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How to: DIY Fog Machine (and 10+ ways to use it!)

A great Halloween party or haunted house is about the ambience.


Nothing says spooky like a layer of mist along the floor, boiling from a pot or rolling out of a coffin or creepy opening. You don't need an expensive fog machine and fluid to create the effect at home. With a few simple items you may already have around the house you'll be making fog that Hollywood movie producer would be proud of!

How it works:
Fog forms when water vapor in the air condenses into tiny suspended droplets. The warm air over the hot water is nearly saturated with water vapor which is then cooled by mixing it with the cold carbon dioxide gas that sublimes from dry ice. (Sublimation is the process of a solid substance changing directly to vapor)

What you'll need:
  1. A water tight container, insulated if possible, with a lid. The container should be fairly easy to cut in order to add two holes. A styrafoam cooler works well.
  2. Sharp edged tool to cut holes
  3. Small fan
  4. Dry Ice
  5. Warm water

Directions:
  1. Cut a hole in the side of the container. The bottom of the whole will determine the amount of water you'll be able to add.
  2. Cut a hole in the lid of the container. You'll be placing the small fan over this opening so situate it where mounting the fan will be most convenient and stable.
  3. Fill the cooler with water up to the bottom of the hole in the side before adding the dry ice.
  4. Don't add the dry ice until your party starts so you dont waste any.
  5. Set the fan on the lid so that it pushes air into the hole, which will blow the fog from the hole in the side. (You can attach an old vacuum hose or piece of plastic pipe to the whole in the side to direct the fog if desired.)

Where to use it:
Outside
  • A layer of fog along your walkway or front porch is sure to add a spine shivering chill to party guests or Trick or Treaters. Just be sure that any steps or obstacles are well lit to avoid accidents.
  • Using the hose to direct the fog, let is pour from the the crotch of a tree or large bush (up-light the tree or bush for an even spookier affect
  • Feed the fog through a hose into a carved jack-o-lantern
  • Place tombstones in the yard (Part Cheap has some great ones!), place the fogger behind them and create a spooky cemetary
  • Feed the fog through the bones of a plastic yard skeleton or coffin
  • Set a scarecrow near the front door and let the fog pool around it's feet
  • Hang 3-D ghosts from trees and, using a hose, feed the fog through the top so it pours from the bottom of the ghost

Indoors
  • Set a cauldron on a table or in an entryway with fog slowly streaming over the edge
  • Using a hose, direct the fog around your beverage area
  • Place a strobe light in a closet and fill with fog, leaving the door slightly ajar. (Be careful, strobe lights can be disorienting, making vision and movement difficult. Some people are prone to seizures when exposed to strobe lighting)
  • Carved jack-o-lanterns look fantastic with fog dripping through the carving.
  • Using a hose, allow fog to drift down over a window. Add window clings and back-light for added effect.