Introduction: A ScaryBox: the House of the Spider

This carnival, we organize a party for children of the school between 6-10 yo. You know about the boxes with textures like sand, sugar, flour and so to let the children explore it eye-closed, so I tried to give it a scary look. I decided not to use foodstuff to avoid mold when stored, so I used recycled materials for the textures, and candy as motivation.

Most of them were no scaried at all, but I'm very proud of the work, because the children played and laughed and explored a lot, I had to replenish it three times, and it still survives.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

I used:

a big tobacco box,
a lot of sections from a thick and large cardboard tube (you may use boxes instead)
some audio (you should use video) tapes
a very big, opaque black trash bag

and lots of things laying arround the house, reserved for some-nonspecific-future use, like:

a foam cake base,
the eyes of the blister of a toy (a squirt wich contained velvet sea creatures),
some kinder eggs,
a carboard tube (no matter foil or plastic kitchen)
rubber tubing
foam stickers
those plastic strips with holes, that hold children's toys in their packaging
mosquito net

also used

plain cardboard, fishing line, elastic rubber, masking tape
and several kind of glues, staplers, knives, rulers, needles and pliers. Even a saw for the thick cardboard tube.

Step 2: The Plan

You must plan the exploring zones, the tubes (or boxes) in wich you will put the textures and the candy. Also plan how to arrange them, from back to front while you build the box.

Think about the length of the children's arms, the remote places must be hard to reach, and must have easy ones for the babies.

In the pics, the intake are in front, the access to build in the left. I built it right to left

A lot of thing hangs from the ceiling. The central pilar forces children to contort to reach the corners.

I thought about making an intake in the pilar, to catch the hands of the bravest ones. I thought it would have been cruel.

But now I know I should did it. May be in halloween, with a black death costume.

Step 3: The Eggs and the Web

The web is thick fishing line sewn in the corner of the box with a thick needle. The thimble and pliers helps. You may use elastic rubber instead.

Under the web, the candy container (remember, no matter tube or box) has it bottom done with halved kinder eggs, glued to a circle of plain cardboard. It is easy to reach.

Step 4: The Tubes

This container has it bottom done with segments of the cardboard-foil tube with different lenghts, glued to a plain cardboard circle. It is tall and in the corner it is hard to reach.

The curtains of tape are stapled to the plastic thing which holds the toys in the blisters (I did not glued it, but you must do, because I lost lot of tape strips in the children hands). The thing itself is stapled to the ceilling of the box from inside.

Remember to bend the tips of the staples with a plier in the outside.

Step 5: Details

The mosquito net try to simulate a web or nest or whatever and also give another texture. It is stapled from inside.

Use fabric, newspaper or whatever you want or have laying arround.

I used it in the three sides, and the last was only a plain curtain stapled to the ceiling to let me access the inside if needed.

Step 6: The Bottom

One of the hardest to reach container has it bottom done with tape strips glued to a plain... ok, you know that.

Put a detail over it. The central pillar makes it very difficult to reach, so I did it lower than others.

Step 7: The Grid

This the easiest one, close to the intake, so babies and cowards can still has some candy.

The grid is done with elastic rubber for fabric.

The tape strip curtain is twice as dense because is the first that the children find. 

Step 8: The Intake

Simply measure, use the tube as template and cut. I thought it could endure only by pressure, but finally I must to glue it (glue and toilet paper works great). You will need to let more section inside than I left, arround twice. You will understand it at the last step.

You must design the intake thinking in the topic you will use. In this case, tube is perfect for a mouth, so... 

Step 9: The Mainstay

As I said, you can make here another intake to scary the bravest ones catching his hand with yours from below, but the column is still needed because children find support in the top of the box with one arm to contort the other arm inside, so it must resist weight. I checked it in the party. Believe me.

I stapled it from the outside, using a needle to find the tube section and assuring no staples points inside the box.

If you combine the box with a costume, you can let the column intact, cutting the box's cardboard in the way you can cross the box with no access to inside to hold it from below, or adding a handle inside the tube, like if the box itself were you hand. Children may insert their hands without finding yours.

This may be the way I will use it again, this hallowen.

Step 10: The Nest

Use plastic wrapping or fabric to make a spiral or another covering for the nest. Most children will not look for candy in the upper zone, so it reward the clever or persistent ones.

The tape was rolled arround the nest, taped in the bottom side, and then cutted in the upper side.  Fast and simple.

 Staple the nest from the outside of the box, and beware of the staples' tips. I used short staples here.

The container below has no texture in the bottom because the strips of the nest fill it.

Step 11: The Spider

At last, the host. Children finally tear it, tearing the cardboard of the box, so you may want to tie it with another plastic thing in the outside of the box assuring the elastic rubber like a toy in a blister.

The container below has tape strips glued in the bottom.

A last curtain detail stapled to the ceiling and you can close the box with tape.

My spider is simply made by four rubber tubing and four foam stickers. Two cardboard triangles act as teeth. Forget the red pom-poms of the pic, I did not use it. I'm sure you will be more realistic than I was.

I must fight with the children to recover the spider, all of them running across the classroom. I was near to lose due the laugher. One of the boys still ask for it when he sees me.

Step 12: The Mouth

I'm proud of the mouth.

Cut in half a section of the tube.
Shorten it by 1 or 2 cm to let it dock in the inside of the intake.
Cover it with plastic wrapping, stapling and cutting as needed.
Draw the teeth and cut it.
And it is done and kept in place by pressure.

It is important because I want to be able of repair something in the party, so I want the mouth, face and bag to be reusable if I must to open the box. I didn't need it, but I was afraid of that.

Step 13: The Face

Again I'm proud of the face. I took the maximun of a foam cake's base and a detail of a toy blister you normaly throw away.

Measure with the box and the intake, cut the mouth in the face and the legs in the leftover and glue the eyes and the legs. Face is kept in the intake by pressure.


Step 14: The Closure

The BIG bag had exactly the right size, so I only need to kept it in place in the outside of the intake with elastic rubber (the office ones) and also in the inside of the intake. First attemp was easy, but then I glued the intake, and left less section inside, and then it was very very hard to do, needing help me with a third or fourth hand.

But the bag is reusable so I can open the box, removing the face and the mouth, then the elastic rubbers and the bag, and then opening the box itself. With tape to close the box again, you can repair something while the party if needed, and put the bag and the mouth and face again.

Have the half of the fun I had with it, and the effort will be paid back.

Thanks for your time!