How to Make Your Own Halloween Gargoyle Props

Gargoyles are the guardians of all things Gothic and spooky and are a dramatic addition to your Halloween display. Large-sized gargoyles purchased at retail prices can be very expensive, and may not fit the exact space or vision you have in mind. You can create your own Halloween gargoyles with some basic materials from a home supply store and a bit of imagination. Once you've made your own Halloween gargoyle you will never buy a generic one again.

Sketch out the basic shape and features for your gargoyle on paper. Give yourself a general idea of what type and size wings you desire, the shape of the head, if the gargoyle will be sitting or squatting, and similar aspects. Determine general size requirements for the statue.

Transfer the sketch ideas to individual sheets of paper, separating pieces of the gargoyle. For instance, sketch the size and shape of a wing template on one sheet, and a head template on another. If you are making a larger gargoyle you may need to tape two or more sheets together to accommodate the size of the piece. These do not have to have the finer details; they will be carved later. This is the template to cut your forms, or the blanks from which you will shape the gargoyle, so be sure they are larger than the finished piece needs to be as some foam will be cut away.

Glue layers of foam together where thickness is needed, such as for the body or head. Use Liquid Nails to glue two pieces of foam together to make a thicker piece, and dry completely.

Lay the templates out on the foam and use a very sharp pencil or pointed object to prick holes around the outline of the templates to make your cut lines in the foam. Poke the end of the object through the paper following the outline of the template so that when the paper is removed, the design will be transferred to the foam in a dotted outline.

Cut the pieces using a hacksaw or jigsaw. For larger pieces a jigsaw is fine, but smaller, finer pieces will require hand cutting so the foam does not snap and break.

Shape the foam with the hacksaw, the sanding sponge, the Dremel and the utility or X-acto knife. Carve away the foam a little at a time to create a three-dimensional model of your original template. Create detailed facial features, wing details and things like claws or scales if desired. Use the sanding sponge to smooth rough edges as you go.

Glue the pieces together with the Liquid Nails adhesive to make your finished statue. Allow to dry completely.

Paint the gargoyle with a base coat of grey latex paint that is approved to use on foam insulating board. When dry, paint it with a wash-type coat of darker paint thinned with water to create depth. Add black to crevices to give a realistic look and more depth. Seal with a clear coat to weatherproof it if you desire; however, if you use outdoor grade latex paint, this is not necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • 2-inch thick rigid foam insulation board
  • Liquid Nails adhesive
  • Hacksaw or jigsaw
  • Sanding sponge
  • Dremel tool
  • X-acto or modelling knife
  • Latex paints
  • Clear acrylic sealer (optional)
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About the Author

Caprice Castano recently left the field of construction management to operate her own contracting business and spend time developing her writing career. Current projects include freelance writing for Internet publications and working on novel-length fiction.