There are a million and one wonderful tutorials on how to build a fence out there, so I’m not going to go into specifics here… just show a few pictures, and a couple of thoughts about it all. (Wish I had saved my links, so I could post some of those excellent tutorials, but my Bookmarked “Halloween” folder was getting HEAVY, so I usually delete subfolders when I complete a project… but if you are still looking for inspiration, a good place to start is one of the Monster Link pages I posted a few days ago)
Click any picture for a larger view.
- Drill Press. Can’t stress it enough. Borrow from your friends or relatives if you have to… but a large fence will need a lot of 1x2 supports (ours had 2 per section) and it made it go SO much faster.
- Cheap spray paint – I would like to outlaw its presence. Bought 12 cans for a dollar each at Lowes and painted all of about 3 sections with it, it took forever, and it looked bad. For $3.50, I bought a larger can of Rustoluem that went on smoother, faster, and covered SO much more than the cheap stuff. Worth the money here.
- I would never use spray paint again without one of these things its the little black handle that makes a paint can into a paint sprayer. I got a nice one at Lowe’s with a rubberized comfort grip for about six bucks.
- For wonderful plastic finials at a good price, try Decorative Iron, aka Steel Supply. They have a PLASTIC section, with various styles and sizes.
- If your husband tells you the correct finial to buy, which will fit your 1/2” round PVC pipe, and you order the wrong size anyway, with only 6 weeks left til Halloween (and from a Company located in Houston Texas, who the day after your package arrived Temporarily Closed due to HURRICANE damage…) well, make him really good dinners for about a week or two, because he’s going to have to cut a million little pieces from long square dowel rods, then he is going to have to whittle enough off the ends to fit into your “wrong sized” finials, and… if he is a good enough man not to yell at you for it, well… he DESERVES good dinners for a while. (I love my husband!)
- But on the bright side, the finials then fit like a CHARM, and didn’t move an inch – we didn’t have to glue or anything… making them interchangeable with another style later. But I still wouldn't recommend it… I spent a lot of time kissing up ;)
- After deciding on a fence style, Jayson cut enough PVC and 1x2s to make one section of fence… to make sure it was going to work, and look good. Once happy, he cut ALL the PVC and all the 1x2s to the proper measurements at one time, and I then painted them in assembly style fashion, before they were constructed. So when it was time to install the fence in the yard, and when the same husband realizes that the first section is unpainted… when he says “Don’t worry, I will paint it tomorrow, right before I put it up” and you say “Ok”, glad that one more thing is off your plate…. and then you go out to get the mail the next day to discover THIS smack dab in the middle of your yard…. Well, just remember that he just got finished whittling 149 2” wooden dowels, and…. tell him how nice the fence looks.
- Several of the tutorials we read said to drive a piece of rebar into the ground to fit over appx every other pvc “picket”, for stability. This was towards the end of our 2008 prop making journey, and the end of our budget as well, unfortunately. We decided that we would have to make do with 2 pieces per section, putting some at the end pieces and some in the middle… just trying to even it out. It was a bit wobbly and uneven in places, but in a pinch, I could convince myself it made the fence look older :)
- Had a couple of cheesy skull wands laying around, and tried one at each corner of the entrance, but decided we didn’t like it and put the finial back on. Maybe if I had aged it to make it look less “Party City” or something, it would have worked, but for some reason I just really wanted to go with OLD, and realism… and the skulls just didn’t hit me right.
For This Year:
- Going to make more sections to completely fence off both sides of the yard… Jayson doesn’t want to spend this year freaking out when people walk THROUGH the yard.
- Rust that fence! This year I only had time for flat black – and really, it looks fine… but it looks new. I found a fence page at HectorTurner.com that made me realize just how good it looks rusted.
- Columns. We have a small yard, but the fence is just really missing something. There are numerous column tutorials out there, and Jayson and I are still getting ideas, and drawing away… deciding on which style we like better… foam stone, plywood stucco look, ahh.. the possibilities are endless. Mainly I think we should make it sort of generic, so that it will fit with anything from a Pirate haunt, to Haunted Mansion kinda theme, Sleepy Hollow, or whatever.
All in all, the fence was not cheap, by the time all the materials were purchased.. but it is one of those items that really makes a difference, and takes you to the next level.
(Jayson wishes we could keep it up all year, HAHA)