Pumpkin Reaper




Introduction: Pumpkin Reaper

Every year I try and make a new prop for Halloween. I actually made this last year, but I made it easy to take assemble and disassemble so decided to take some photos and show how I did it. I did find the frame online when searching, but now I can't remember where. I made the head taking inspiration from some 'corpsing' tutorials I found online, but the animation was thought of after I saw a decoration in a store that was similarly animated; I just found a way to do that myself


2 10 foot sticks of 1 inch PVC

5 PVC tee's

2 PVC 45's

2 PVC unions

(all fittings are 1 inch also)

Scrap cardboard

Tin foil

Duct tape

3 - 1 1/2 inch screws and wing nuts

3/4 inch drywall screws

Various colors of paint (spray paint and water based acrylic paint)

Grocery store bags

Digital photo frame

Styrofoam pumpkin

Old black sheet or any black material

Hack saw to cut PVC

Hair dryer


Step 1: Legs and Feet

Cut 4 one foot pieces and 2 three foot pieces of PVC. I used a hacksaw, but you can use a cutter or a saw if you choose. Join these as pictured and fasten in place with drywall screws. At the top of the leg, connect a 45 to one and a tee to the other. In the 45, add a 2 inch stub to the open end. The second photo shows how the legs are connected and you can see the alignment.

Step 2: Scythe

Next I made the scythe. As you can see in the photo, this is made in four sections. The lower section is 3 foot long. This is connected to a tee, then 1 foot PVC is added to the opposite end of the tee. All joints are fastened together with drywall screws once aligned.

I made the blade out of cardboard. I actually used an optional piece of wire between 2 pieces of cardboard. I drilled holes in the PVC and tied the ends together after sticking them thru the PVC. I taped the cardboard pieces together, covered it with tinfoil, then used duct tape along the top edge to look like the frame of the metal and duct taped the result to the PVC.

The final photo shows the alignment of the tee when assembled to the legs.

Step 3: Arms (and Hands)

Cut 2 lengths of PVC at 2 feet each. These are joined with a tee and a 45 with a 1 inch stub between them. Again the alignment is pictured and all are fastened with drywall screws. The hands are optional, or made with whatever you choose. I made mine with some scrap pieces of electrical wire I taped together with white duct tape (they look better when all together and it's dark out). I taped them to the PVC.

The 'neck' is connected to the 45. It is a 3 inch PVC stub and a 45 at the end of that. I played with that 45 later then screwed it together once I figured out where I wanted it aligned once everything was assembled.

The last photo shows this assembly step connected to the scythe.

Step 4: A Little More Detail on Part Connection

I drilled thru the parts I wanted to be able to disassemble for storage and used some machine screws and wing nuts I had laying around. They are about 1 1/2 inches long, maybe a size 10 screw. I only have 3 joints that I take apart. All the other points are connected with the drywall screws since I don't take those apart.

Step 5: Final Body Assembly

I tried using burlap last year and it made the whole thing sag.This year I used some old black sheets I found. I just cut a hole and hung them over the 'neck' part (the open tee at the top). I then just cut the bottom into strips to blow in the wind. I tried it with 2 sheets and it looked OK; the picture only has the one. I connected the sheet to the arms at the hands with black tie straps just to keep them in place.

Step 6: Pumkin Head

Last is the head. Since I made this last year, I don't have individual pictures for steps, but it was easy to do, so should be easy to explain. I had the pumpkin that I had bought 2 years ago after Halloween on clearance at Lowe's. Since it is just foam, it was easy to carve (no guts). I cut a round hole in the bottom to insert an 8 inch stub of PVC for the neck. I wanted to make a face with a big mouth so the animation would be easily seen, plus I had to reach in and tape the neck in place and tape the screen in place.

I cut a slot shaped hole in the back about the size of the digital photo screen I owned already (I had searched and downloaded the fire animation online to have it ready before installing). I kind of just jammed it in there and wrestled it around until it stopped moving around, then taped it in as best I could reaching in thru the mouth. Then I reapplied the slot I had cut out and taped it back in place. I inserted the PVC neck and taped around it to hold it in place.

To corpse it, I used a couple of grocery store bags i put over the pumpkin and heated them with a hairdryer to melt them down to stick to the pumpkin. I used 2 bags to make a couple of layers (I did one bag at a time) melting in random holes to make it look rotten. I twisted some extra bag at the top to make a stem that sticks up. I then lightly brushed on some acrylic paints (orange, green, black and brown) until I was relatively happy with the results.

At this point I assembled the whole thing and spray painted the PVC (without the sheet) with black and brown spray paint.

Step 7: Happy Halloween!

Well, that's it. I only had to purchase the PVC and fittings, the rest was just scraps and other stuff I already had that wasn't being used otherwise. It was fun coming up with it and building it. I hope you try your own and put your own spin on it. Have fun with it!

Halloween Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Clocks Contest

      Clocks Contest
    • Cold Challenge

      Cold Challenge
    • Baking Contest

      Baking Contest


    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    2 years ago

    That's really neat what you did with the photo screen :)


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks! I was really happy with the result.