Halloween DIY – Faux Wrought Iron Fence

Halloween is right around the corner. My wife and daughter really have big plans this year for our Halloween decorations. They volunteered me to complete some woodworking projects to help with decorating their Hocus Pocus theme. Of course, I did as was told and got to work. There are three projects that I have completed and will be staging in the front yard either this weekend or the next. For each project, we will have a post on the BLOG, with details of the build, and a video on our YouTube channel demonstrating how it was built. Sorry, husbands, hopefully I’m not setting you up for a “honey do” as well!

The three projects include:

This BLOG post will focus on the faux Wrought Iron Cemetery Fence that I’ll build and use to surround the Halloween Coffin I built.

Cutting and Drilling the Boards

We need to cut the top and bottom boards, 1″ PVC and 1/2″ PVC to assemble the fence. To start off, go ahead and cut two 3′ sections of 1 1/2″ wide board.

Cutting the 1 1/2" boards for the upper and lower portion of the Halloween DIY faux wrought iron fence.

Clamp together the 2 x 3′ by 1 1/2″ boards so they site one over the other. At 2″ from both ends, drill a hole approximately 1 3/8 wide. This is to allow the 1″ tubing to be threaded through the boards. Next, mark you boards on top at 6″ intervals. Drill a 5/8″ hole at each 6″ interval to allow you to thread the 1/2″ tubing through.

Drilling the holes for the tubing to be threaded through the boards for the Halloween DIY faux wrought iron fence.
Cutting the holes in both top and bottom boards to allow tubing to be threaded through.
Drilling the holes for the tubing to be threaded through the top and bottom boards on the Halloween DIY faux wrought iron fence.
utting the holes in both top and bottom boards to allow tubing to be threaded through.

We need to go ahead and drill 1/4″ countersinks into the side of the boards adjacent to the center of the drilled holes where the PVC will be screwed in place.

Drilling the countersinks for the top and bottom board on the Halloween DIY faux wrought iron fence.
Drilling 1/4″ countersinks into top and bottom boards.
Drilling the countersinks on the 3' boards on the top and bottom of the  Halloween DIY faux wrought iron fence.
dDDrilling 1/4″ countersinks into top and bottom boards.

Cutting the PVC Tubing

We need to now cut 2 pieces of the 1″ PVC tubing at 42″ long. These will be the two end pieces.

Cutting the 1" PVC pipe for the side tubing.
Cutting the 2 x 46″ pieces of 1″ tubing.

Next, let’s cut the 5 pieces of 1/2″ tubing anywhere from 34″ to 38″. We want this to vary to give it a feel of being imperfect and old.

Cutting the 1/2" tubing used for the middle rails on the Halloween DIY faux wrought iron fence.
Cutting the 1/2″ PVC tubing for the inner rungs of the wrought iron fence.

Assembling the Fence

Lay the two 36″ boards out on the ground. Thread through the two 1″ PVC pieces through the holes at both ends. Mark 6″ from the end of both. Place the board at the mark and use screws to drill into wood board and PVC.

Screwing the 1" PVC pipe to the top and bottom boards.
Screwing in the 1″ end tubing pieces.

Next, thread the 5 x 1/2″ tubing pieces through the five holes in the wood boards and secure with a screw.

Screwing the 1/2" tubing to the top and bottom boards.
Screwing in the 1/2″ tubing pieces in a staggered and imperfect manner.
Screwing the 1/2" tubing to the top and bottom boards.
Screwing in the 1/2″ tubing pieces in a staggered and imperfect manner.
Completed assembly and awaiting black spray paint to finish.
Completed Assembly without Black Paint

Completed Assembly of Faux Wrought Iron Fence

Two 3' sections of Halloween DIY faux wrought iron fencing with one painted black and the other not yet.
Example of Completed and Not-painted Faux Wrought Iron Fence.
Faux Wrought Iron Fence

Halloween DIY – Faux Wrought Iron Cemetery Fence

This provides the materials and steps needed to construct a 3" long section of faux wrought iron fencing. We will be using this to surround our Halloween DIY coffin.
Prep Time 30 mins
Assembly and Paint 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins

Equipment

  • Cordless Drill
  • 1 3/8" Hole Saw or Drill bit
  • 5/8" Hole Saw or Drill bit
  • Combo or Miter Saw

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1" x 1.5" x 3'
  • 2 1" x 42" PVC tubing For end tubing
  • 5 1/2" x 34" to 38" For inner tubing
  • 1 Box 1 1/4" wood screws
  • 1 Can Paint, Black Spray
  • 2 2' rebar or other stake Used to put 1" PVC sides of fence on top of to hold fence in place.

