To begin constructing the house, I projected the design up onto 2 sheets of rigid insulation (only $11 per 4'x8' sheet) with my opaque projector and traced the outline of the windows and outside shape. It should have been perfect, except that the original drawing was so small that the projected image was extremely pixelated. So my tracing was wiggly and not symmetrical, which I cannot tolerate. So I spent two nights re-drawing the windows and doors and porticoes with a T-square. Once they were placed to my satisfaction, I put a new blade in an Olfa knife and proceeded to trim away the excess pinkness. It was really pretty easy. Cutting lengthwise is much easier than cutting across the grain. The curves are a little rough, but it really turned out rather well, considering the relatively small price that we paid for the huge display.
Once it was cut out, I was ready to paint. I chose to use the Martha Stewart Spray Gun Kit. It was easy to paint the face and the "facings" of each of the windows with the spray gun. I put plastic table cloths against a row of boxes in my garage and was pleased that there is minimal overspray. Simultaneously, I had been working on the windows. I traced an outline of each one and then selected a design from a dollhouse windows Dover book. I leaded them on Gallery Glass Cuttable plastic and also some larger pieces of plastic of the same material. I painted them to extend beyond the edges of the openings so that the irregularity of the openings would not be a problem. That worked pretty well, except where I mis-measured. Those had to be done over. But I was determined to get it right. The windows overnight and I was ready to attach them to the insulation. I bought a roll of black Duck tape and it was perfect to tape the trimmed plastic panels to the back of the house parts. The aggressive adhesive allowed the window panels to flex slightly as I lifted and toted the halves from the table to their vertical position. Once all the windows were in place, I taped the two sides of the house together in the center, so that the house could stand alone. We planned to put it on the tailgate of my son-in-law's truck to give it even more height and to make room for the "graveyard" underneath and "candy giver-outers" in front. My daughter got worried that the truck would be too visible, so we bought another piece of 2" rigid insulation and had it cut into two 4'x4' sections. This we painted black, as well and bought some inexpensive fencing to go on top. We thought it would give the impression of "gates" to the property-as well as hiding the sides of the truck, more effectively. The ladder-looking structures behind it were necessary to keep it from blowing across the partking lot, but they were so high up, that nobody mentioned them in the semi-darkness.
Our costumes could be only a little scary since our church asks that there be no frightening costumes. My only "cheat" was the goblin in the upstairs window that I added to the back of the window with Liquid Leading. So our whole display had to be on the MILD side, instead of the WILD side. I'm going to be a Wizard, Samantha was a cute Mummy, Sydney was a fetching Bat Girl and their parents were Frankenstein and his Bride. Pretty interesting costumes, but a lot of fun. The display was a huge success and we won the "Most Creative" prize. Hummmm, we're already thinking about what to do NEXT year, to top this!