Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Homemade Giant Spiders $1 Each

Since today's my day off and each time I have a Wednesday off from now until Halloween, I'm making props for the party each Wednesday. Today, I figured I'd work on two things. One: Spiders. Two: Gigantic scarecrow

The scarecrow will be on about an 8' tall cross with about a 6' long cross section. It'll be wearing a black dirty tattered monk's robe with long sleeves and a hood and the face will be a gunnysack design with rope around the neck and stitched closed mouth and eyes. He'll be up tall on the cross and oversized to intimidate when people first arrive into the backyard. I hope to attach a few fake crows to him. The silhouette should be intimidating and I understand Halloween is just 2 days from a full moon, so this should be very impressive.

Today, I'm making his robes--tearing and beating the fabric and dirtying it up to make it look ancient (fun). I hope to put him up early so weather can force him to age even more, the sun bleaching the fabric, some rare rain making it look crinkled and dirty.

Around him, there will be stick tripods tied together and where the sticks meet, a Jack-O-Lantern inserted into the space. These tripods will be of varying heights around the entry yard in front of the scarecrow. I will add a bunch of black crows all around and a few wooden grave marker crosses. I think the idea is very bleak and will give the Halloween Post-apocalyptic graveyard theme going for the entry.

Past there, the pool area will be something else and the main garden something very grave-ish.

This project (above) is the spiders. I made a dozen spiders for $12. Pleased with that. My pool is enclosed tightly with walls covered in vines. I'm putting the large spiders in the vines and with the lights on them it should look eerie, a few headstones along the wall, and then the pool will hopefully have the red lens cap on the light so the water looks like blood.

I took styrofoam balls and painted them black and then took spare styrofoam packing material and carved heads and painted them black, black pipecleaner legs, and I had some gold tacks for the eyes.

SUGGESTIONS APPRECIATED: I haven't decided what to float on the pool yet. I had originally thought of floating white face masks, floating candles, and black roses for a ghostly appearance, but then I started fiddling with the idea of floating bodies made from styrofoam and thrift store clothing, face down. Let me know what your opinion is on a cool pool theme.


  1. WOW! You are crafty too??? And I LOVE your idea of the bodies floating in the pool. HYSTERICAL and MACABRE! You could get some chalk and make crime scene body outlines too...

  2. I like Courtney's idea also-if you could get ahold of some cheap life preservers (haha dont know where one would find these -especially in AZ!) you could put stuffed dummies in pool with like "USS Minnow" on the preservers (from Gilligan's Island) or maybe even the fictional ship from the Poseidon Adventure -whatever you do it sounds very cool and it is nice just to think of the word "Halloween" right now! I desperately hope we get that rain-at least one more (i would like a lot more than one) storm for the scarecrow! best to you as always!!

  3. Thanks ya'all. I got the scarecrow basically made, and put the tattered parts draped up on an arbor in the yard to get sunbleached and hopefully rained on (they promise rain next week, but I'm just going to have to do one of my super spells to make sure it happens). I had thought of the boat wreck idea, but it didn't really fit the kind of post-apocalyptic desert setting, so then I thought, maybe a plane wreck and paint some pieces of cardboard with metallic paint and numbers and stuff and maybe make it look like a wing or something, have floating debris like a suitcase and some food wrappers... I love when you guys get thinking. It really has me excited to create a scene that's chilling and tells a story, but not fully. Kind of like the shows "Lost" or "Jericho"

  4. Oh i love Halloween! Unfortunately we do not celebrate it here! We have a different custom for dressing up at the beginning of spring, and the kids sing carols from door to door(for money though not candy) at christmas.
    I love the idea of the scary decorations and of turning your place into a house of horrors!

  5. Georgina;
    I would wither and die without Halloween. I have fantastic memories of the ones from childhood--we were such bandits, running around the neighborhood from house to house from 8 pm to midnight carrying pillowcases. Some neighbors liked to scare you and dress up like a scarecrow and then jump out at you or make you walk through a dark and scary black tent filled with creepy things to get your prize. I just adore putting on a costume and becoming someone else. I wrote a short story one time about Halloween on sacred ground where everyone became who they were dressed as--total mayhem! Now that I think about it, I should try and publish that one. It was rather scary and erotic at the same time. Thanks for reminding me.

  6. I love Halloween too! Dressing up is my favorite part. We have a house in the next neighborhood that spends tens of thousands to decorate their house every year and it's always fun to see what theme they will have. They've actually had some neighbors complain to the city about their decorations. What a bunch of sour pusses, it's only decorated for a couple of weeks per year. We'll have to see what they do this year. Our neighboorhood is pretty dead, not too many kids. We have to go to a friend's neighborhood where they have a pretty cool block party. Your decorations sound cool, I love it too when they are on the scarier side.

  7. Sandra;
    I totally agree--scary is good, happy cheerful is bad. I despise the scarecrows in the crafts stores--yikes! We have only one other house that competes with us and they pull out the fog machine and have a reaper in the driveway to guide you--not bad. I do a haunted ghost scene in the front window as you walk out--floating with the fan on and billowy scary with a light barely lighting it, then I usually put a graveyard out front with a floating ghost and dead flowers and lots of scary sounding thunder and lightning. And lots of creepy baby dolls near the front door staring up at the kids. I usually do the outline of a trick or treater in front of the door and some blood splatters and outlines of their basket and candies. Hee hee. I'm so demented. The kids here are older, so they really get a kick out of it. Sometimes, I do giant scary footprints on the sidewalk going towards the house like a dinosaur came up to visit. I've done alien crash sites before, as well. I like the haunted house theme best, though--hey, I'm a ghost hunter!

  8. right on! the creepy baby dolls would get me, i hate dolls.

    did you ever see that episode on No Reservations, where Anthony visits this place in Mexico City, well outside of the city, and by boat, where there was this house where the owner had all these dolls all over the place, hanging from trees, everywhere. That was kinda freaky but funny

  9. Sandra;
    Totally! That guy on the island with the dolls--I wish I had taped that episode! Oh my gosh! That creeped me out so badly, I don't think I could sleep the night there and I'm pretty hardcore when it comes to spooky places. Yeah, the little tableau I'm doing in the yard has dolls sitting on bits of cinderblock, and climbing on an arbor and then I'm going to hang doll heads from the arbor too and I have a ventriloquist doll and a couple of torso mannequins. I'm hoping to find a clown doll too--like the one that pulled the kid under the bed in Poltergeist. Yikes!

  10. Cool spiders. You are crafty and a talented writer.....nice!

  11. hmmm...maybe a dead store mannequin in the water? partially decapitated, with 'meat' hanging out of its neck?
    we always had a haunted porch every halloween when tif was growing, my husband, his brother, his brother's gf, his sister & her boyfriend...we had a sound system set up & jill used to be the best could hear her for blocks!! people still talk about that! one of the home nurses that came here this year said she remembers it from about 10 years ago!

  12. Libby;
    Now that's a haunted house when folks remember you and still talk about it. I have to live up to the expectations for the past 21 years I've lived here, so neighbors are waiting to see what nonsense I do next. Like to keep them on their toes. I'm really just a big happy kid all the time!