Blogoween Day 17 – Witchcrafting Wednesday: Giant PVC Spider

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This week is going by incredibly quickly and is very full of stuff and things and driving and moving and I can barely sit down to even type this out, so I am going to steal…FROM MYSELF!

Way back in 2013, I made a giant spider for my front lawn. I loved that thing to the very core of my black, icy heart, but of course I no longer have her. I only have the photos and the how to! I made a post about it on a very old site that I don’t utilize anymore, so I reverted that post to a draft, and I’m reposting here. Enjoy!

I fell in love with the concept of a larger-than-life arachnid when I happened upon one during a Google search and based him on designs here and here. He was shockingly simple to make and he will take up a hell of a lot of space: brodude ended up being almost 10 feet wide!

I sure hope these photos work, they’re still hosted on Blogspot I guess!

Supplies:

  • PVC PIPE! (a Halloween decorator’s biggest woe: why doesn’t PVC come in black???) I used 1/2″ which makes him a bit spindly. Bigger can obviously be used. I used about 58′ of pipe. Oh, and remember you don’t need like super fancy schedule pipe–this shit don’t need to carry water!
  • 4 – tee connectors
  • 8 – right angle connectors
  • 12 – 45 degree connectors
  • PVC cutters
  • Paint
  • Expandable foam (2 cans for me)
  • A ball of sorts
  • Cardboard
  • Creepy accoutrements

You want to start out with your base to keep your legs together (not metaphorically speaking, do whatever you’d like with your legs!). I had some painted PVC leftover from last year’s fence, and I have to say that cutting that pre-painted shit was a nightmare. Cutting clean, new PVC, though, was much better. I eyeballed these pieces, so I can’t really tell you the length of them, you just want both sides somewhat symmetrical. Or not, it’s your thing, after all. The front and back legs will bend away from the main body, so those connecting pieces can be much shorter than the middle legs which will be pretty similar, so they need some space. Connect your front legs with 45° thingies and the middle ones with your tee thingies. (Note: try to not call them “thingies” at the hardware store.  You will get more respect and better help from the seasoned old men in the red vests if you use their official-type name.)

All the pipes sticking up from the body bit I’m calling 1s. The 1s for all eight legs are all 24 inches long in my version. Between all 1s and 2s (the second leg segment) are all 90° connectors.  Okay, the most confusing part is coming up (luckily no part of this is really confusing so, you’re welcome). Each leg is made up of three segments. The two front and two back legs are 1, 2A, and 3A.  All of these segments are 24 inches. The middle legs are 1, 2B, and 3B.  Segment 1 is still 24″ but 2B and 3B are 36 inches. Got it? Okay, great. I knew you would.  Oh, and segment 2 and 3, no matter what length they are, are connected by a 45° connector.

I constructed my middle legs first and attached them to the base to hold it up.  I was experimenting with size, so I didn’t know what I needed for the front and back at this point.

You can get a little organicness by rotating the tee connectors ever so slightly to make the middle legs not be perfectly in line with one another. All of the connectors should be at a slight angle outward. You’ll see when you’ve got your legs on.

Oh my gods, my old hooooooooooooooooooooouse!! Look how sparce it was. We had NO furniture.

My suggestion would be to not construct this inside, for obvious reasons. Since I knew I’d want to play with the size and it wouldn’t be just a simple slap it all together thing, and it’s like a billion degrees outside, I did it in my living room. Had a couple other projects going on at the time too, so the place is messier than usual. When I transported it to the garage it fell apart completely (fitting through door frames and the like) and my neighbors heard their fair share of curses that day.

Once outside I propped it up again, being sure to get it up to the same height I had inside (putting the body at about 19 inches off the ground), and I grabbed a pizza hut box cover, cutting out the basic body and pincer shape I wanted.

I got this Charlotte-Perkins-Gilman-yellow ball from Walmart for $2.50. It was nasty and gritty and I could feel myself getting the kid-flu just from looking at it through the bungee chord bin. I had my first awkward exchange with a cashier of the season because of this ball. He asked me about my kids and I of course responded, “Hu? I don’t have any…oh! Yeah, no, that’s a spider butt.” I placed it between the middle and back legs and shoved it almost to the cardboard (not all the way down though) preserving the width between the legs.

The next step is to go crazy with expandable foam–your best friend at Halloween, looking all nasty and organ-y. God, I love it. I used an entire can (you have to use the can in one go, as it will harden in the nozzle) and covered the body, built up the fangs, and secured the connections to the 1s.

