I decided I needed to make a giant spider before Halloween. When I started this project it was already October 10th, which didn’t leave a lot of time. But what the hell. I figured -Worst case scenario is I get it finished by next year!! I did manage to get this one in just under the wire, so you can Pin this one now for next year 🙂
The inspiration behind this project is because last year I saw this REALLY AWESOME giant spider at Home Depot.But it was $250!! And I decided to wait until it went on sale. But before it got cheap enough for me to pull out my credit card, they were all sold out. 🙁 So, this year I thought I would try again, but now it has been discontinued. 🙁 So what does a good DIY blogger do? Why I will make my own GIANT DIY Halloween Spider of course!!
Here is a list of the supplies you will need.
Black ABS Pipe:
You can buy this at a plumbing supply store, or a big box store like Home Depot.
1.5″ ABS pipe in the following lengths:
8 pieces @ 36″
8 pieces @ 24″
1.5″ ABS couplings as follows
45° x 8
14″ x 9″ piece of plywood
Hot Glue Gun and glue sticks
Christmas Ornaments (Red)
Halloween treat bucket
I bought 2 different kinds of fabric for my spider.
This really amazing hairy fur for the body and head
approx. 1 Meter (yard) of 145cm (60″) wide fabric
145cm wide fabric (60″) 1.7 meters (1.85 yards)
Constructing the Legs
Pre cut all of the ABS into the necessary lengths. You can cut it with your chop saw. For the legs you will need to attach a 3′ length of pipe and a 2′ length, using a 45° fitting. And then the 22° fitting will attach to the end of the 2′ section.
So each legs will consist of:
- 3′ Length of ABS pipe
- 45° coupling
- 2″ Length of ABS pipe
- 22° coupling
You need to use ABS Glue. I asked Greg if Contact cement would work and he said no… but then that may just be so it’s water tight 🙂 Which we don’t need. I used ABS glue. Run the glue around the inside of the fitting and the outside of the pipe. insert the pipe and swivel it a bit, ensuring that your fitting is correctly aligned so that it will be in the right direction for the plywood.
Continue assembling all of the legs until all 8 legs are constructed.
This is the piece that holds all of the legs, and will eventually support the body and head. I started with a piece of scrap plywood that I had. Dimensions were 14″ x 9″ I trimmed off the corners, measuring 2.5″ in from each corner and cutting diagonally. This will allow the legs to be in more of a circular arrangement vs. just being directly off the sides.
Originally, I attached all of the 22 ° couplings first, like this. But it wasn’t very sturdy, and there was way too much flex, once all of the legs were attached.
So, I revised it to this configuration. This is how it looked before the legs were attached. The straight pieces of pipe attaching the middle legs together, keeps the flex to a minimum. In the finished piece all of the 22’s are glued to the legs. However, the straight pieces are only bolted together, through both pieces of pipe and the board. The reason I didn’t glue all of the pieces together is so that I could remove the legs for storage. I don’t know about you but I don’t really have room to store a 10′ spider all year round! All fittings are attached to the board with bolts and nuts.
To attach the legs you will need to first drill through the pipe pieces. Make sure your bolts are long enough to go through the pipe, plywood and leave enough room to fasten with a bolt. I used 3″ bolts. But first let’s cover them with fabric
Covering the Legs
Next we cover the legs in spider ‘skin’. I bought a remnant piece for this. It has a textured pattern to it, and also has some sparkle. Here is what it looked like after covering the legs. Just go to the bargain section of your favourite fabric store and chose something that looks like it will make decent looking spider fur. You will need about 1.7 m(1.85 yds) of 145cm (60″) fabric. This was on for $5/meter and then an additional 50% off. Sweet!
The width of this fabric was 145cm (60″) wide and my piece was 1.65 metres (xx yards), which ended up being just enough to cover my eight legs. Each leg takes a 7″ wide piece, in 2 sections of 2′ and 3′ long. Pre cut all of the leg pieces. If your fabric has stretch, keep the stretch going up the length (2 or 3′) of your legs, and not across the width (7″). You will need 8 pieces at 7′ x 2′ and 8 pieces at 7″ x 3′.
Working with Spray Adhesive
Make sure you have a drop cloth, before working with spray adhesive. Also WEAR GLOVES, or you will end up with sticky furry little spider hands,
Lay down a large tarp. Lay cardboard down that you can toss out after. I used an old moving box. Start by laying out the correct sized fabric piece – wrong side up, just off to the side of your work area, away from your glueing area. Apply glue to only the section of the pipe, that you are covering. I started with the 2′ pipe section end first. Once the section is covered in glue press it onto the fabric piece ensuring that it is centered, and then roll it from side to side to cover it with fabric, first in once direction an then the other. Repeat the process with the 3′ section. Try to cover to “knee” as well, but don’t worry about the 22 piece on the end, as it will be covered in fur later. Here’s what my workstation looked like:
Once all of the legs are covered in fabric, you will have an area where the fabric overlapped which will not be glued, since you were gluing your pipe and not the fabric. Use a glue gun to seal up the seams. Wear a thick rubber glove on whatever hand isn’t holding the glue gun. This will save you a ton of hot glue burns which are really painful! Just run a line of glue up the seam on the underside of the piece that is on the top, and then using your gloved hand press it down to bond.
