Introduction: Giant Spiderweb House Decoration for Halloween!


Here's a rather unique Halloween decoration I've done for the past two years -- a giant spiderweb on your house!  It's done with a lot of nylon cord and a few simple knots and some patience!

Full list of materials:
- 200' of nylon rope
- A stepladder (two is even better)
- A Coathanger

Step 1: Frame and Anchors

The web is built from the outside in, so the first step is to create the outer 'frame' with the rope and anchor that to your house.

I have aluminum gutters that are sturdy enough that the tension from the rope would not be enough to pull the gutter off. Be aware of this when you start! The tension grows as you 'weave' the web inwards, so watch the gutters as you go along so to not rip it off your house!

Attaching the rope to the gutters can be done by drilling a small hole in the gutter and threading a piece of coathanger wire as a hook through the gutter. Once you've bent the coathanger into a hook, it will hold the rope nicely at the top corners. (image 2)

For the bottom corners, I wrapped the rope around the downspout (on the right) and on the rail of my front stoop (on the left, just out of the frame). Improvise based on what you have available, but be aware that you need to string a horizontal length of rope along the bottom as you did with the top.

When you're done with the 'frame,' your web should look roughly like Diagram 1 (image 3)

Step 2: Starting the Spiral

A lot of this step involves re-tracing rope along paths that are already tied.  Keep this in mind as you'll probably use more rope than it looks like at first glance.

You're going to use what I call "Knot 1" for each of the vertices where the rope changes direction (Image 2 and 3).   It's basically a pretzel knot that slips around the first length of rope. 

The spiderweb follows a spiral pattern, but you're starting with a rectangle.  Start your rope from one side and 'cut off' a corner, i.e. from the bottom left to the side.  Then follow up the side, and cut off the top left corner to the top horizontal length. 

Repeat again from the top to the right corner, then down the right side, etc. as shown in Diagram 2.


Step 3: Spiral Inwards

Once you've reached the first corner where you started, You're ready to start spiraling inwards, as shown in Diagram 3. Note that you'll need to leave a lot of slack as it will pull tight as you work inwards.

Tie the rope to the outer 'frame' using the knot pictured in Image 2 of this step. I'm going to call this Knot 2. This causes the rope to trace back towards the direction it came.

Now you're going to tie the cord to itself as shown in Diagram 4 using the pretzel knot (Knot 1) from the last step. 

Step 4: Keep Going!

From there, it's a matter of continuing the spiral inwards (Diagram 5.)  You'll notice the outer frame start to 'pucker' inward as the tension grows.  This is Ok, and actually adds to the spiderweb look. 

Again, you'll use "Knot 2" to connect the radial lengths to the outer perpendicular rope, and "Knot 1" each time you trace back and continue the spiral.

After you've made it all the way around, just repeat until you wind all the way in!  (Diagram 6.)  I used multiple colors in the diagrams to help separate the logical steps, but for the most part you can use a single length of rope if you're good!

Step 5: Final Adjustments

Finally when you've run out of rope, tie it off to complete the spiral. 

You'll likely need to do some adjusting to take up slack and let out slack in other places.  This can actually be a bit tedious, but completely feasible since you've used knots that can slip relatively easy. 

Here's a picture of the completed product before decoration!  You'll notice that my first 'spiral inwards' actually connected at the top so in the middle of the top I actually have three lengths of rope running parallel there.  You can't tell from a distance, and you'll likely need to adjust your pattern given the space you're trying to cover. 


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