Body Impaling Special Effect for Halloween





Introduction: Body Impaling Special Effect for Halloween

About: I'm an incurable tinkerer and builder and will often spend way too much time and money on whatever project is on the radar today.

Some fine folks where I live organized a "Zombie Walk" fundraiser and i just knew I needed to take part in that. But, I also knew my makeup skills were lacking. I needed a prop to get me through with my dignity intact. But what? I know! A striking zombie body impalement would do the trick. 

Step 1: Step 1: Gather Materials

If you can scrounge a standard yard sale sign, the kind on a wooden stake, you'll be ahead. If not, they are easily made. You'll need two USP lumber connectors which you can find in the lumber section at Home Depot or Lowe's or the hardware store of your choice. Get the long ones since they have to bend all the way around your torso and over your shoulder. This depends on your size - bolt two together if needed. Get two L-brackets with four holes total. (See pictures) You'll need four small nuts and bolts to tie the whole contraction together and four nails or pins to attach the actual sign to the rig. More on that in the next step. as far as tools go, you won't need much. A drill to put some holes in the lumber connectors and a hacksaw to takes the tips off your nails. You'll need a screwdriver and pliers to tighten the nuts and bolts. 

Step 2: Step 2: Fitting and Building the Rig

Start by bending the lumber connectors around your shoulder and under your arm. Go slowly and get the bend just right. After wearing it for even a short while, you'll come to appreciate taking the time to get it to contour to your body. When you have both lengths of connector bent to conform to your torso and overlap like in the pictures, you can mark where they need to be drilled (unless you get lucky and the existing holes in the connectors line up). This is a case of purely eyeballing it and drilling approximately where you think it will work. 

Step 3: Step 3: Complete the Rig

Once those crucial first holes are drilled in the lumber connectors, you can use nuts and bolts to hold it all together. This is where the L-brackets come into play. They support the sign itself. Fit the L-bracket like in the picture and drill your second hole where needed to keep the bracket from swinging from side to side on the first nut and bolt. Do I need to remind you to put the nut on the outside of the rig? You don't want them rubbing on your torso for the duration, although they would probably add some realistic blood to the costume. 

Step 4: Step 4: Get the Sign Ready

This is pretty easy. Get the garage sale sign or election sign, whatever, and cut it off squarely beneath the actual sign portion, but leave as much post as the length of one side of the L-bracket! This is terribly important. You must have enough wood there to secure the sign to the L-bracket. If you do not do this, you cannot secure the sign to the L-bracket properly. 
When this is done, you'll have to cut a trench up the middle of both sides of the wooden stake. Cut into the wide side of the stake and make sure the trench is the same thickness as the L-bracket. Dry fit both sides to the L-brackets and mark along their sides where you want to drill the holes for the pins that hold the sign parts to the L-bracket. Remember to make the pins pretty snug to the outside of the L-bracket holes. Better to have to struggle a bit to get the pins in place than to have your sign wobble all over as you walk.    

Step 5: Step 5: Bring It All Together

You should be ready to slip into your rig and have a friend attach the sign portion. You can put the sign on before if you like but it is cumbersome. If the rig fits comfortably, the next step is to cut slits in an old shirt to wear over the rig. I wore a suit I picked up at the Salvation Army to provide a bit of camouflage for the whole thing.  The nice thing about this costume prop is that you can take the sign portion off to travel by car. Just don't lean back on anyone's new leather seats and cause any damage with the L-bracket in the back. (eh-heh...sorry again about that. You know who you are). Bloody up your clothes where the sign penetrates for that full-blown zombie feel. Braaaaains! I missed this Instructable for Halloween 2012 but boy, am I ready for 2013!
Have fun, be safe, and go build something. 



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8 Discussions

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I, like you, did not have the time/ skills for zombie makeup and needed something with punch. I made this rig for my zombie clown costume and ended up winning Best Zombie in the walk! I made several kids cry too, and I have you to thank for you wonderful idea! You can see my costume here:

2 replies

Really good costume and I'm thrilled to see my little idea gain some traction. It's hard to turn around in that thing, isn't it?

Yeah, you need a pretty good turning radius. If you had someone who you could synchronize with, it would be cool to have to people 'speared' on one pole.

I am attending a zombie walk as well as hosting a community Zombie themed dance and like you, my make-up skills are a little lacking. This instructable is fantastic and the effect is stunning. I built my own impalement harness for my zombie clown costume. Thank you so much for this!

Haha I saw that dude during the Corpus Christi Zombie Walk last year. 12 months later and he's still generating a buzz

I really hope someone does a Michael Cera version of this so that it resembles his "self" featured in the movie, "This Is The End." That would be hysterical.

What an awesome idea! I love the base for it - it looks super stable.