Ken Wingard’s DIY Grim Reaper


  • Galvanized Piping
  • Chicken Wire
  • Plywood base
  • Burlap
  • Black Paint
  • Dry Wall Compound
  • Coveralls

Skeleton Of Grim Reaper:

  1. Mark off the locations of the four holes so we can secure the flange to the board.
  1. Take your galvanized piping and cut it to whatever height works for your prop. Remember that the top of the pipe will be at shoulder height. Sand down one end of the pipe with sandpaper. The main goal here is to make the pipe fit snugly onto the base.
  1. We used Matt as our life size model to figure out proportionate lengths of shoulders and arms for the overall height of our prop. Once you got all your pieces cut and put together. Drill some drywall screws through each galvanized fitting and pipe to hold them secure so they don’t come apart or twist. On the end of the hand on my prop I attached a cap and screwed in a metal hook. This is where my lantern is going to hang from.
  1. Depending on the position of your reaper you may need to add some supports to support the weight of the burlap when it has the monster mud on it.
  1. Also, now would be a good time to run any wiring if you are going to hard wire a lantern or electrical prop. Next, we take the chicken wire and give the prop some shape. Try to wear some thick gloves when doing this because the chicken wire can be sharp. I made a big cylinder for the body and shaped it a bit. Next, I took a small piece and attached it to the top to shape the head.
  1. Lastly, I made another smaller piece and draped it over the arm. We now have the perfect grim reaper frame.

Making Monster Mud:

  1. Now for the fun part! To make the monster mud I used 1 part black paint with 3 parts of drywall compound. Cut you burlap and test fit them on your prop so you can make sure everything will cover correctly. Next I took a blade and tattered up all the edges of the fabric to try to give it a worn look.
  1. Take each piece and submerge it in the monster mud mixture. Make sure you thoroughly coat each piece. When you pull the pieces out try to squeeze off any extra mud. It also may be a good idea to have a friend help you with this process since the burlap is extremely heavy when coated with monster mud.
  1. Once you got all your pieces on play around with them until you like the overall flow of the fabric on your prop. You can also slap on some mud and work it onto the fabric if you missed some spots.
  1. Let your prop dry for a couple days and it will become significantly lighter when all the water dries out of the mixture. Spray the inside of prop where you can see the chicken wire with black flat spray paint. I sprayed inside the hood and under the arm. Makes it looks really creepy at night when it’s just a super dark nothingness inside his cowl.
  1. Now we want to waterproof our prop so it doesn't turn to mush when it’s outside in the weather.

Do It Yourself Grim Reaper - Home & Family

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