Instructions
 

  • Cut 1 x 3" board in half at 36" long.
  • Cut 2 pieces of 1" PVC 42" long.
  • Cut 5 pieces of 1/2" anywhere between 34" and 38"
  • Take 1.5" boards 36" long and clamp together (one on top of the other).
  • At 2" from both ends, drill 1 3/8 or similar size hole through both clamped boards. This will allow the 1" tubing to be threaded through.
  • At every 6" interval, from the end, drill a 5/8" or similar size hole through both clamped boards. This will allow the 1/2" tubing to be threaded through.
  • Drill a 1/4" countersink on the side of each hole drilled into the boards to allow less crush when drilling in the screws to secure the PVC tubing.
  • Screw both 1" tubing pieces at both ends of the two boards.
  • Thread through the 1/2" tubing in the remaining 5 holes.
  • Screw all 5 x 1/2" tubing to the board but alternate the height so they are not even. Do this on both ends.
  • Spray paint black the entire faux wrought iron fence.
  • Hammer in rebar where you want to locate the fence. Place the 1" PVC over the hammered in rebar.
Keyword Cemetery, Craft, Decoration, DIY, Fence, Halloween, Holiday, PVC, Wood



I’ll make sure to post a picture of it in the front yard all staged out. This was a really fun DIY build and didn’t take too much effort to do. Take advantage of the time you can spend together with your family and make memories. As always, don’t forget to enjoy the simple life! Please let us know how you like this post or have suggestions on future posts.

Remember, if you can dream it, you can do it!

Check out the other Halloween DIY projects:

Please LIKE this post. If you have any COMMENTS or QUESTIONS, please post below. Please SUBSCRIBE to our BLOG for additional great content.

Halloween DIY – Jack-o-Lantern Light-up Box

Halloween is right around the corner. My wife and daughter really have big plans this year for our Halloween decorations. They volunteered me to complete some woodworking projects to help with decorating. Of course, I did as was told and got to work. There are three projects that I have completed and will be staging in the front yard either this weekend or the next. For each project, we will have a post on the BLOG, with details of the build, and a video on our YouTube channel demonstrating how it was built. Sorry, husbands, hopefully I’m not setting you up for a “honey do” as well!

The three projects include:

This BLOG post will focus on the Jack-o-Lantern Light-up box that I’ll build and put lights inside to show the scary face. The YouTube video covering the same is provided here.

Completed Jack-O-Lantern Light-up Boxes with lights on.
Completed Jack-O-Lantern Light-up Boxes with lights on.

Cutting the Wood

Proceed with marking and cutting all the wooden pieces needed for the assembly. Each box requires the following boards:

  • 2 – 10″ by 11 1/2″ for the Bottom and 3rd level top
  • 1 – 8 ” by 7″ for the 2nd level top
  • 1 – 3 5/8″ by 3 5/8″ for the 1st level top
  • 4 – 16″ by 7 1/4″ for the four sides
Cutting lumber needed for Halloween DIY Jack-o-Lantern Light-up box.
Cutting the base boards

Draw and Cut out the Scary Faces

Next step is to draw the eyes, nose and mouth onto one of the side pieces (16″ x 7 1/4″ board). You can be as creative as you want. This is not an artist competition (thank goodness). You just need to draw a face to start out with.

Drawing the scary face for the Halloween DIY Jack-o-Lantern Light-up box.
A “not exactly scary” face, but good enough drawing of one.

You will need to drill a hole into the mouth, nose and both eyes in order to get your jigsaw blade through. I used a 3/4″ bit to drill the holes. Unfortunately, my cordless drill died in process so was forced to pull out a heavy, but powerful, hammer drill. It worked until I remembered I had a really old cordless drill that still works with the same batteries.

Cutting a hole to fit the jigsaw in order to cut the eyes, nose and mouth on the Jack-o-Lantern Light-up box.
Drilling holes into face to use the Jigsaw to cut facial features.

