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I will try my best to explain how I did this, but it was a "build as you go" project for me. There was no specific size scale I went by, just cut, build and hope it fit.
Eventually, I would like to animate the wheels on it so that they turn. Most of the materials were either given to me, stuff that was laying around or dumpster diving treasures. The only materials I did buy were the plywood for the wheels, the luan paneling for the sides, the heavy window plastic, plastic chain, a set of cat eyes, clothes from the Salvation Army for the driver and the post toppers/finials for the spider adornments on top of the hearse.
Now on to my mad creation that I call my Black Widow Hearse featuring Rig & Mortus.

Step 1: Create a Box Frame

For this I used pressure treated hand rail pieces and the deck spindles that were going to be thrown away.
On the inside bottom of the frame you will want to add a piece of 2x4 or 2x6 wood that will be used for attaching & supporting the driver's seat.

Step 2: Side Panels

Measure & cut pieces of luan paneling to fit the side and front of the hearse. For the front I just cut a plain square for the window. The sides I drew a rectangle then drew spider webs in the top corners and cut them out with a jigsaw.
For the rear doors I first cut a piece the same as the front piece. Then cut 2 seperate pieces out for the doors. Attach a drawer pull, of your choice, to the doors.
I also used the luan to close the top and bottom of the box.
Take a piece of 3/4 inch foam board insulation and cut it to fit the inside of the carriage.
Add trim pieces to the corners.
Cut trim for around the inside and out side of the windows and add 2 plastic spiders (painted silver to the the corners of the webs). I used heavy plastic window insulation for the windows. Plexiglas is WAY TOO Expensive but can be used if you have it!!

Step 3: Driver's Seat

I took a piece of plywood and joined 2 wood side panels from one of those little country benches with the heart cut out in them and used a piece of 2x4 to join the back side where it will attach to the main body of the hearse.
Next I took a piece of plywood and attached it to the bottom section using some chair spindles I had cut to fit the height I wanted the seat to be at.
Added the foot board, and a piece of 2x4 across the front (just under the foot board) to attach the front wheel assembly to, painted it and added decorative pieces that I had taken off of a dresser that was headed for the dumpster.
Attach the seat to the body using 3 carriage bolts.
No carriage is complete without lights on the side. I took 2 plastic ornaments and sanded the paint off of them, so that they were clear. Next I cut the top of the ornament to fit one of those battery operated flickering tea lights. I then used stained glass window paints to cover the ornament and paint an hour glass design on it. I placed them in spider candle holders I had. Next I drilled holes in the sides of the driver's seat and inserted the flat end of a short metal handled paint brush (with the bristles removed) between the legs & the base of the candle holder and the opposite end into the hole drilled into the seat.

Step 4: Decorative Top Trim

Cut 4 pieces of 2x4 wood into squares then drill a hole in the center of each to screw the 4 post toppers into them.
Then drill 2 holes in the bottom of the 2x4 pieces and insert wooden dowels to attach them to the top of the main body.
Drill a hole in the tops of the 4 post toppers big enough to fit the stem part of a smaller size plastic Christmas tree ornament. Take the ornaments and glue them in.
Drill holes in the top corners of the main body to fit the dowels from the ornamental corner pieces. Once in place cut pieces of 3/4 inch pvc to go in between each corner piece. Mark and cut out the areas to attach the pvc.
Complete the spider look for the corners by drilling 4 holes on each side of the plastic ornaments and 2 holes in the top. Use the stems from the silk flowers you will use for the Black Widow Coffin Blanket. Spray paint the corner spider pieces and pvc silver then spritz it with black paint and wipe off to give a tarnished look.

Step 5: Wheels & Wheel Assembly

On a piece of plywood draw out a large circle. Then draw a slightly smaller circle. Inside of the smaller circle draw the pattern for the web. Mark the areas to be cut out. Cut them out using a jigsaw or a RotoZip tool if you are more comfortable with that. Cut a hole in the center for the axle to go through.
Cut a round piece for the wheel hub out of a piece of plywood.
For the rear wheel assembly, cut 2 2x4 pieces of wood for the rear supports. For added stability cut 2 triangle shaped pieces of wood and attach to the front and back of the 2x4 support. Attach these to the main body using angle brackets (you can add dowels if you like also) Measure and drill a hole for the axle to go through.
For the front wheel assembly drill 2 1 inch holes in the front piece of wood of the foot section of the drivers seat. Take 1 inch diam. piece of pvc pipe and begin CAREFULLY heating it and bending it to fit as in the picture below.
Cut 2 pieces of 2x4 as you did for the back, rounding them off at the top and use one of the decking spindles attach the 2 front supports and pvc piece together.
Paint everything then add the draping to the inside of the side windows by stapling it in place. If you want the inside of the carriage lit, add a light to the inside of the top. You are now done with the Carriage. On to the finishing touches.......

Step 6: Black Widow Coffin Blanket

Take a large Styrofoam ball and cut it in half. Take a smaller Styrofoam ball and cut it in half. Attach the 2 smaller halves together using a wooden skewer or piece of of wire flower stem. Then attach that to 1 piece of the larger Styrofoam ball. Insert silk flowers (of your choice) into the Styrofoam. Trim the stems so that they fit fairly close to the Styrofoam balls. Make sure to fill it thick enough so that the Styrofoam is not showing. Spray paint the flowers black then insert, red silk rose buds in the design of an hour glass the the larger rear section. Add legs. I used the legs off of a spider I had but you could probably use the thicker pipe cleaners. Add 2 red rose buds for the eyes.
For the coffin, I used foam board insulation but if you prefer you can use wood.
Now on to the horse.

