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Picture of Creepy Fingers Animated Tombstone
Have a problem with wanting a little animation in your cemetery scene but difficulty running power to a certain area?
Well, I decided to take advantage of Mother Nature (when she wanted to cooperate) and let her cool fall breezes animate the Creepy Fingers protruding from this tombstone.


 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Wood
Screws
Foam Board
Wire
1/4" PVC pipe
Weights (Small Stones, Fishing Sinkers, etc - anything that fits in the PVC pipe)
2 eye hooks
Pool Noodle
Large Fake Finger Nails
Corpsing Materials (Latex or Carpet Glue & Cotton Batting or Paper Towels)
Monster Mud
Spray Paint - Tombstone color of your choice
Hot Glue
Plastic or Wood Beads with a Hole in the Center
Wooden Skewers
Duct Tape

Step 2: Build the Frame

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Build a box frame from the wood. The dimensions I used are marked. The reason the 18" pieces of wood run on the outside of the top & bottom of the frame is so that you can attach the larger front and back pieces of foam board without having to shim the middle section when you screw them on.
Once you have your frame built, center the eye hooks each end of the short sides on the top of the frame.

Step 3: Make your Creepy Fingers

Picture of Make your Creepy Fingers
Cut lengths of wire (depending on how long you want your fingers to be).
Next cut pieces of Pool Noodles in strips (length wise) Trim them up to look like finger. Cut small pieces for knuckles/joints and glue them on to the finger sections.
Insert your wire through them, making sure to leave enough wire to go through the top of the tombstone and down into the PVC.
Corpse the fingers using which ever technique you prefer.
Finally, attach the finger nails.

Step 4: Inner Workings & Exterior Covering

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Photo 1:
Cut four 7" sections of PVC (5 if you are going to string the thumb support piece too). Drill a hole straight through each piece about 3/4" down from the top (If stringing the thumb support be sure to drill an extra hole further down to attach the thumb through it). Make sure the hole is large enough to feed the wire through. You do not want it to be snug but to move freely. Cut pieces of foam board to fit into the tops of the PVC. Run a bead of hot glue around the inside of the top of the PVC and push the foam board into the top. Allow a few seconds before pushing the foam board in to lessen the chance of the foam melting. Be careful not to push it down too far so that it does not obstruct the holes drilled for the wire.
Photo 2:
Attach a piece of wire (long enough to secure to both eye hooks) to one of the eye hooks. Now String the spacers and PVC alternately to center them as well as possible. Make sure to leave just enough room between the spacers & PVC so that the PVC swings on the wire freely. Attach the other end of the wire to the opposite eye hook and pull so that the wire is as tight as you can get it.
(After thought when I made this one: It is probably best to hit the piece of wire with a coat or two of Rustoleum paint to help prevent the wire from rusting away on you)
Photo 3:
Cut the front, side & top pieces of Foam board. Attach the front and side sections with screws but leave the top section unsecured.
Set the top piece in place and roughly mark the centers of each PVC piece on the foam board. Cut slits to insert the wire from your creepy fingers through. Keeping in mind that you want the fingers to move freely.

