How To Create a Fun Head in the Hole Board for Halloween Photos

Updated: Feb 3


Part 1: The concept for your head in the hole board

Sketch out a few ideas

For these two boards I sketched out a few ideas on paper. • Dr. Frankenstein and his Monster. • Two witches flying. • The Wolfman.

How to Choose a Concept

We wanted to get the best reaction from the most people so we went with a two witches board to appeal to Hocus Pocus fans and a Wolfman for the horror fans. Try to pick a theme with a joke. We tought the witches flying on one broom was funnier idea than the Frankenstein idea so we went with it. Maximize Cartooniness Head in the hole boards are supposed to be funny. Cartoons are funny, therefore make your head in the hole boards cartoony. Keep the bodies smaller in proportions than the head to get that caricature effect. I used higher contrast colors to make the head pop in the photo.

Part 2: The Work

How to Create the board

Materials

You can create your head in the hole board you need: • Plywood or cheapo presentation board. This decision really depends on how long you want to keep your board and if you can store it. If it’s just a one day event like a 5th birthday go with the cheapo presentation board. Take your photos for the day and toss the board. If you need it for every Halloween use plywood and make the legs easily removable. The legs of our board were removed from the plywood with a couple of screws. For this article we will assume we are using plywood.

  1. Primer– regular house paint primer is fine.

  2. Some stakes or 2x4s to use to secure it into the ground. We found ours in the garage, maybe you have some in yours.

  3. Paint – go for the cheap student grade here, you will need to cover a lot of area. I like these big bottles for large areas and these for small areas where you need more specific colors.



  1. Get some cheapo brushes.

  2. spray sealer for after the painting is complete. I prefer Matte finish, gloss may make the photos too shiny.

Step 1: Prime the board


Nailing the Concept

Always get reference

As with every illustration project, get that reference. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be legible from 15 feet away.

Paint

Rough in your colors with acrylic paint. Start with the background; like skies and trees and move forward in space (see image above). Details should be added to anything that is closer in space, such as the wolf’s fur. Thick black lines can be added around the colors help cover up sloppy brush strokes and gives that final cartoony touch.

Then Cut out the Hole for the Face

I put holes into my painted board using a power drill then I used a sawzall to cut out the hole. Next Sand the hole down. Kids will be putting their faces in here so keep it smooth and clean.

To Cut out the body or keep it square?

I like to keep the board square so I can have my own background. If you cut out the body you also need to keep in mind the background behind the board. Do you want to have an alien in front of a house or on a distant planet? It may also be tougher to keep the board standing up since it is now an odd shape. Kids will instinctively grab the back of the board and push on it. So watch your screws too. Cutting out the body is a bit tricky unless you are very good with the saw.  I suck at woodwork too so I kept it square.

Clear Coat

Use this spray sealer for after the painting is complete. Let this dry as directed.

Then Stand it up.

There are a few ways to stand it up.  We have grass in our yard so it was better to screw stakes into the sides of the board and push it into the ground. Alternatively you can build a triangle to stand it up.

This is probably not the best angle for your photographs.


This post seems pretty spot on with the technical application of head in the hole board: http://www.centralroots.com/blog/making-a-head-in-the-hole-or-photo-board

The wolfman is based on this man’s actual body.



Hope you like this post. Share your pictures below or at my Instagram @silvestre.art Cheers! Chris

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