When all of the legs are covered and drilled attach them to the body board using bolts, washers and nuts. Now your spider will look something like this. Note that this photo was taken before fun was applied to the legs.
I have seen this done in a few different ways including using expanding foam. Since I am covering my spider wth fabric, I just need to get roughly the right shape for the body and head, and then cover in my super awesome shaggy hairy spider fur. I decided to just use a couple of old pillows that I found while cleaning out my closet. If you don’t happen to have old pillows laying around I would suggest using one or two Walmart Blue Whale pillows. These are my go to pillows for craft and decor projects. They are cheap and full, and cost about $5 each. I also bought a couple of treat bowls from the dollar store. So, I squished the pillows so that they were rounded on the top and bottom, and then taped it into roughly the shape that I wanted. And then I used packing tape to mould it into the shape that I wanted. Here is what it looked like before it was covered in fabric, nothing fancy. The way it shows in this photo is upside down, I wanted the bump on the right side to be the spider’s bum. I wanted it to sort of stick up… ya know?? Feel free to play around with the shape of your spider. You could just use a pillow and tape it into the shape you want. Or go to the dollar store, and grab any of their containers that are in the shape that you like. Personal preference here.
Before covering your body in fabric, cover it with plastic garbage bags and tape it closed using packing tape. try not to rip any holes in the bag. The reason behind this is that if it rains or gets wet (assuming you are putting it outside) it will get very heavy if the pillows absorb water. This way only the fur around the pillows will get wet. Now are you seeing my vision for the spider bum??? hmmmm? When you have it place where you want, attach it to the plywood using duct tape. Drape the fun fur over the body and fasten it to the plywood using a staple gun. Start by stapling the fur down in the front and back and then the sides. From there just pull it in and staple all the way around. until it resembles a spider body… more or less 🙂 Just use a rectangular piece of fabric large enough to cover your body, this will depend on how large you made your spider body.
To start you just need a plastic container. I used this halloween treat bucket from the dollar store because it has a nice round shape and a good opening. . I removed the strap and then just cut a piece of fur large enough to cover the outside of the bucket. Next you’ll want to heat up your hot glue gun and tack down the 4 square edges. Then glue around until the whole bucket is covered and still round.
Here is what this looked like in construction.
I decided to leave the little cowlick on the side of his head, I think it adds character.
Attaching the head
Play around with placement until you get the head where you want it. To attach the head just sew it on using a needle and thread. I used a Curved Upholstery Needle but you could probably just use a straight needle.
Fangs and Eyes
The last design elements to make this look like a spider, and hopefully a scary spider. Well, as scary as a fluffy furry spider can be… For the fangs. I just went and cruised the aisles of the dollar store, to see what I could find that would work for fangs, and I found these!!Silver devil horns on a headband.Flip these puppies upside down and they make the PERFECT fangs!!!! To attach them to the head, I place them where I wanted them, and then poked a small hole on either side of the head, through the fur and the plastic bucket. Then I just poked the ends of the headband through the holes and pushed it in tight.
In the outset I had grand ambitions about lighting up the eyes, but if that happens it will have to be an upgrade for next year. So, for now I went with these eyes. Not lit up, but good and reflective
To mimic spider eyes I went with red reflective Christmas Ornaments. You can get these at the dollar store too! Or Amazon, if it’s not the right season. Say if maybe you are a better planner than I am and you don’t leave your Halloween spider until mid-October.
The ornaments cut up pretty well with craft scissors or aviation snips . Just cut off the piece where the hanger is attached. And then cut the ornament in half along the seam. I used a half of an old styrofoam easter egg to add some backing so that there is something to glue to. I was planning on using round styrofoam balls, but I couldn’t find any the right size at the time, so I dug through my craft room closet, and used what I had. Innovation… you know
Before I place the eyes with glue I used packing tape to put them in place and choose where I wanted them. I opted for this configuration. Just pull back the fur and use hot glue to affix to the head.
And for the piece de la resistance, I added a bag of bones, under the spider. Victims 🙂
Because I only fixed the middle 4 legs. The 4 corner legs are able to be move so you can swing them back to the side, which makes it easier to move him around if you need to. Next year, I will add some large scale cobwebs. But for this year, I am out of time.
And as suggested by Tammy below, here’s a shot of me and the spider, so you can see the sizeAnd one of Sage, who really should be more scared than she is!!!
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Tammy Anderson says
Fabulous! You need a photo of you beside it so we can see how big it is!
Good Idea Tammy, I’ll add one!