Warning: This project uses Electricity! Build at your own risk. Not for children to build.
Ever been to a haunt and admired the bone sconces that adorn the walls as you were waiting in line? Here is a simple one that you can build for your haunt for a fraction of the money.
The plaque is made from a piece of two by 12 inch board. It was cut to a 16 inch length. I chose a 2 inch thickness to give the plaque a heavy look. Something that you might find in an old castle dungeon. The sides where all then cut to a 45 degree angle to give the plaque a finished look. Once that was done I needed to add the hole for the rod that the wire will run through. I measured to find the center of the board and then up 3 inches from the top of the bottom edge bevel.
I drilled a th hole to accommodate the rod and then on the back side I drill a 3/4 inch round 1/4 inch deep recess. This recess is made so that the mounting hardware can be installed and the back of the plaque will still lay flush to the wall. Once the holes are drilled I used a belt sander to smooth the edges of the bevels. With that done I gave the whole plaque a quick sanding with a finishing sander.
Now the rod can be installed. It was a tight fit, so tight that I needed to screw the rod in. Once it was through I installed the locking nut on the front and a washer and nut to the back. At this point you may want to stain the plaque.
The sconce will use two pieces of PVC pipe. One for the candle and the other for the corpse arm. The Candle is made from a piece of 1 1/4th Schedule 40. It is cut to a 6 inch length and then a hole is drilled completely through both sides. One side this hole will be for the rod. On the other side it is used as a guide for a 1 inch hole. This hole will be for access so that you can install the light fixture and connect the wiring.
The second piece of PVC is for the corpse arm. It is a piece of 3/4 inch PVC Schedule 40 and is cut to a 9 inch length. A notch is cut out of the top for making the hands. I have another how-to on making the hands so I will not go into it here.
The picture to the left is just for reference. It shows how the arm slides over the rod. The rod will come through and extend into where the palm will be.
The pictures above show the arm being made. It is just like in the How-To except that you will be making a complete lower arm and that you will need to leave a small hole in the palm to allow the rod to slide though. The base of the arm should be larger around than the connector also. You will need to make the wrinkles and that makes it much smaller. Click on photos about to see what i mean.
The arm will take a few hours to dry. After it is dry it needs to be painted. I made two sconces one for each side of a doorway and used two different painting techniques. One arm I airbrushed, the other I used craft paint and a sponge. The results were similar on each. The sponge technique is the simplest so I will explain it. It is very simple really. With a sponge I applied nutmeg craft paint. I worked the paint into the wrinkles and crevices and then with a cloth I rubbed off the excess. This highlights the skin and gives it an ages look. clcik the photos for a better look.
On to the shackle. The shackle is made from a 1 1/2 inch PVC connector and a plastic chain link. Cut the link in half and hold it to the connector as in the picture above. Center and mark where the holes will be drilled. I am not going to tell you what size hole to drill. Your chain link may be a different diameter than the one that I used. Just use a drill bit that is close to the same size and your link. Once the holes are drilled insert the link and do the same to the other side of the connector. I used gorilla glue to glue the links in. Once the glue was dry I used a dremel tool to grind off the excess on the inside of the shackle.
With the shackle made you can paint the hardware. Flat black spray paint is used . Once it is dry slip the shackle over the arm and drill a small hole in it. This will be to hold the shackle with a screw. In the picture the hole is on the top. It should be screwed in under the arm. This gives the appearance that the shackle is being pulled up by the chain.
With the shackle in place use the craft paint on the shackle and on the connector that rests at the base of the arm. This is a 2 inch connector. The paint is dabbed on with a sponge. It is best to have very little paint on the sponge. This gives a very realistic rust look. After seeing how real it looks I am going to pull out my fence and “rust” it as well. Click on the photo above to see what i mean.
After the paint is dry its time to add the rest of the hardware. I cut a slit in a link and connected it to the shackle. I then pulled the chain taunt to get an idea which link to cut for the ring. For me it needed to be five links long. Connect the link to the ring and pull the ring tight. Screw it in and do the same to the other side. Once it is assembled you can add a small piece of electrical tape to hide where the slits are in the chain. Paint it as you did the shackle for the rust effect. The connector at the baxe of the arm can now be glude to the plaque also
I purchased a few flicker lamps on clearance last year. I felt that they would be perfect for the candle that I needed to make. With a dremel tool I ground the light fixture and removed it from the base. Be careful not to grind the wires!
With the light fixture removed wrap it in electrical tape to better insulate it and then cut the wires about four inches or so from the socket. I screwed the bulb into the socket and slid that into the PVC and glued it with glue. The bulb is used so that you can gauge the depth so that the fixture is not glued to deep or to shallow.
With that done you need to add a bottom to your candle. By accident I found that a pop bottle top will fit perfectly if you cut a small grove in the sides. Glue the bottle top in and then you can add some drips. The drips are just glue on the top that is allowed to run down the sides.
Now the candle is ready for painting. I painted mine red, but I think that white or black may have been a better choice. After the paint is dry install the candle onto the rod of the sconce and secure it with a bolt and washer. Run the plug-in part of the cord in from the back of the plaque and strip the wire. Tie a knot in the wire to prevent the wires from being pulled out the the lamp. Two wire nuts will be needed to connect the cord to the light fixture. After installed push the wires and wire nuts into the candle.
Time to test the light. Screw the bulb back in and plug in the light. If the bulb flickers you did it right. If all the lights in the house flicker you did not do it right. My wife felt that it would be funny to make a load buzzing noise at this point. It was not funny! Once you are sure that the light works properly you can paint a small piece of duct tape the same color as the candle and tape it over the hole.
The Sconce is almost finished. Bend the hand over the candle so that it looks like it is holding it. Once it looks the way you want it remove the bulb and lightly misted the entire sconce with flat black spray paint. This gives it an older dusty look. Add a hanger to the back and its done!
This project was easy to make and the cost was very reasonable. I did not put a large amount of detail into the plaque but you could router the edges for more detail. You are not limited to the candle either, a fake flame lamp instead or an old lantern would work well also. It does not even need to be a light for that matter. Think of it holding up the sign over your haunt.