Set Design; Making it Happen

Want to see how we got to this stage click here

What I had initially drawn was a 7 meter (23 foot) wall with three arched windows and two pillars, but when I measured it against my wall and put masking tape where the windows would go, it didn’t look quite right. So I decided on just the two windows. The challenge I had then, was what could I put on the wall to balance everything up?

At least I had plenty of time to think about it.

Next step was to draw up all the working drawings with the accurate measurements so I could  go and buy the materials. I needed to at least start. Let me tell you, you will ALWAYS need more things than you think, so don’t get bogged down into trying to work out everything perfectly, it will bug the hell out of you. What’s more important is just starting. As you go on you will see things more clearly and you can alter things to suit the particular set your working on.

Framing Measurements

I borrowed my mate’s (friend’s) trailer and went down to our local hardware store and brought the materials for the first part of the sets. The other challenge I faced was; where and how do I store these after the party?

Full Trailer

I decided to make them fold in half for easy handling and storage in my garage. That night Leon and I started framing up the first of the six sections. I do have a work shop but I choose to use hand tools to show you how easy it is to build sets with just the basic tools. You would be staggered at how easy these are to make.

Framing Up

The next morning we put up the first section of the set to see how close our measurements were….. Pretty darn good, even if I do say so my self :) Now the next step was to draw on the arched window for that section. How was I going to get the balance right. I had never drawn a full size gothic arch window before, but  I knew it had to be balanced and look like you were really in a castle looking out onto the scenery.

I measured the center of my first section, to get a starting point and then kept on measuring equally out either side until it looked right. Once I had the width of the windows,
then I had to work on getting the arch to fit nicely and be balanced.

I had a scrap off-cut of some 3mm mdf which bends quite easy. I put a screw in the centre where I wanted the arch to meet and another screw on the side, where I wanted it to tapper off to the straight part of the window frame. Once I was happy with the look on one side I just repeated it for the other side of the arch and for the other window.

Drawing the arch

The only thing left was how thick we’re the window frames going to be as I wanted to shade them later and make them look realistic. After both windows were drawn, I cut out where the glass would be with my jig saw.

The Window

Now to start on the foam stone work….. Check out Harry Potter Themed Party by clicking the link

Tell us if you think we were crazy in the comment box below.

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