Now that we have he holes cut, we can cut out all the facial features with the jigsaw.

Using the jigsaw to cut the eyes, nose, and mouth for the Jack-o-Lantern Light-up box.
Cutting the facial features with the jigsaw
Completed cut-out face for the Halloween DIY Jack-o-Lantern Light-up box.
Completed “scary” face

Assembling the Light-up Box

The first part of the assembly is to screw together all four sides. These are the 16″ x 7 1/4″ boards.

Screwing the box boards together for the Halloween DIY Jack-o-Lantern Light-up box.
Screwing the box together
Screwing the box boards together for the Halloween DIY Jack-o-Lantern Light-up box.
Screwing the box together
Screwing the box boards together for the Halloween DIY Jack-o-Lantern Light-up box.
Getting the base ready to install
Screwing the box boards together for the Halloween DIY Jack-o-Lantern Light-up box.
Center top pieces and screw into 3rd level top board

Final Construction

Use wood filler to fill in the indentations that the wood screws leave as they are screwed through the top of the box. Once dried, use some #220 sandpaper to sand it to a smooth finish.

Putting wood filler into holes on top of Halloween DIY Jack-o-Lantern Light-up box.
Applying the wood filler to the wood screw holes

Spray paint the box black so only the face will show when light is projecting inside the box.

Attaching the Lights

The led lights I choose operate using a remote control and can be set on a timer. They run on three AAA batteries. The lights can be setup to be white or will rotate through a number of colors. I found these on Amazon. They seem to work pretty well but have no idea on how long the batteries will last. We will find out pretty soon.

They come with a 3M double-sided sticker that I used to attach to the inside bottom of the top.

Installing the puck lights on the inside bottom of the Jack-o-Lantern Light-up box top.
Lights attached to inside bottom of the top.

Completed Light-up Box

This was really a pretty simple project to put together. All we have to do at this point is to paint the boxes. I am painting them black.

Three Halloween DIY Jack-o-Lantern Light-up boxes.  One painted and the other two ready to be painted.
One finished and two ready to be painted black.

I finished this project with 3 total Jack-o-Latern Light-up boxes. The final product is shown below:

Completed Halloween DIY Jack-o-Lantern Light-up boxes ready to be staged in the front yard as part of the Halloween decorations.
Completed Jack-o-Lantern Light-up Box with lights installed.

Halloween Jack-o-Lantern Light-up Box

A box with a scary jack-o-lantern face backlit so the face is illuminated at night.
Keyword: Craft, DIY, Halloween, Holiday, Light-up, Lightbox, Project, Scary, Wood, Woodwork, Woodworking

Equipment

  • Combo Saw or other type of saw
  • Cordless Drill
  • Square, for marking measurements on board
  • Pencil, for marking measurements on board

Materials

  • 2 1 x 12 Board Cut 10" x 11 and 1/2" 3rd Level Top and Bottom
  • 1 1 x 8 Board Cut 8" x 7" 2nd Level Top
  • 1 1 x 4 Board Cut 3 and 5/8" x 3 and 5/8" 1st Level Top
  • 4 1 x 8 Cut 16" x 7 and 1/4"
  • 1 Can Paint, Black Spray
  • 1 Wood Filler To fill in wood screw holes on top
  • 4 1 and 3/4" #8 Wood Screws For screwing together top
  • 1 box 1 and 1/4" #8 Wood Screws For screwing everything else together
  • 1 Sandpaper, #220 grit
  • 3 – 6 Lights, Puck (Battery operated) To light up the box

Instructions

  • Measure and cut 2 boards with measurements of 10" by 11 1/2" from a 1" x 12" board.
  • Measure and cut 1 board with measurements of 8" x 7" from a 1 x 8 board.
  • Measure and cut 1 board with measurements of 3 5/8" by 3 5/8".
  • Measure and cut 4 boards with measurements of 16" by 7 1/4" from a 1 x 8 board.
  • Ensure you sand the edges with some #220 grit sandpaper to make sure you don't get any splinters while working with the wood.
  • Draw scary face with eyes, nose and mouth on one of the 16" by 7 1/4" boards. Be as creative or artistic as you desire.
  • Use 3/4" drill bit to drill holes inside of the eyes, nose and mouth drawn on your board.
  • Use jigsaw to cut out your design for the eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Use 1 1/4" screws to assemble the 4 sides into a box.
  • Center bottom board and faster to bottom of box with screws.
  • Center first and second level top boards over the 3rd level top board. Use 1 3/4" wood screws to secure all three boards in position for the top.
  • Apply wood filler or putty in the hoses left on the top board. Let dry and sand to a smooth finish.
  • Apply black spray paint to entire Light-up box.
  • Install lights on inside bottom of top.
  • Setup out where you want the boxes and enjoy your handiwork!