I used a second can to fill in under the ball/butt (this makes sure it sticks) and to build up around the leg connections and anywhere I wanted it to go.  Since my ball is transparent, I could see that I was getting all the crevasses.  And it can be super messy because that’s what Halloween is, right?

Finally, I had some crappy black fabric from last year’s dollar-store Halloween binge and tied it off at the connectors for the legs and spread it over the ball/butt.  I wanted spidey’s bum to be smoother than the rest of the body, but not super smooth. Adding this netting did nothing for the actual construction though, so it’s not necessary. Anything you want to do to give this dude body should be done now. Because painting’s next.

More tie-on things.

So then basically I spray painted him black. Spray painting PVC is kinda a pain, so I partially sprayed, partially used some old charcoal-grey paint and brushes from last year to do the legs. I liked painting over the netting because it helps it stick to the body and it gives it more depth. You can see some of that sickening yellow peaking through, and I like that too. I considered using these little skulls I had for eyes, doing about six or eight of them on the head, but it didn’t look right. For now I am forgoing eyes, and if I find something I like I’ll add them, but he will most likely stay like that. I went a little bonkers from the spray paint and played around with some metallic grey stuff too for fun. You can’t really tell, but he looks kind of wet which is creepy. He got a layer of clear coat to protect him from the rain too, of course.

And that’s it! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. He’ll need something to keep him up probably once he’s mounted on the lawn, but I’ll figure that out when the time comes. Skinny Aragog will take up a spot 10′ wide on the lawn or some roof space if you can figure out how to hang him. Now I’ve just got to figure out how to do other projects that require the garage while this jerk takes up all the space. What possessed me to make this dude at the end of August is beyond me.

 

And that’s the end of that old post. Wow, I actually did a pretty terrible job explaining that…I definitely think I’ll be recreating this guy in the year to come, hopefully a new and improved version of him, and I’ll put up much better directions. Ugh, I just got myself re-pumped for Halloween, but I have to go back to packing…it will be worth it once we move though because we’ll get to pass out candy!

Blogoween Day 3 – Witchcrafting Wednesday: A Moon Wreath

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I honestly thought making a video instead of a blog post would be easier. It was absolutely not. It was, however, actually a lot of fun, I just really poorly budgeted my time. Besides taking an hour to eat dinner and watch the new Shane Dawson video, I have worked on this all day, so like it’s only 15 minutes out of your life, but it was a whole day of mine, okay??

Blogmas: 5 Last Minute Gift Ideas

I’ve thankfully finished all of my Christmas shopping with four days to spare, but I know not everybody is quite so lucky. To help out those poor, unfortunate souls with no idea what to get their spouse, coworkers, or other obligatory gift recipient, I’ve put together a list of five gifts you already have in your own home just waiting to be given to that lucky someone in your life. How convenient is that?

IMG_20171220_195406069Festive Diamond Sphere Decor

Imagine gifting a loved one with a beautiful globe of precious, shining gems they can place upon their Christmas tree. They may not even be able to discern that this fancy-shmancy looking ornament is nothing more than a ball of tinfoil, tightly packed by your own hands and impaled on one of the hooks you found unceremoniously one night with your bare feet while trudging to the bathroom, wondering how the fuck you didn’t find it two weeks ago when you packed away the unused decorations. Bonus if you’ve wrapped something up inside. Doesn’t matter what, everyone enjoys a surprise. I’ve put an old baby carrot in mine. It’s symbolic of the baby Jesus. Bonus to the bonus, this can be used as a cat toy!

IMG_20171220_195039887_BURST000_COVER_TOPHair Ribbons

We’ve all got a girly-girl to bequeath with a gift this season, but why get her the same old pink things she probably already owns when you can give her a hand-crafted, upcycled, laundry-chic accessory? Two used dryer sheets and a little knotting skill, and you’ve got an A+ gift that will have the whole world asking “Who is she?” and “Why does she smell so good?” (A valid question when someone’s wearing trash in their hair.) As a plus, your gift receiver can use this to play with her cats too!

 

IMG_20171220_195223877Best Friend Forever

Every child wants to wake up to a puppy under the tree on Christmas morning, but not every parent wants to wake up to a puppy piddle puddle where the tree used to be every morning after that. A good alternative is gifting the child in your life a pet that requires next to no responsibilities: a pet rock. Check your front or backyards, your giftee’s new best friend is certainly already out there, just waiting to be adopted. And if the giftee already has a cat, it won’t feel intimidated or bullied by Rocky.

