Sunday, September 6, 2015

Toxic Waste Spill

This was inspired by the tutorial for Goldie's Toxic Waste Barrels. I also used a 'Warning Label Generator' listed in the comments, but that appears to be defunct now.

My "barrels" are only six inches tall, so my project is on much, much smaller scale and I don't have any cool fog.

The containers are from some free samples my husband received, sorry he wasn't impressed with the product, so I can't recommend even if the lids kind of have that radioactive sign look to them. I had considered using round Quaker Oat containers before I ended up with these. 

I started out thinking radioactive toxic waste, but for some reason the lids got me thinking of the Umbrella Corp logo, so I colored the opposite panels with red Sharpie. I also decided to go with Resident Evil viruses for the labels, which I realize look nothing like this. I'm not really going for authenticity here, the labels are barely visible in the finished project anyway.  Like I said I can't find the label generator I used but here are the labels I made.

The tutorial I referenced has everything you need to know to make your own toxic barrels, but here are a few pictures of what I did.

Here are all the components arranged on a piece of cardboard.  I sketched an outline on the cardboard of each piece, because I forgot things if I turn around too fast. 

This is a Yogi Tea box modified with craft sticks to look like a crate.  I covered it with a couple of layers of tissue paper with a 1:1 ratio glue and water mixture. 

Here's everything painted black, the crates and cardboard received some accent dry brushing to look a little like wood.  The labels have been applied and lights taped into place.  One nice thing about Christmas merchandise in the stores in August is buying lights for Halloween props.  There are more choices online, but I was already at the hardware store getting Great Stuff. I wanted green lights with a fade switch and there they were. 

If I were to do this again I would have two strands, one on 'Steady' and the other on 'Fade'. The original tutorial uses multiple strands but I thought it would be overkill for my little thing, I was wrong.  This type of project needs that constant light, with a pulsing over glow to give it the right effect. 

Here it is with the spray foam insulation.  I guess you can never have too much oozing slime, but I think I went a little heavy with the Great Stuff.  There is a learning curve to using Great Stuff and I'm not quite there.  I do know air temperature affects how much it expands and patience is a virtue. Here I was so focused on making sure all the wires were covered that I kept spraying on more when I should have been waiting a few seconds to see how much it was going to expand.

I brushed on acrylic paints, but that didn't go so well, it beaded up on the foam and pooled in the crevices. I had to keep brushing it around until it dried. I would recommend using a primer before painting.  I haven't gotten around to using a sealant, but that's next on the agenda. 

Here's a peek inside the wide canister, that's where the battery pack is hidden. 


  1. There are 3 types of Great Stuff, each expanding to a different thickness. I use the one in a black can for bigger expansions and then the others for detailed usage. I am somewhat new to this but have become very creative and I love it! I find a spray paint does better than a brush on, however I will sometimes use a brush to add effects. If you tape some paper onto the prop you are putting foam on, then when you paint it will catch any overspray. Then using a razor you can cut away excess paper. Your items look great!

    1. Thanks for the paper tip! That sounds a lot easier than trying to tape off after adding the foam. I did some quick and dirty guts with spray paint and I agree spray paint is definitely the way to go. I recently discovered StiltbeastStudios on youtube and he does a video that compares not only the expansion, but flexibility of the different foams, it's pretty interesting. I guess I just need to play around with it more.