Step 7: Rig

Start with an animated reindeer. Cover the frame with chicken wire and corpse the body using liquid latex and paper towels. For the nose of the horse you will use chicken wire shaped and attached to the original deer head frame.
After it is dry take hot glue and draw veins all over it. Now apply a second layer of the corpsing to cover over the hot glue veins. Cut ears out of pool noodles and hot glue them to the head. Corpse over them making sure to blend pieces from the ears down onto the head. Rig now needs 2 black stone eyes. Take the stones and hot glue them in place. Build up around the eyes using putty or rolled pieces of paper toweling. If you use putty, let it dry. Corpse over it blending it into the head.
Spray paint him primer gray (masking the eyes). Once dry cover him with black paint, a small section at a time, and wipe it off.
I used fronds I had from the Dollar Tree - spray painted white and gray - for the mane, tail and eyelashes.
Spray paint black plastic chain silver. Cut it to fit as pictured below.
For the harness, I took a pool noodle and cut it to fit around his neck. Then I took the pool noodle and split it all the way down one side and spread it open.
Next I took pieces of wire and ran them through the pool noodle all the way down the length of it, leaving enough sticking out on the ends to push back up through the opposite sides to close the ends. Sew a sleeve out of a piece of landscape material to fit over the pool noodle. Once on, place it over the gap between the head and the body and push up the pieces of wire. Hot glue small skulls (or whatever you prefer) to decorate the sides of the harness. Take foam insulating rope and cut it to make small loops for the chain to attach to. Paint it silver and run a piece of wire up through the center of it to help keep it's shape. Cut the wire a little long so you can push it into the harness. Hot glue them into into place.
A horse pulling a funeral carriage would be feel naked without a plumed headpiece. I used the plastic demon sickle blade for the base. I did the tarnish paint job on it and added 2 faux gemstones for the eyes. Hot glue a piece of foam with feathers pushed into it to the top. Now poke a hole into the horse's head through the center most link of chain on the back head band. Insert a wood dowel and slide the headpiece over it. Hot glue in place. Be sure to do this with the head in the highest position so that the blade does not poke into the body. Now add an hourglass horse blanket made from a black piece of material with an hour glass design painted on it. Hot glue it in spots so that the wind doesn't glow it away on you.

Step 8: Mortus

Mortus is basically a corpsed Blucky skeleton (plastic blow mold skeleton commonly found at Big Lots during Halloween).
For the hat I cut a large circle out of thick cardboard. I cut a smaller circle out of the center of it. Then took another piece of cardboard and rolled it to create the top part of the hat. Duct tape it in place. Cut a piece for the very top of the hat and duct tape that in place. Next glue black felt to cover the hat. Now take a piece of cheese cloth and spray paint it gray. Tie it around the hat as pictured.
I didn't like the original Blucky skull so I used a foam skull for Mortus' head. Take hot glue and create veins like you did on Rig over the skull. Corpse over it and paint it all gray.
For the eyes I took a ping pong ball and cut it in half. Then I took some Crayola Model Magic rolled into a ball and pushed the cat eyes into it. Now take the Model Magic and push it into the ping pong ball halves to give them a more uniform shape. Let them dry completely then take liquid latex and put a coat or two over them to yellow them.
This next part happened quite by accident. I wanted to give Mortus a tongue and was looking around for something to use when I spotted the container with the paint brush stuck in the dried up latex. I cut two of the side pieces of and then painted the whole thing gray then glued it into Mortus' mouth.
Again, paint black over the gray on the skull and wipe it off. Leave more of the black on the tongue so that it is more noticeable.
Now Mortus needs some hair. I took an old Halloween wig and clipped sections of strands and hot glued them to the skull.
Time to put him together. I took a piece of 3/4 inch pvc and ran it up through the pelvis & torso and up into the head. I put 2 nails up through the end of it so that they would pierce the skull enough to keep the head in the position I wanted it.
For the hands cut each finger apart so that you can put gloves on him. You will need to run pieces of wire down into each finger so that you can bend the fingers to hold the chains from Rig.
Now to make him more stable on the seat, I took a piece of board and ran it from one leg to the other, screwing it into both legs and the bottom of the pelvis.
Once you have him all done, he can't drive the carriage naked so we are going to suit him up in some distressed clothes.
Take the clothing and either take a saw blade or rasp to fray and wear holes in the material. Now comes the really fun part. Take the newly distressed clothes and stomped them around in the dirt to give them the "just crawled out of the grave" look. For the shoes I did some of the distressing out on the road by dragging them across the pavement.
Put his top hat on using a few finishing nail to keep it secured on his head and he is ready to sit proud in the drivers seat of the Black Widow Hearse.
WOW! That's the coolest thing ever.
Thanks! He is one of my favorite props! He's kinda like my buddy cause he rode in the front seat of my car with me on a trip to Michigan last year! You should have seen some of the looks I got!! LOL!!
Love it! My problem would be storing it all. My neighborhood would have a fit if I left it up year round. Hmmm. Good idea.

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Bio: I am a Halloween freak!! I love everything creepy & spooky about it. My favorite Halloween things are skulls, skeletons, spiders, cobwebs, gargoyles, bats, vampires and ... More »
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