Every year I feature clowns in my maze in some way, shape, or form. One year my entire theme was Carn-evil and everything was clown-themed but otherwise, even if I don't do a clown theme, I use the clown props in different ways each year to fit with whatever theme I choose.
Here are a few of my no-budget, low-budget clown props! To pull off a real clown feel, I add in actors wearing masks, clown outfits, bozo shoes, and holding honkers and/or spraying silly string. The clowns bring the scenes to life! I also add in balloons, lighting, and fog machines to really set the mood.
Cost: hardly anything using materials on-hand
This prop is extremely simple and uses recycled material. Take a thin piece of cardboard painted with a cone-like texture and glue it into a cone. Add some fuzzy pillow stuffing to the top to resemble ice-cream and spray paint with a fluorescent color for a spooktacular effect under black light. I added in some eyeballs I altered with a little bit of latex and blood to resemble flesh for a special touch!
Cost: $2 at most (bags and foam insulation spray)
Who doesn't love popcorn? These paper popcorn baggies were purchased at Dollar Tree and stuffed with plastic bags. I added some ruined spray foam insulation intestines I had and cut them up into pieces resembling popcorn and glued them to the top. Lastly, I added some fresh eyeballs to complete the snack.
Cost: Used materials on-hand!
I used scrap wood pieces and wrapped a material similar to pillow stuffing into a cotton candy like shape. I painted the wood piece with fluorescent acrylics and painted the cotton candy portion with fluorescent spray paint. Super simple and added a great pop of color to my maze under black light. The props pictured all on the same table in the photo are from the year we had actors grab whatever prop they wanted to wave around and taunt victims... ehhmm, visitors with!
Scrap wood signs
I made a few signs to add to the maze. This is the only one I can find a pic of at the moment, but will add others when I find them! One tip I have is to use fluorescent colors and outline with puffy paint in some or all portions for texture.
Below you can see a few photos in the daylight on how we used the props. These props coupled with strategic lighting and our live actors decked out as clowns in a tent made for many memorable moments!
I hope these simple tips help you! I try to make our haunted house interactive so I'm always pondering inexpensive ways to make props that won't break the bank! More to come!