IMG_20171220_195625029Sportball 5000 XG Turbo Pain Reliever

Active people. We’ve all got one in our lives, running from here to there, wearing tight clothes, eating a salad like they’re some kind of fucking rabbit. But they’re actually people, and you can probably hand off a gift to them as they jog on by. The Sportball 5000 XG Turbo Pain Reliever utilizes revolutionary crystalline hydrogen dioxide technology enwrapped in a patented malleable containment field. Applied directly to any spot of discomfort instantly relieves inflammation and pain, and will leave your gift receiver with a smile of pure satisfaction. This gift is also transformative! Sometimes you’re just lifting too heavy to take a break, and before you know it you need to hydrate and do it now! Drink up on demand with the S5XGTPR as it converts into an emergency hydration packet. Your cat can also utilize the Turbo Pain Reliever, albeit not for very long.

IMG_20171220_195817925A World of Possibilities

Chances are, you managed to actually purchase a gift for someone, at the very least you snagged something for yourself on black Friday, and you probably have the empty box from that purchase lying around. Well, wrap that baby up and hand it off! No, don’t put anything inside it, trust me. This can go one of three ways:

  1. They open the box, find nothing inside, then you tell them you’ve given them the most precious gift of all: time. When they don’t understand that right away, explain that the time they would have spent utilizing a gift from you can now be spent on something else–whatever they want, in fact. Tell them they are so very welcome as they will be too astounded at your genius to remember to thank you.
  2. They open the box, find nothing inside, then you scream “Oh my _insert_diety_here_! Where is…how did…what in the world? It was there! Right there, I tell you!” The receiver will undoubtedly get caught up in your flabbergastment, most likely to the point they will forget to even ask what it was you had boxed up, but in the unlikely event that they do question you, insist it was the absolute most perfect gift, specifics are unnecessary and, in fact, would only sadden them since they don’t have the gift now. If they give you any kind of skeptical look, immediately go on the defensive, “What? You think I just wrapped up an empty box and gave it to you? What kind of monster do you think I am? How very dare you!”
  3. They open the box, find nothing inside, then thank you profusely for getting them the perfect gift for their cat.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of last minute gifts. You are so very welcome.

Edit: Omigosh I forgot the music! I am so sorry, Dear Reader. To make up for it, please enjoy The Boss sliding down your chimney:

Blogmas: A Wreath

YuleWreath2017

I did a Christmas craft! Yeay! Well, I guess technically it’s a Yule craft, according to the name. When I showed Husband the finished product, he made a legit “woah” face, told me “That’s freaking cool” and said it reminded him of Hermes which, in many ways, was what I was kind of going for (also Artemis, obviously).

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Supplies and my scratched up table. It has seen its fair share of crafts.

I wanted a wreath, and I figured I could make one, and if I was going to make one, I should go all in and make exactly what I wanted. No greenery here! I took some inspiration from Homemade Ginger for the twine background. I thought it had a distinctly witchy vibe, then tried to take it in a little more wintery direction.

Everything came from Michaels except the twine which just came from my mini craft closet thing. I found sprigs of gold/off-white/glittery things at the store that I thought went well together and were also on sale. They were really big, but I intended to cut everything apart anyway.

I started with a metal ring and wrapped it in the twine–this was both for the aesthetic of the twiney look and to give everything I’d glue to it something to grab onto. Then I continued with the twine and wrapped it about, criss-crossing the ring. My one regret here was not looping the twine around the ring every time I crossed it. In some places I just when around the ring instead of looping it totally to make it sturdy. I’m afraid the strings might come loose in the future.

That got tied off when I felt it was right and then I started laying out the pieces of my flowers where I thought they should go. Again, this was all a feeling, but I stuck with the more neutral gold leaves as the base, then added in the glittery leaves in distinct groups since they were visually louder. Since they were originally these really tall sprigs, they had wire running through them, so I was able to twist them around the ring until I was ready to start hot gluing which I did from the back at first, then when it dried I added some to the front under the leaves for stability.

The antlers were planned for the bottom, of course, and the flowers were strewn around to cover up and parts of the metal still visible. Like a lot of artsy fartsy projects, it was mostly by feeling: what looked good to me and would I be willing to continue staring at as time went on? I can stare at this and not get sick of it, I think. I’m just glad I got this done before the new year, honestly.

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Obligatory filtered photo.

And here’s a little diddy for you to turn up while you’re crafting this holiday season:

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Well, it’s officially August, and you know what that means: IT’S ALMOST HALLOWEEN!

Wait, what? You didn’t know that’s what this time of year is? You don’t know about Almost-Halloween? Pre-Pre-Halloween?

