Introduction: Twisty the Clown!! How to Build a Motorized Life Size Halloween Prop

Picture of Twisty the Clown!!  How to Build a Motorized Life Size Halloween Prop

Have you ever been to one of the those Halloween Stores, looked at the junk they sell and thought you could build a better prop but you didn't known how? Well, this is the instructable for you! Let me introduce my new friend: Twisty the Clown!!

Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need

First, you are going to need a mask for your prop. In a previous instructable I did (fan999), I showed you how to fill a foam-filled mask. Here's the list of things you will need:

- One foam filled mask

- pair of foam-filled hands/ gloves

- 2@ 10' X1'' pvc pipe

- 4@ 1" 90 degree pvc

- 1@ 1" pvc cross tee (4-way)

- 1@ 1" pvc tee (3-way)

- 2@ 1" to 1/2" pvc reducing bushing

- 2@ 1/2" pvc male terminal adapter

- 2@ 1" pvc coupling

- 3@ 1" pvc unions

- 6@ Spider Joints from Spider Hill Prop Works. Best pvc joint out there.

-3@ Universal Mounting Base from Spider Hill Prop Works.

- If you want your prop to move, you'll need to buy a motor. I bought the compact Prop turner form Spider Hill Prop Works.

- A base for your prop. I bought mine from Home Depot, primed it, then painted it black. It's called the

Edge-Glued Round (Common: 1-1/31 in. x 23-3/4 in.; Actual: 1.0 in. x 23.75 in.)

- Scrap pieces of 2x4 to mount inside the shoes.

- a few pool noodles.

- several cable ties to secure the pool noodles to the prop.

- 2@ 10' piece of 1/2' Snakebite PEX pipe. Bought at Home Depot.

- 3@ bags of 5 Snakebite 1/2" tees. Bought at Home Depot.

- 4@ bags of 10 hose clamps 1/4"-5/8". Bought at Lowes.

- Screws to mount the prop to the base and the universal mounting base to the shoes.

- Clothes and shoes. I bought the clothes from the Salvation Army and I used to two jogging pants and two shirts. I used two of each to give the prop its heft.

Step 2: Building the Prop. Step 1

Picture of Building the Prop.  Step 1

- First cut 4 pieces of 1" pvc pipe 8" long. Take 2 of the 8" long pvc pipe and and then take 2 of the spider hill universal mounting brackets and pvc glue them together.

- Now take two of the 1" pvc unions and glue them to the top of the 8 inch pipe.

- Now mount the 2 x 4 scrap pieces of wood inside the shoes and mount the universal bracket with screws.

- Next you can glue the other two 8" long pipe on top of the unions.

- Next take 2 spider hill joints and glue them to the top of the 8" pipe and make sure that they are parallel with each other. At this point the leg is complete below the knee.

- Next cut 2 pieces of 1" pvc pipe 12" long. Take the 2 pieces of pipe and glue to the top of the spider joint.

- Add two 1" pvc 90's to the 12" pieces of pipe. Don't glue these yet!

- Cut two pieces of 1" pipe 4" long. Now take the 1" pvc tee, glue the two 4" pipe on opposite ends of the tee. This will be the prop's hips.

- Dry fit the hip to the legs. At this time, you should figure out how you want the prop to stand on its base. When you've got that figured out, glue the hip to the legs 1" pvc 90's. Make sure the top of the 1" tee is facing straight up.

- Time to work on the motor. I had to make some modifications to the compact prop turner. I removed the screws from the lazy Suzan portion of prop turner so I could mount and screw a piece of wood to it. By mounting the piece of wood to the bottom of the prop turner, I was able to mount a universal mounting base to it.

- Now cut a 2 1/2" piece of 1" pipe. Glue this piece to the top of the 1" tee from the hip.

- Now take the compact prop turner and glue it to the top of the 2 1/2" pipe. Make sure the prop turner is level and square with the rest of the prop.

- Move on to the next step.

Step 3: Building the Prop. Step 2

Picture of Building the Prop. Step 2

- Time to work in the prop's spine. Cut a 6 1/2" piece of 1" pipe and glue a 1" union to the top of it. Now glue the other end of the pipe to the top of the universal mounting base on top of the compact prop turner.

- Cut a 10 1/2" piece of 1" pipe and glue it to the top of the union.

-Take the 1" PVC cross(4-way) and glue it to the top of the 10 1/2" pipe.

- Cut two pieces of 1" pipe 7 1/4" long and glue to the opposite ends of the PVC cross.

- At this time, I cut and split 2 pieces of pool noodle and attached them to the 7 1/4" pipe with cable ties. This adds definition to the shoulders of the prop. Leave enough room to mount the 1" pvc 90 later in the build.

- Put the shirt on your prop at this time. It's a lot easier to put it on now than later.


- It's time to mount the head of your prop. You can glue it or leave it unglued. I glued mine because the mask wasn't that large and I can still get the shirt off over its head if I need to.

- Now lets start working on the arms. Cut four pieces of 1" pipe 2" long and cut two pieces of pipe 8" long. Take 2 Spider joints and glue the four 2" pipe pieces to each end. Now dry fit two 1" 90's onto these Spider joints at the top. These 1" 90's are going to be the point to which the arm is attached to the shoulder. Now take 2 more Spider joints and glue to the 2" pieces of pipe on the other Spider joints(see photo). Make sure that both Spider joints line up with each other(see photos). Now glue the two 8" pipe to the bottom of the 2 Spider joints.

- Now glue and mount a 1" pvc coupling on to the 8" pipe on each arm. Finally glue the 1" to 1/2" reducing bushing into the 1" coupling on each arm. This is where you're going to attach the hands to the arm (see hands photo).

- It's time to attach the arms and figure out the angle that you want them to be on the prop. Glue the 1" 90's in place when you figure out the way you want them.

- The arms are done and it's time to beef up the legs and arms with pool noodles and cable ties(see photos).

- Time to mount the prop to its base. Place the prop on the base and mark around the shoes with a black sharpie. Undo the union joints on the legs and remove the upper portion of the prop to make it easier to mount. From underneath the base, screw into the 2x4 wood in the shoes( I used 2 1/2" screws on this prop).

- Before you put the prop back together, this would be a good time to put the pants on. I used two pairs of jogging pants to give the prop more definition.

- With the prop mounted on its base, its time to move on to the rib cage of the prop.

Step 4: Building the Prop. Step 3

Picture of Building the Prop. Step 3

- Building the rib cage will take some time. It took me a few tries to get it just right so that the clothing didn't effect the movement of the prop. The rib cage is made up of 1/2" SnakeBite pex pipe, 1/2" SnakeBite tees and 1/4" to 5/8" hose clamps. It's easier to explain the building of the rib cage from looking at the photos and watching the video I made of building the prop.

- With the bottom "hoop" part of the rib cage done, the jogging pants fit perfectly around it to form the waistline of the prop. I then placed a button up black and white flannel on the prop and screwed in the hands. I then placed a fake butcher knife in Twisty's right hand.

- Voila! You're done!!

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