Step 5: Attaching Creepy Fingers

Picture of Attaching Creepy Fingers
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Now for the tricky part. With the top piece of foam board still unattached, push the wire from the fingers into foam center of the PVC. Once you have them in place you will want to carefully drop hot glue down as close to the bottom of the wire and foam as you can. Allowing it to run down onto the top of the foam. The reason for this is so that the hole made by the wire from the finger does not get bigger while bending and adjusting the fingers.
Adjusting the fingers: Add some weight to the bottom of the PVC. Use pieces of gravel, stone, fishing sinkers, etc. and push them up into the PVC. Put a piece of duct tape over the bottom to keep them from falling out. Bend the fingers first at the joint areas.Then backward or forward near the base until each finger balances (meaning the PVC remains in the straight up & down position and not leaning forward or back). It can be difficult but trial & error is the only way here, unless you are an engineer maybe. LOL!
Once you are satisfied with the placement & fit, you may now attach the top piece of foam board.
Cut a trim piece for the top to hide the open slits and bare section of wire. To attach this use about 1" pieces of wooden skewers pushed down into the top piece of foam board. Run a bead of glue (or use spray glue) down the bottom of each piece of trim and push down onto the skewers.
Attaching the thumb: The best way to align it with the hole in the PVC is to take a piece of wire and heat the end of it. From the back and as quickly as you can, push it through the hole in the pvc and then out through the foam board. Heating the wire helps to give you a smoother hole on the outside facing. Now push the wire from the thumb back through foam board and into the PVC. If you cut the wire long enough you can now wrap it around the PVC so that the thumb remains stationary.
Cut out and attach the back panel.
Cut out lettering to add to the front and glue in place.
Monster Mud the entire tombstone, being careful not to obstruct the fingers when you are working around the slots.
Finally, once the monster mud is dry, spray paint the tombstone & fingers.

Step 6: Finished Product

Picture of Finished Product
You now have an Mother Nature powered animated tombstone that you can put anywhere in your cemetery without having to run electricity to it.



gstegman2 years ago
Can you tell me what size wire you used? Also, could you explain the foam center in the pvc pipe a little better? Not quite clear what you mean.
Thank you, love the project and will try it.
gstegman2 years ago
Can you tell me what size wire you used? Also, could you explain the foam center in the pvc pipe a little better? Not quite clear what you mean.
Thank you, love the project and will try it.
U4563 years ago
Ooooh you have Thriller on!!
justjimAZ4 years ago
Definite do for Halloween! Thanks!
PaHalloweenFreak (author)  justjimAZ4 years ago
Thanks! Glad you like it! :)
MaxImmum5 years ago
if u were to modify this a bit, u could make it look like the egg and facehugger from  alien
frollard5 years ago
Love the project!  It could use some articulation to really be extra creepy, but for its simplicity it gets my stars!
PaHalloweenFreak (author)  frollard5 years ago
Thanks!
canida6 years ago
That looks awesome! You should embed the video in the first step, too.
PaHalloweenFreak (author)  canida6 years ago
Thanks!! If I can figure out how to do it, I will!
Yeah! I figured it out! LOL!! Thanks for the suggestion. I think it is better with it in the intro.
grimdaddy6 years ago
Very cool idea! It is a green idea too!!
PaHalloweenFreak (author)  grimdaddy6 years ago
Thanks Grimdaddy! I may add a base to it that reads "Bluetooth Salesman". LOL!!
Ha! Just got it, sounds like hands freed.
PaHalloweenFreak (author)  goatgirly6 years ago
LOL!! :)
Felipez6 years ago
hey, great job! I would like to suggest a separated topic for the 'motion' of it. I think it would be better for organization. Anyway, very nice instructable!
PaHalloweenFreak (author)  Felipez6 years ago
Thanks for the compliment. Wish I could help you out with a separate topic about the motion of it, but unfortunately, I just winged it and got lucky. I am sure there are physics formulas that someone more advanced would be able to calculate for where exactly to drill the holes, exact amount of counter weight, etc. but I am as dumb as a rock when it comes to those things. LOL! Most of the things I build, I just use trial & error, then keep my fingers crossed that they work! :)
geekazoid6 years ago
lol thats super creative, did you come up with the idea yourself? BTW i tried a similar (no moving parts) project last year. Any idea where I could buy the right kind of foam board? Thanks and great 'ible!
PaHalloweenFreak (author)  geekazoid6 years ago
Thanks! Yes, my twisted comes up with some strange things at times. LOL!! You can go to any home improvement store and they should have it. I got mine at Home Depot because I drive a PT Cruiser so I have to buy the half sheets - our Lowes here only carries the full 4x8 sheets. The full sheets come in different thicknesses too.
Thanks