Well, shit, strap in because let me explain to you how the year works:

January through March or It’s So Fucking Cold Who Cares
Everything freezes over and dies which is sort of Halloween-y, but everyone calls snow magical which veils the true brutality of the white death dust. When the Valentine’s chocolate shows up, contemplate making a bloody heart out of gelatin for your love. If they accept, start planning a couples costume.

April through June or How The Hell Did It Get So Hot?
If you’re in Florida it’s already Summer, but in the rest of the northern hemisphere, it’s spring, and no matter where you are, you’re as far away from Halloween as you can get on the calendar (though you could argue that November 1st is as far as you can get according to Prince Is Right rules). You try and find the stuff you bought at the craft and holiday-themed stores last November 1st. You find a single Dollar Tree skull missing an eye and a glitter spider with two broken legs. Rebirth is all around you, and it’s really difficult to think of death, but you gotta try, buddy. I believe in you!

July or MY BIRTHDAY and Pre-Pre-Pre Halloween
As a gift to myself in the month I was born, I start thinking hardcore about Halloween and fantasizing about a chilly breeze because it’s hotter than the devil’s butthole down here in The Sunshine State. July is like the first trimester of Halloween. You know it’s coming, but it’s still a long way off. You might start collecting things, pinning stuff, and getting grandiose ideas about something pirate-themed because that always seems like a good idea early on (spoiler alert: you’ll switch it to vampires when the first red leaf falls).

August or Pre-Pre-Halloween
Now’s the time to get your shit together for real. Make your first of many visits to Dollar Tree. Make your second and third visits to the Dollar Trees in the next city over. BUY ALL THE SQUEAKY RATS. You need to get yourself set on a theme early PPH so that your crafts/planning don’t go off on a tangent. DO YOU HEAR ME PIRATE PEOPLE? BUILDING A SEA MONSTER DOESN’T SEEM SO EASY NOW, DOES IT? By the end of the month you need to have at least half of everything you want to get done, done.

September or Pre-Halloween
HOLY SHIT YOU DON’T HAVE HALF OF EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO GET DONE, DONE, DO YOU? Of course not, because you didn’t heed my warnings and take PPH seriously. PH should be about putting the final touches on your yard display, but you really end up in a mad rush, covered in paper mache and spirit gum, one eyebrow burnt off, and when your husband finds you in the garage you realize you just lost two and a half hours daydreaming about giant spiders wrapping you in a gentle cocoon because you forgot to open the door and accidentally huffed spray paint. You might end up with naught to show for your trouble but half of a dragon skull and a cat who’s now terrified of PVC, but it doesn’t matter because guess what…

October HALLOWEEN!!!
You thought Halloween was one day? Hell no, mother fucker, Halloween is a 31 day pumpkin-spiced, Burton-styled, blood-spattered, Hill-House-haunted, bat-bogey-hexed spooktacular of all that’s creepy and orange and wonderful. You gave up on your crafts after your husband hid all the paint and just threw whatever you had out on the lawn surrounded by crime scene tape. You can spend the actual month doing some costume planning and baking all those ridiculous Pinterest holiday foods that always come out looking insane, but its okay because it’s Halloween and shit is supposed to be grungy. THAT’S THE AESTHETIC. You’ll go to work one day with eyeliner streaked across both cheeks because it didn’t come off during a makeup test the night before. You’ll try and convince your coworkers they’re crazy. It won’t work, but you can distract them with cookies shaped like Frankenstein. The actual day arrives. YOU have arrived. All is right with the world for a solid 24 hours.

November or Post Halloween Depression
Unless you’re careful PHD will hit you harder than Leatherface’s chainsaw. Visit all the craft and holiday-themed stores the day after and put that shit somewhere. It doesn’t matter where, you will only find a broken glitter spider and a skull in need of an eye-patch next year anyway. Maybe next year you will do a pirate theme? You keep the spirit (ha, get it?) alive with apple cider and cemetery visits. You salvage what’s left of the lawn ornaments. You have a little cry.

Chri-December or Green and Red Glitter Hell
Utter madness descends upon you like a plague. There is more carnage this time of year than the holiday that’s meant to be covered in severed limbs. People are literally barreling over one another for discounts at their local shop-all. It’s not the Halloweenies that are the savages, it’s the Christ-mas-ians. A few “twisted” individuals release horror-themed Christmas movies. You decorate everything with Nightmare Before Christmas stuff because you can, and ride out the storm clinging onto that plastic pumpkin you spray painted gold with the hope that someone’s throwing a fancy-dress party for New Years. And then it gets cold.

So now I hope you understand what I mean when I say it’s Almost-Halloween as basically the whole world revolves around October 31st. Start preparing now, my little creepies, Pre-Halloween will be here any moment!