Step 1

Making Monster Mud

Monster Mud creates a textured shell over the lightweight Styrofoam that can then be made to look like a variety of materials. Recycle some of that old paint sitting in the garage because it doesn't matter what colors you use or mix together — it will be used as a base for other colors on the Styrofoam stone. The paint will help make the whatever surface you're attaching it to waterproof.) How much compound needed depends on the project. Make a large batch in a separate bucket with a lid and you can store it for months.

Mix roughly 5 parts drywall compound to 1 part paint and mix. A drywall mixer attached to a drill works best to mix large batches, but use a bowl and spoon for smaller batches.

To make the mud, add drywall compound to a bowl, and use a spoon to mix paints to create the base color (image 1). Mix the drywall compound and paint well (image 2). For a large batch, use a big bucket and mixer attachment with a drill (image 3).

Step 2

Making Faux Moss

If you want to add a little more aging detail to your Halloween decorations, try adding some faux moss. It will make it look as if it has been around for years and years in a dark and spooky graveyard. This recipe is quick and simple and made from materials easily obtained — recycled dryer lint.

To make faux moss, add a batch of dryer lint with some craft glue and two or more shades of green paint (image 1). With a gloved hand, gently mix the lint and liquids until all are moss-colored (image 2). The paint colors should not be mixed completely. While still wet, apply pieces of the mixture with your fingers by pressing the faux moss into the tombstone or prop surface (image 3). Let dry. If needed, dry brush some lighter green back on the moss for highlights.

Step 3

Painting Faux Metal

Ancient, weatherworn statues can add a layer of authenticity. The process uses only paint to transform everyday statuary into haunt-worthy accessories.

To paint faux metal, first paint the entire piece with either metallic spray paint or brush-applied metallic craft paint (image 1). Let dry. Using a sponge, make-up sponge or bunched up cheesecloth, gently dab a mixture of dark green and black craft paint over the surface of the statue (images 2 and 3).

Leave some of the metal paint showing through. Let dry. Mix some dark green and light green craft paint with a good amount of water (image 4). Use a paint brush to dab along the top of the statue (in this case, along the hairline works best) so the paint runs down the statue. Do this until you have several paint runs all around the statue (image 5). Try not to disturb the wet paint trails too much. Let them dry completely before moving to the next step.

Sparingly, dab a medium or light green on the highest points of the statue. In this case, around the dress edge, the base and the highest points of the hair. This adds a faux corrosive look to the metal (image 6). Let dry.

Lynne and Shawn Mitchell have a website called How to Haunt Your House. They have also authored How to Haunt Your House books I and II.

Step 4

Monster Mud is simple to make and can be applied to an unlimited list of craft projects that require some texture.

If you want to add a little more aging detail to Halloween decorations, try adding some faux moss made from dryer lint.

Make metal Halloween decorations or even home accessories look antique with a few simple paint techniques.