I’ll make sure to post a picture of it in the front yard all staged out. This was a really fun DIY build and didn’t take too much effort to do. Take advantage of the time you can spend together with your family and make memories. As always, don’t forget to enjoy the simple life! Please let us know how you like this post or have suggestions on future posts.

Remember, if you can dream it, you can do it!

Check out the other Halloween DIY projects:

Please LIKE this post. If you have any COMMENTS or QUESTIONS, please post below. Please SUBSCRIBE to our BLOG for additional great content.

Pepper Jelly: From Garden to Jar

Pepper jelly is one of those treats that we just love to make, eat, and give away, as it just leads to good time and memories. I use Jalapeno peppers fresh from the garden to make it. If you don’t have any in the garden, then pick some up at the grocery store, or use some other kind of peppers, and make yourself some pepper jelly. Eating pepper jelly with Ritz crackers over cream cheese is just delicious. Plain and simple, its good stuff.

Click here to see the YouTube video!

Harvesting the Peppers

First step in this process is to go into the backyard and harvest some Jalapenos from my organic raised-bed garden. I have 8 Jalapeno plants in my garden including Craig’s Grande, Pumpkin Spice, Orange Spice, and Brown Jalapeño varieties.

Harvesting fresh jalapenos from the garden to make pepper jelly
Picking some fresh Jalepeno peppers
Harvesting fresh jalapenos from the garden to make pepper jelly
Picking some fresh Jalepeno peppers

Preparing the Ingredients

The two main items to prepare before cooking is to prepare the peppers and prepare the jars. There is plenty of heat in Jalapeno peppers so we will want to remove the seeds and membrane. Then we’ve got to dice them up. Note: Do yourself a favor and put on some gloves as you work with the peppers so you won’t burn yourself up every time you touch your fingers to your face (or elsewhere)!

Removing seeds from Jalapeno peppers to make pepper jelly
Removing seeds from Jalapeño peppers (use gloves)
Diced up Jalapenos (I doubled the recipe)

The other primary task is to prepare the jars by sterilizing the jars, lids, and rings in boiling water or in your dishwasher.

Cooking it Up

The recipe for cooking the pepper jelly up is really simple. You only have a few ingredients including peppers, sugar, vinegar, and liquid pectin. The basis for the recipe did come from a really good book, Complete Book of Home Preserving, where I learned a lot about canning and other preservation methods. I doubled the recipe as well since I had plenty of peppers. You pretty much bring everything to boil except the pectin. Then that’s added under boil for about a minute. Next, you are ready to transfer to the jars.

Cooking pepper jelly
Cooking the pepper jelly
Adding liquid pectin to pepper jelly
Adding the liquid pectin to the pepper jelly

Canning Pepper Jelly

The final part is to fill your jars with the pepper jelly, wipe the rim, place the lid on and screw the ring on finger tight. Next transfer them to the canner where they are to be processed (boiled) for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Transferring pepper jelly into 1/2 pint jars leaving 1/2" head space
Put pepper jelly into jars leaving 1/2″ head space
Removing processed pepper jelly from canner
Removing them from the Canner
Pepper Jelly over Cream Cheese with Crackers

Pepper Jelly

This pepper jelly recipe uses fresh jalapeños from my garden to make some excellent pepper jelly you can enjoy year around. It is a favorite at our house over cream cheese and crackers. It's a staple in south Louisiana for LSU football watching parties and holiday snacks.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 15 mins
Canning time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 12 oz Jalepeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and deveined Wear latex gloves while processing the peppers
  • 2 cups Vinegar, Apple Cider
  • 6 cups Sugar, Granulated
  • 2 pouches Liquid Pectin each 3 oz.
  • 1 box Crackers, Ritz Can be substituted with any other crackers
  • 1 box Cream Cheese

