I pulled an almost-all-nighter on one of the funnest projects I've done in a long time - the Disney Up house!

A couple of weeks ago, the church my wife and I attend announced we would be putting on our second annual Trunk or Treat on Halloween. We'd all meet up in the church parking lot with the boots of cars filled to the brim with decorations, dress up in outlandish costumes, and hand out candy to the kids in our neighborhood. Being one for spontaneity, I never hesitated to sign up.

It wasn't until a few days before the event that my wife realized I had committed ourselves to putting something together. I hadn't the slightest idea what I was going to do - I've always been apt to pull things off last minute - but my wife immediately began brainstorming for ideas with me and Pinterest. Duck Dynasty? Frankie and Mike from The Middle? Up?


We popped in the DVD.

Right off the bat, I knew I had to do the house. I mean, come on, I'm a guy that draws house plans for a living! So we set to work. I would make the house and dress up as young Carl Fredricksen (I never really have grown up, so it fit the bill). My wife went crazy with colored toule, felt paper, and hot glue to transform herself into Kevin the bird ("Kevin's a girl?!")

So it began. I found a couple straight on views of the Fredricksen Residence, printed one off on our plotter, and began to transfer some lines to cardboard. I had measured the back of my wife's ancient Suzuki Vitara and found that we had a bit more room than just the size of the prints I made, so I actually had to take some measurements and hand-plotted some key points to scale. I used a straight edge to connect some dots and freehanded most of the rest by eye.

As much as I miss all-nighters from my days at the in Architecture studio at Kansas State, I knew I had to keep it simple if I wanted to get a few zzz's before work the next morning. I cut the house out of two main pieces of posterboard, I connected the pieces together with side walls and mini-gabled roof.

After the lines were in place (I first freehanded with pencil and then confidently traced over with a sharpie), I put down some color (I used our collection of acrylic paints), trying to match the photos as best I could.

With the pieces put together, the house stood on its own pretty well. I glued it (I used tacky glue) to some poster board and cut some strips of cardboard to act as buttresses to support it from the backside. I painted the lawn and sidewalk.

We wanted the kids to pull candy from a mailbox, so I cut that out of cardboard as well (really wish I made a step-by-step for this) and freehanded the text. By then it was 3 AM so my wife's handprint was missing at this point. I glued together popsicle sticks for the fence and glued it to the base. If I were to do it again, I would use thinner ones and would probably coat them with white spraypaint.

The mask on the mailbox is Kevin's beak for my wife's get-up. I made this from a plastic mask and hot-glued some freehand cut out foam paper to make the beak. Honestly, that was probably the hardest part to make, so if I did it again I would probably make the beak out of paper-mache or a block of styrofoam.

It fit perfectly in the back of the Vitara! And my wife remembered to put her hand-print on it in the morning to my pleasant surprise.

We ordered a dozen colorful helium balloons from a local supermarket and once I got to the parking lot, I removed the hard top and tied them to the chimney.


Here's a shot of our entire setup. I just had to include the pumpkins we painted a couple weeks earlier. That's Link from Zelda shooting a bow. Boom!

And here is my wife and I proudly showing off our work. Her Kevin costume turned out amazing. She combined several ideas she found on Pinterest and made it rock.

Adventure is out there!

(By the way, some builders in Utah got some permission and actually built Disney's Up house in 2011 - worth checking out!)


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