Spiders are scary, and spiders with 6-foot legspans are even scarier!
Step 1: Pumpkins and Squash
I used three pumpkins for the body and an enormous "Long of Naples" squash for the legs: it was almost three feet long!
Step 2: Face
Okay, I thought crab faces were scary, but spider faces? Yikes! What is up with all the eyes? It's just not cool.
One of the things that makes them scary is the simplicity: the eyes are just round orbs, there's nothing remotely noselike going on, and they have big giant fangs taking up the rest of the facial real estate.
I drew the shapes and carved in a bit for a 3-D effect, then added some hairy-looking texture. I never broke through into the cavity of the pumpkin though, so the head should have a nice long lifespan before it gets gross.
Step 3: Body
I hacked arcs in the cephalothorax to nest against the head and abdomen, and parked the three parts up against each other. I cut eight depressions where the legs stick in.
Using a loop tool (attached to a vegetable peeler), I cut "hairs" into the abdomen.
Step 4: Legs
I sliced the gourd in half, then cut each half into eight sections. The slices from one half became the "body" half of each leg, and the rest became the pointy ends.
Step 5: Construction
I used bamboo skewers to stick the leg sections to the body, and lengths of wire hanger to connect the leg sections to each other. I made braces to hold up the legs using PVC pipe covered with black corrugated "wire loom." This meant that I had to line up the spider's "knees," so curved PVC might have worked better. The two front legs were too far out of line with the others for the PVC to support them, so I bent wire hangers to do the job instead. In retrospect I probably should have used hangers for all of the legs, because the wire is less obtrusive than the PVC.
Step 6: Beware...
As of this writing, this giant spider is still on my lawn, terrifying the neighborhood...