Introduction: PVC Jack Skeleton Decoration

I still till this day have not completely seen the full movie of the nightmare before christmas but I admire the the artistic characters.  So for halloween this year I decided to make Jack Skeleton just for the heck of it.  I had some pvc pipe left over from my gardening this year so I said shoot why not. So here we go.

Below I listed what you needed.  In the photo not everything is shown like all pvc connectors.

What you will need:
1/2 inch pvc pipe (about 2-3 long ones, can be found at homedepot)
pvc cutter
6 --45 degree pvc connecters (homedepot)
3--90 degree pvc connecters
1--t shaped pvc connecter
1--plus shape connecter
* You can play around with connectors depending on how you your jack to pose so get some extra degree connecters to play with the model.

floral wire (walmart)
2- half sphere styrophome to make a full sphere for the head
hot glue gun
3--felt black material (wal-mart craft section)
white acrylic paint (Wal-mart craft section)
black acrylic paint
paint brush
white tulip fabric paint (walmart craft section)
white thread for sewing
3 yards black fabric
white t shirt
white fabric pencil
large white button
2 prop skeleton hands
rubber bands
sew on velcro

Step 1: Cutting the PVC Pipe (frame)

I really didn't have a measurement to go by.  You can either go as tall or as normal size as you want your jack to be. The pvc cutter makes it easy to cut and adjust the lengths of pipes as much as you want.

Here were my dimensions of my skeleton frame parts

neck pipe--5 inches
shoulders-- 8 inches each( need 2 of these)
arms-- 16 inch piece and 22 inch piece ( need 2 of each set)
Torso--23 inches long
Hips 2-3 inch pieces (need 2)
Legs - 22 inch piece and 33 inch piece  ( need 2 of each set)

Use your pvc connectors to creat a pose for your jack frame.

Use your PVC cutter to adjust lengths of your body.

I marked the picture with red dots to show you where I used my connectors .

Used the Plus shaped connector for the neck.
Used T shaped connector to connect the legs and torso
90 degree and 40 degree connectors to connect legs and arms together to the rest of the body .

I played around  with the connectors and see what pose i like the best.  You can glue the connectors together if you like. The reason I didn't was because I wanted to be able to take it apart for easy storage and also to be able to move the pipes for adjustments I might want later.

Set Aside.

Step 2: Lets Make the Bat Bow!

Refer to the picture for visual reference.

Fold the felt material in half the horizontal way.

cut out the shape of the wing like showed in the picture by the red line.

at this point you should have 2 exact pieces.

before sewing your 2 pieces together hot glue a piece of floral wire around the edge of one piece of wing ( refer to diagram)
place the second part of material on top and sew shut.  Sew with white thread. 

Do again for the second wing.

For the final piece do pretty much the same thing except cut out the shape of a bat head like shown in the diagram
Hot Glue wire in edges of one piece and sew almost shut leaving room to stuff the head before sewing closed.

You can stuff the head with what ever works for you . I used cut up plastic bags from the grocery store.

You should have two wings and a bat head.

sew it all together so you have a bat bow.  With the wire inside the pieces you can more and adjust the bow how you like.

with tulip fabric paint add eyes and details on wings. I googled jack's picture to have something to refer to.

Last but not least on the bow cut the rubber band so its straight and not round and hot glue gun it on the back of the bat head so you are able to tie it to the neck later after the glue has hardened and cooled .

Refer to diagram.

Step 3: Jacks Head

Ok so now we have the skeleton frame and the bow done. Now for the head.

hot glue the two big foam spheres together .

note: When going to bye your foam spheres or just a complete sphere use your best judgement for the size of head.  

carve and indent jacks eyes, nose, and smile.

time to paint!

paint it all white first with your acrylic paint.  A small bottle should work just fine for the whole head.

Let it dry for 30 minutes and go back and paint in the eyes , nose, and smile with black acrylic piant.

Set aside to let dry.

After its completely dry stick the head on to the neck of pvc pipe frame. Press down onto the pipe until secure.  You can hot glue gun the head onto the neck but that is optional.  I didn't because I want to be able to take him apart for easy storage in a storage container later.

Step 4: Jacks Suit

I bought 3 yards of black material from Walmart.  Wasn't sure how much I was going to need.  My first time doing something like this so for those of you who know what you are doing when sewing than do your thing.  Buy as much or as little material as you might need.

I kinda just eye balled it at this point.  I cut out the pieces all separately  

I measured the the fabric against my skeleton frame to see how long or short i need to cut our the pieces.

I drew a picture of how i cut out the parts of the suit.

each section was had two pieces like when cutting out the bat bow. and i only sewed in the green sections. Leave red sections open. Refer to picture.

Sorry for my sloppy picture. Its just to give you an idea. 

Again i sewed all with white thread.

The only part of the suit that does not have identical 2 pieces is the jacket part.  The front you you have a v neck and the back is solid with a tail.  You can add your own detail to your suit.  I added a collar on the v neck of the suit  and a button before turning them backwards or inside out for sewing.  

once all pieces are done and sewed together I turned them inside out for a nice polished hemmed look.  

Time for the white fabric pencil! I placed all my pieces on the floor  to get an idea of how i was going to draw the pin stripes .

On each piece of the suit I just drew vertical lines. Front and back.

Remember the openings we didn't sew together ( marked red in the diagram) well on this is where the sew on velcro comes in.

Refer to blue dots in diagram.

The reason I use Velcro and leave these openings is for easy attachment and easy disassembly later.

Sew velcro pieces on the inside of the arm sleeve, pant legs, pant square, center suit piece. I placed bright blue dots in the diagram where i placed them .  The goal with the velcro it to complete the suit but attaching it with velcro once its on the frame.

For the under the jacket in the v neck area i first but a white t-shirt  on the frame then the center piece suit ,then the pants and leg parts ,then the arms.  all attached with velcro.  You may have to disconnect some pvc parts to dress up jack a little easier.  

Step 5: Finally! Jack!

The project takes alot of time and patience.  But it such a cool project to do. I love looking at the kids reactions as they pass my house. 

Make your own details of your jack this was just basically how I made mine.  

Oh almost forgot I got my skeleton hands from the halloween store for like 6 bucks i cut in in half cause i realized the plastic skeleton prop was hollow inside so i just slide it onto the pvc arm part.  and worked perfectly no glue needed! awesome!

Put your finishing details like the your bat bow and Santa hat if you want to make one.

stuff him were he needs stuffing like his chest and a little in his mid area.

*note the stand in the picture is not part of my model. that just happen to be there when i took the picture.

Happy Halloween and Hope you have fun making your own Jack skeleton some time soon ! :)

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