Introduction: A 'life-size' U.F.O.

Picture of A 'life-size' U.F.O.

this is my 1st instructable. in it, i will instruct you how to make a 'life-sized' U.F.O. it can be modified easily, from a full spaceship to a half ship, crashed into the ground or a building (my original plan was a crash site)

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Picture of Gather Your Materials

you will need either
1 (for a crash scene) or
2 of the huge 11-12 foot mesh satellite dishes. these are becoming hard to find. place ads, look in neighbors backyards, ask everyone you know if they have or have seen 1. they need to be the same size and shape. metal recycling yards may have a couple floating around!
2 large silver tarps i got mine at Wal-Mart
silver duct tape (get some that closely matches your tarp in color and texture).
a grinder and grind disc
metal screws
cordless screwdriver
a sharpie
silver spray paint
various sizes of pvc pipe, caps, and fittings for the landing gear
large zip ties
a razor knife for trimming tarp

*needed for set-up*
rope lighting
strobe light
fog machine and timer

Step 2: Strip the Dishes

Picture of Strip the Dishes

using the cordless screwdriver (and grinder), remove all the grillwork from the dish. we labeled each piece with a letter to ease re-installation (and prevent drilling new holes all over, weakening the structure) some screws will be too corroded to remove, so use the grinder on them.

we did a quarter at a time so we didn't have too many loose pieces all over to confuse us.

once you have the grill work off, clean the dish with hot soapy water. it needs to be clean for the paint to adhere well. do this on a sunny day, so it will dry quickly.

Step 3: Paint It

Picture of Paint It

now that you have the frame stripped, labeled and cleaned, go ahead and paint it silver. just do the outside, as you wont see the inside portion when it's assembled. us a few coats, allowing it to dry in between coats.

Step 4: Tarp It!

Picture of Tarp It!

open the tarp. stretch it over the inner part (inside the curve) of the cleaned painted dish. now start re-attaching the grill, being sure you get each one back where it originally came from. (labeled earlier) you will need help doing this, and to keep the tarp stretched tightly with no wrinkles. use the screwdriver and the screws. any boo boo's caused by a slip can be mended with the duct tape.

Step 5: Re-assemble the U.F.O.

Picture of Re-assemble the U.F.O.

working with quarters of each dish, attach the tarp between the frame and the grill with screws. use the razor knife to trim the excess tarp off the edges.

the quarters are held together with bolts, nuts and washers. go ahead and begin putting it back together. help is handy, here too. it will begin to take shape now!

Step 6: The U.F.O. Takes Shape!

Picture of The U.F.O. Takes Shape!

using bolts nuts and washers, put it together. you can touch these up with leftover silver paint, btw.

now you'll need to create a landing gear. we tried a couple of different styles, before we settled on a box made of pvc, attached to the bottom with large zip ties. it needs to be at least 2 feet square. it can be as tall as you like, but remember, in windy conditions, you don't want too much air under it, or it may fly away!
you can leave the gear white or paint it black or silver. we left ours white, it doesn't really show on our spaceship.

using some rope lighting to go around the U.F.O. will add a little flair to it, as will tucking a small size strobe light into it from underneath (there is a built-in hole in the center perfect for this!) a fog machine and timer can be hidden under the ship, on a block of wood.

i don't have any good night time pics, but let me assure you, this prop STOPPED TRAFFIC!

we were even asked to bring it to a friends house for their party and haunted trail!

Step 7: In Conclusion

Picture of In Conclusion

i hope i explained this well, it is my 1st ever instructable. if it seems confusing, feel free to message me. i will help you any way i can!


susanfromhauntspace (author)2008-02-08

the dome on top is a glow in the dark trick or treat bucket.

tinker234 (author)2011-07-13

hey could i make a pvc frame and add sheet metal on top i might make a bed out of this

FunkNattidelic (author)2008-02-08

That would be quite amusing to sleep in...

what a cool tent that would be

nnygamer (author)2008-02-08

Add a little bucket of water and dry ice for an eerie effect! Looks great and a good way to recycle those old dishes. I have an old solid one but it's too heavy to do much with on my own.

thanks for teh cool comment, y'all sure make a N00B feel welcome! we hook up a fog machine and timer under it, with a strobe inside and rope lights around it . it looks INCREDIBLE and stops traffic!

No Way! lol. Oh that would be sooooooo fun to see. Right on! :0) :0)

SOADfan2010 (author)2008-02-21

You could try and hinge one of the quarters of the top dish to make an "escape hatch" and have an alien body sticking out.

