Monday, June 23, 2014

Spider Cocoon Man

Spiders! They incite terror in many, a fear I don't share. I think of them as helpful pest control that weave dew dropped lace for me to stumble through as I go after the rake. I never much thought of adding them into our Halloween display.

We got a few spiders that were really cool/cute, then a few more, then a web caster gun. Suddenly, we have an entire spider display that's anemic compared to the tombstones/skeleton/medieval scenes. Cue the easiest and cheapest Halloween project I have ever done. The Cocoon Man:
I call him Frodo. He's about 3 1/2 feet long in total. I didn't want a full sized skeleton because they're pains to store and cart around. Plus, I already have 6.

The frame was a cheat as we already had most of it designed for a mummy challenge we lost.
The head is a ball of newspaper duct taped together, the arms more rolled up, duct taped newspaper. There is a wire flower inside each that gives it flexibility. You don't have to do it. It's a remnant from the mummy challenge we spectacularly lost. A lot of people don't bother with arms at all. As I said, I had it so I used it.

The body is chicken wire, which makes up 90% of all prop bodies (and 0.5% of human bodies. The invasion is coming). You don't have to use a funnel as a neck. Again, leftover remnants from mummy challenge.

I also had a pair of leftover legs. I have so many pairs of leftover legs I'm running out of ideas of what to do with them. Legs everywhere!
As you can see, the next step is pretty easy. Duct tape on the legs. Cover the body in newspaper, duct tape that on. Stick on the arms. Duct tape that on. Create hands with balled up newspaper. Duct tape that on.

I'd had a bit of a brilliant moment with the hands. I wanted my spider victim to be a making a fist so I made a fist, covered it in tin foil, carefully peeled it off, then stuffed that with newspaper. It gave me a crude mold so I didn't just have a ball at the end of the arm.

The next step is of course, spray paint:
White so no weird newspaper messages poke out through the webbing. Coat both sides, of course.

Some people do this completely differently and will wad up newspaper, then stuff that into stockings to create a frame. It works if you want to go that way. As I said, I had the frame so I used it.

I did get some stockings, but these were only knee high. Don't use knee high stockings. Get the full on panty hose. In white, of course, unless you have a flesh weaving spider. I don't want to know if you have a flesh weaving spider.
I used the stockings to build up what would become the base, cutting them in half and taping them onto my hobbit. Stockings don't do well with scotch tape so they'll fight you every step of the way. Stockings hate me.

Finally, take that bag of webbing and stretch it across the frame, rolling for about an hour until he's coated in enough that you're happy.
I'll probably cover the feet in more webbing as halloween gets closer, but I wanted to leave them mostly free to up the creepy factor.
It took me an afternoon to finish this guy, most of that time lost to watching the paint dry in June humidity. This was also the cheapest prop I have ever made. The stockings cost one dollar, which was all that had to be purchased. We already owned everything else. For what's normally a $20-$30 prop, pretty good deal.
Help me! Help me!

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