is perfect. Thanks for such good instructions

    1. Doesn’t winter mess up the ‘concreting’?! It was almost too late when I made him. Note to self; next year start earlier! Maybe even some Christmas figures, hmmmm….

  4. Absolutely love this. Halloween is becoming more and more popular in the UK so will definitely be giving this one a try

  5. Barb this is amazing! You’re such a creative artist! I absolutely love it as I’m obsessed with all things Halloween. Thanks for taking the time to publish this tutorial. 🙂

    1. Oh, you are too kind! I enjoy making things, especially out of castoffs. I must admit, this little fellow makes me smile even when he’s under the snow. More concrete projects to come…

    1. It is so much fun! There are ‘rapidset’ concrete mixes that set in an hour as well. But they have a very short working time of barely 10 minutes. I’m always in a hurry… ‘Would love to see how it turns out!

  6. I stumbled upon your pages quite by accident……love your work.

    This character is now on my ‘to do list’ I think he’s amazing….like some forest dweller from a fantasy novel. I can think of many places for him in my garden. Thank you for sharing your techniques. It is most generous.

    1. Oh, thanks! Yes he makes me smile when ever I see him sitting out on his rock in all sorts of weather! He was also a hit when I had him in a gallery for exhibition. I’d love to see yours when done!

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