I was thinking that too. wouldn't that be the bee's knees!

susanfromhauntspace (author)2008-02-21

we actually talked about making 'steps' down with a hatch... maybe we'll re-work it a lil this fall in preparation for the haunted trail. i am planning on making an alien or 2 to go with it right now!

oh that would be a cool addition

porcupinemamma (author)2009-08-07

Oh wow! Now that's what i call lawn art!!! Excellent!!!!

Sergant Tinkers (author)2009-05-15

Well I am impressed!

teapotking (author)2008-05-31

this instructable is Awesome! however i live in england so i dunno how i'm going to find giant dishes though..

did you all never have the large size dishes over there?

there might be some in scrapyards near big cities, but i live in an area surrounded by woodland (you can litterally jump over my back fence into the woods) and i wouldn't be able to get big dishes down the small roads and stuff. oh well

GorillazMiko (author)2008-02-09

I just had an AWESOME idea for this!
If you live behind somebody and you have access to their backyard, like let's say you can walk on there without jumping a fence, you should totally put this in their yard. In fact, you can just put it in their front yard! Then, go up to their house and acted really surprised and then say I JUST SAW SOMETHING GO IN YOUR BACKYARD (or front yard)!!!!


Awesome Instructable.
+1 rating.

benthekahn (author)GorillazMiko2008-05-26

Throw it into their yard so it looked like it crashed. Maybe a smoke bomb inside???

No for effect set off a very big firework in their backyard then come running out in suprise...

Haha, that's an even better idea!

lets have an intercontinental prank go on here, we should do this to a small town sheriff, it wouldn't work in my country, my neighbour would just start firing... and the other houses aren't moved in to yet.

LOL! In the back of my yard, there's my neighbor's crop fields....I think one night I'm gonna go build wana these, put some lights on it, do some cutting in his feild and make some weird noises (firework)! LOL!!!. I can't wait!! Totally rad instructable. 2+ (If I could do that)....1+

lol, cool idea!!! thanks for the rating!

Mr. Squiggles (author)2008-04-08

If you added windows and a door this would be neat to just sit in

tron1o7 (author)2008-03-14

lol u could have that hanging in front of a green screen to make it look like its flying take a pics and BAM sell the pic to tabloids every where for $ =D

twhaley (author)2008-02-10


bikeparts24 (author)2008-02-10

Sweet idea- Also nice job writing up the instructible.

Lftndbt (author)2008-02-10

Nice Instructible! I'd suggest burying it in a location where it will be dug up in the near future... Can you imagine there faces when they dig it up...? LoL ;) Perhaps something slightly macabre like a collection of lambs bones etc... Just to add the the crashed spaceship theme. Great job!! +1 rating.. :)

hehehe right now it's sitting in some thick woods. (where our friends have their haunted trail) imagine the looks on deer hunters faces as they stumble upon it! i plan to make some 'little green men' to go with it sometime soon! thanks for the rating!

SpinWard (author)2008-02-09

Very Nice. My dad already trashed his dish! Yeah, HOT in Georgia! I've got friends in Rome. You'll put Christmas lights on it at Christmas, right? I think that's the law here in Georgia! Christmas light on everything!

lol, you ain't kiddin' about the xmas lights! that's one of teh main reasons we do Halloween instead :) sorry about your Dad's dish. that's too bad, it could have made a great crash site! we tarped the U.F.O. at our friends house for the off season, and left it there. we didn't have anywhere to store such a large prop! maybe i should have put a warning on the instructable, "do not build this unless you have unlimited storage" lol

Kiteman (author)2008-02-09

Excellent project - an awesome "first".

i make shooting things (author)2008-02-08

you should try to mount if over you house on skyblue pipe and like put a spot light with a green gel in it.

lol, independence days whitehouse scene :P

rc jedi (author)2008-02-08

Aw, I had that idea for some time. I wanna use the solid fiber or aluminum dishes, I 'll do a ufo crash site. your looks cool. thanks for the pics, i have saucer envy!

around here, it is hard to find the solid dishes now. lots of people have used theirs as the roofs for gazebo's!

susanfromhauntspace (author)2008-02-08

thank you all! this makes me feel so welcome here

PaHalloweenFreak (author)2008-02-08

AWESOME Susan!! You know this is one of my favorites!! Can't wait to see it with the aliens this year!!

canida (author)2008-02-08

That looks great!
You should enter it in this year's DIYHalloween contest group.

TeacherOfTheWays (author)2008-02-08

amazingly COOL!! Great job!

susanfromhauntspace (author)2008-02-08

ignore my husbands tummy... it was mid summer in Georgia when we made the spaceship! it was HOT!

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2008-02-08

lol ...awesome.

About This Instructable




Bio: i am a Halloween NUT! i LOVE all things Halloween... orange and black forever! i am married to a fellow Halloween nut, Danny, and we ... More »
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