October 22, 2011

Halloween Recycling Projects

The finished product
 SPOOKY SPIDER, front yard decoration

 Halloween is my dad's favorite holiday and we love to go all out in the yard making a spooky scene. Usually there is at least one or two kids that refuse to walk to our door because they are scared of what is in our yard. While the classic graves have shown up in our front garden many a time, this year, dad and I tried to go for something new.

(really, you can use whatever you have lying around - that's what we did- but, here is what we used to achieve the final look): 

  • 2 black tarps (one to wrap, one to cut and cover the "hairy" legs)
  • PVC pipe, cut so the legs are "akimbo"
  • trashcan
  • ice chest, styrofoam
  • egg crate mattress
  • lawn chair cushion
  • wicker lawn chair
  • wood stump
  • heat lamp w/ red light bulb
  • bungee cord
  • rope 
  • cord
  • watering hose
     Wow, it sure has been a long time since I blogged about a project! Part of that has been because I was out of town for two weeks. But now I am back, right in time for Halloween! YES! My dad's idea was to build a giant spider and my mom added that we should have it eating someone so I drew out the plans. While I put up the spider web on the window behind our display, my dad worked on the body of the giant spider.

Finished product, at dusk. Scared many a  small child as they came to our house to get candy
    First he dragged out a swivel lawn chair, then set a trashcan on top, then he added a red light to shine out of the top of the spider and a cooler. All of this towering recycled-from-around-our-house mess became the first hump of the spider. The second, smaller, hump which was the head we made out of two tree stumps covered with an egg crate mattress. Then the whole monstrosity was covered with a giant black tarp/plastic sheet and defined by tying an old black garden hose around the top hump and around the whole thing. Now we had the body.

Swivel chair, plus stumps covered with foam; covered with a trashcan and bed rolls
     The rest of the pieces fell into place when my dad brought out the PVC pipe pieces to my brother's never finished potato gun and cut them almost all the way in half. We then taped the joint and added more black tarp to finish off the legs. I cut Styrofoam into two fangs and cardboard to resemble 7 eyes (yes, our spider is biologically incorrect with only 4 legs and 7 eyes, but hey.) On the night of halloween, we are going to hot glue those battery operated tea lights into place and turn them on so that the eyes seem to flicker and glow. It will be epic.

don't forget the rope!
     The last step was placing the lower half of the mannequin body so it looked as if the spider had tried to eat him - or at least stepped over him. This was a simple process of finding a pair of pants and boots and stuffing the legs of the pants with old towels and plastic bags on their way to be recycled.

  All that was left was to finish the rest of the yard. We made a dummy out of old clothes, stuffing, and some spare plastic bags. Then I made a smaller graveyard off to the side of the yard instead of as the main focus. Then we stuck in the wooden stakes for the cheerier pumpkins we had and called it a day. I love halloween because it is the chance to invent yourself as someone new, if just for the night. And I love that most of our projects for the outside involve us reusing items to make them into something new and awesome, if only for a short while (I think the neighbors would get mad if we kept our horror scenes up for more than October.....)

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