Instructions
 

  • Prepare canner, jars and lids. Makes about five 8-ounce jars.
  • Dice up peppers finely.
  • In a large, deep stainless steel or ceramic saucepan, combine peppers, apple cider vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat
  • Quickly pour hot jelly into jars, leaving 1/2" headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until finger-tight,
  • Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
  • Serve over cream cheese with crackers.
Keyword AMERICAN, Appetizer, crackers, cream cheese, Jalepeno, jelly, pepper, pepper jelly, snack, spicy

This makes a great gift or serve your pepper jelly poured over some cream cheese, with crackers, and make memories with your family and friends.  Please let us know how you like this post or have suggestions on future posts. Please visit our YouTube channel as well.

Enjoy! Remember, if you can dream it, you can do it!

Check out my other garden to jar post here (Salsa Verde).

Please LIKE this post. If you have any COMMENTS or QUESTIONS, please post below. Please SUBSCRIBE to our BLOG for additional great content.

Halloween DIY – A Scary Coffin

My wife and daughter thought it would be a good idea if I volunteered some time to build a scary coffin for our front yard Halloween decorations. Evidently, they have big plans for Halloween decorations this year. They asked, and of course, I said “Yes” (what else could I say?). This post will show how I built the Halloween coffin, along with basic dimensions. See my YouTube video for more information on the actual build. Sorry, husbands, hopefully I’m not setting you up for a “honey do” as well!

To see all the Halloween DIY projects, see below:

All kidding aside, it really was a fun project and, most importantly, got to spend time with my Son, while we worked together on the project. So, we made memories, and that’s what life is all about!

Completed Halloween Coffin
Halloween DIY – Coffin Build (staged)

The Plan

The plan, shown below, was pretty easy to visualize but I did vary from some of the specifics as I was building it with what would I had on hand. I used 5/8″ plywood for the base (instead of 3/4″) and the walls were 1″ x 12″ cut to size. The article didn’t mention specific angles to cut so I just improvised and trimmed angles until they matched up pretty close. The reality is the coffin will be lit up from inside so having gaps is what I am looking for anyhow.

Basic plans for Halloween DIY Coffin
Basic Layout that I followed as provided in the Popular Mechanics article.
Cutting the wood to build the Halloween DIY Coffin
Cutting side walls (1″ x 12″)
Cutting the wood to build the Halloween DIY Coffin
Cutting the angles

Assembling Coffin

Assembly was pretty straightforward. You take all the sides and start connecting to the coffin bottom. The only issue was figuring out the angles so the side pieces would fit up good. I used #8 x 1-1/4″ exterior deck screws to put it together.

Constructing the Halloween DIY Coffin

I then used 1″ x 6″‘s, cut up into 3 1/2″ and 2 1/2″ strips on the table saw for the coffin cover. The cross member was just some left over 2 1/2″ strips. I intentionally left some good gaps and put the cross member off level to complete the look. I laid the strips closet to the sides down and marked them with a pencil in order to cut them to follow the shape of the coffin.

Constructing the Halloween DIY Coffin's top

Finishing

Finishing will happen in a few weeks as we aren’t going to put the coffin out in the front yard until Oct 1 or thereafter. I will likely either stain or paint it, along with distressing some of the boards. What do you think? Please post a comment about whether I should paint it, stain it, or leave unfinished? When we put it out in the front yard, I will put a hinge on the door and a light in it. It will also have a skeleton’s arm pushing out of it. That, combined with the other decorations, will bring our Halloween decorations up a notch this year.

Completed Halloween DIY Coffin
Finished Coffin Construction – Phase 1
In process Halloween DIY painting
Bonus picture of Halloween decoration Amanda is painting. Guess in the comments who you think this will be once finished?

I’ll make sure to post a picture of it in the front yard all staged out. This was a really fun DIY build and didn’t take too much effort to do. Take advantage of the time you can spend together with your family and make memories. As always, don’t forget to enjoy the simple life! Please let us know how you like this post or have suggestions on future posts.

Remember, if you can dream it, you can do it!

Please LIKE this post. If you have any COMMENTS or QUESTIONS, please post below. Please SUBSCRIBE to our BLOG for additional great content.