Tanya Memme's DIY Giant Halloween Lawn Spider
• One 12" wide Styrofoam Ball
• One 10" wide Styrofoam Ball
• Sixteen 90-degree PVC Elbow Fittings
• Eight 45-degree PVC Elbow Fittings
• Eight End Cap Fittings
• Sixteen ½" PVC Pipes cut to 16"
• Eight ½" PVC Pipes cut to 8"
• Expanding Foam Glue
• Bag Black Pipe Cleaners
• Red Craft Crystal Jewels
• Hot Glue Gun
You can find all of these at your local Home & Garden store. Check online for optimal pricing.
Connecting The Head To The Abdomen?
You want to use the 12" Styrofoam ball as your abdomen and the 10" ball as your head. Shave a little off of the ball where you are going to affix the two balls together. Set aside the part you shaved off to be later made into a set of fangs. For extra support, you can use a pencil as a joint to bridge the two balls. Apply Expanding Foam Glue to both ends of the balls and press them together. Allow them to dry completely.
Prepping The Head For The Legs
Arrange eight 90-degree elbow fittings, four on each side of the body, toward the bottom to help support the weight of the spider. Space the fittings evenly on the body for optimal balance.
Push the fittings into the Styrofoam. Secure with the Expanding Foam glue. A little dab will do you. Remember: it expands!
Making The Legs
Our spider legs will be made with 3 segments of PVC pipe. Use ½" PVC pipe for the leg segments. Cut the ½" PVC pipe into 16 segments cut at 16" length, and 8 segments cut at 8" length. Have the PVC pipe cut at your Home and Garden store, or cut them yourself at home with a table saw.
Use the 8" length PVC pipe for the top segment of the legs. Place one of the 90-degree elbow fitting at the end of the 8" length PVC pipe segment. Insert one of the 16" length PVC pipes into the other end of the 90-degree elbow fitting to create the second segment of the leg. Repeat the process with one more 45-degree elbow fitting and one more 16" length PVC pipe segment. It’s not necessary, but you can place an end cap fitting for aesthetic.
Gluing the fittings to the PVC pipes is optional. The fit will be snug enough to hold the legs together without the glue. Also, not gluing the legs will make it able for you to adjust the legs once they are attached to the body, should you need to. This also makes for easier storage from season to season.
Painting Your Spider
Spray paint can damage Styrofoam. Hand-brush the spider’s body with black acrylic paint. Set this aside to dry completely. Next, spray paint the legs with a high gloss black to give the legs that creepy shiny look. Make sure to buy a spray paint that is designed to be applied to plastic, so as to avoid scratching and flaking. Allow paint to dry completely.
Attaching The Legs To The Body
Insert the top of the legs into the 90-degree elbow fittings on the abdomen. Again, gluing the legs to the body is optional.
Detailing The Spider
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Use black pipe cleaners to create hairs on the abdomen. Just stick them into the Styrofoam head and abdomen in random patterns. Bend the pipe cleaners to give them the look of hair. To achieve a red shiny look for the eyes, use craft plastic “crystal" jewels. Use a cooler hot glue gun to secure the eyes. A piping hot glue gun will melt the Styrofoam. Create “fangs" by inserting the cutting the discarded Styrofoam into teeth. Then insert the fangs into the Styrofoam head and secure with the cooler hot glue gun.