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!
Scrap wood signs
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!