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Paint Power / Blog

How To Make a DIY Fog Machine For a Spooky Halloween

A do-it-yourself spookfest could be as simple as positioning a few scary props at strategic locations throughout the home or as elaborate as a movie-grade haunted house. But one thing you’ll definitely want for Halloween: some creepy fog to set a mysterious mood. Build this DIY fog machine to set a scary mood throughout the night.

The good news is you don’t have to slap down a bunch of cash to rent a fog machine. For a lot less money than it takes to do even the old dry ice in a bucket of water routine, you can build your own fog-making rig from a few bottles and chemicals. It won’t cost you more than a few bucks.


•One large candle, preferably with multiple wicks

•A small aluminum pie plate

•The top of a 2-liter plastic soda bottle

•A gallon of distilled water

•A small bottle of glycerin. Glycerin can be found at your local pharmacy or at a site such Amazon.

How to Make a Fog Machine:

Make your “fog juice” by mixing a solution of one part glycerin to three parts distilled water. The “fog” is created when the solution is heated to the point of evaporation. The process leaves an accumulation of dense vapor, which becomes cloudy when it hits room-temperature air.

Make your haunted-house fog machine by cutting the top off a 2-liter soda bottle and taping the narrow end onto the small aluminum pie plate, creating a basic cone shape.

Position your fog machine over the lit candle. This can be done by taking an empty metal coffee or large soup can—without the lid, of course—and poking out several vent holes around the base of the can’s sealed end, perhaps with the pointed end of an old-fashioned metallic can opener. Next, drop the candle into the can, light it, and place the pie tin/fog machine over the can’s open top.

Add a teaspoon or so of fog juice. That should produce enough fog to fill a good-sized room.

To replenish the fog, just pour additional teaspoons of fog juice into the fog machine as needed. Let the spookiness ensue.

If you are short on time, check out these two fog machines on Amazon. The highly rated Antari and budget-priced 1byone fog machines, will make fog as easy as flipping a switch.


In this section, Paint Power brings you all kinds of resourceful tips, DIY tricks and tutorials to help you make things simple. Thinking about making renovations to a larger scale? You can count on us.