Climbing Halloween Skeletons

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Commercial photographer with a need for some diy projects with the kiddies!

I started this project, based on the plans at halloweenpropmaster.com. The difference is that I wired the skeleton's joints together inside, rather than gluing them, like he did. Anyway, I know that the prop is fairly effective since I have already had cars slowing down on my street to check it out!

Okay, it's my first instructible, so bear with me a bit.

Step 1: Start With a Cheapo Blow Mold Skeleton ...

I bought this at one of the Halloween super stores that pop up every year, so I probably paid way more than I should have. If you wait until after Oct 31st, you can probably find these for cheap cheap!

It is a simple, 5 foot tall, blow mold skeleton, made from cheap plastic and popped together by inserting a little tab into a hole in the next bone. The problem is that the joints don't bend well, and they pop out really easy.

Step 2: Sewing the Joints Together...

I poked a hole in the skeleton's hand and threaded some picture hanging wire through the hand and out the tab. I then inserted it through the other bones until I had about 2 or 3 feet hanging out of the shoulder end of the humerous (top bone in the arm).

And then I tied it off around the hand.

Step 3: I Did the Same With Each Foot and Leg.

I missed the photo of this next step some how but, hopefully, I can describe it:

Each leg thread goes into the hip section at the hip joint, and out through the spine joint. Then it gets threaded up through the chest area.

I needed to use a bent coat hanger to work as giant sowing needle to pull the threads up. It also helped when I was threading the arm wires through the shoulder sockets and up through the top of the neck.

So, if you have done this right, you should have 4 pieces of wire sticking out of the neck of the skeleton.

Tie them off around the neck bone and put the skull on top and you are ready to hang your skeleton where ever you like!

I used some left over wire to hook these guys to my window shutters and the gutter. Word of warning: do not climb ladders by yourself! Get someone to hold the bottom or take you to the emergency room!

In the future, I will use black coated wire, since I am concerned that the picture wire might scratch the paint or rust a bit.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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Second Prize in the
DIY Halloween Contest

2 People Made This Project!

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46 Discussions

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mckeephotojpark1

Reply 7 years ago on Step 2

Yes, you could. However, unless you are using firewire, it will stretch when the wind blows.

And, I get more cuts from fishing with firewire every year... ;-)

But, definitely worth a try, if you don't have hanging wire.

The hanging wire I use doesn't seem to actually rust. Weird. Never thought of that!

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hitachi8mckeephoto

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

some wire are galvanized (zinc), the zinc must go away for the iron to oxydise (rust).

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pheaney

7 years ago on Step 3

I was wondering how to tweek my house for halloween. This is awesome and inexpensive....Will have several of them crawling on my house...Thanks

We did the same thing to our house, but instead buried it under the busch in our front yard. It looked like the skeleton was trying to climb out of an ancient grave or something!

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Granny_Leah

8 years ago on Introduction

I never thought of using wire, I use clothesline to tie the skeletons together.
With all the windstorms we get in October they wiggle all over the place.
Wire would work nicely where stability is needed.

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frollard

10 years ago on Introduction

Excellent instructable! 5 from me! pssst...when you're doing the needle and thread thing, its 'sewing' not 'sowing'; the other kind is what you do to seeds in a field :D (step 2 title, and step three writeup) My haunted house should have something like this; perhaps next year.

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gormlyfrollard

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

This a fantastic and creative instructable! Frollard, there was NO need to correct him. Everyone knew what he meant. This "I am smarter than you" stuff needs to stop on the net. Thanks for letting us know how smart YOU are.

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balloondogglegormly

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

I would tend to disagree with you, although I think the correction could have been sent in a private message or email. Minor errors like that are best corrected because they detract from the flow of an otherwise great piece of work. Typos and spelling errors are distracting and we can all do better. Without spellcheck, my own comment would be incomprehensible. And now, back to our regularly scheduled Instructable.

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As the subject of your conversation, I have to chime in and say that I appreciate the edit... And the tone (if there is such a thing) that it was delivered. And the spirit of the message. A private email would have been more... well... private and, perhaps, saved a little face on my end. But, what the heck, this ain't brainsurgery (at least not in this instructible). And the error was my fault for not proofing. Thanks to all of you for your support and keeping it real!

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frollardmckeephoto

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

Really, quite excellent either way! We usually hang one or two of these from a noose. There's a rather convenient signpost that hangs over our walkway - ideal for stringing these guys up.

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frollardgormly

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

Indeed; it could have been viewed that way. I tried to word that such that it was a friendly reminder; after having introduced as '5 from me' for being awesome. I appreciate your concern but there was no snide undertone. Alas; flat black text shall always twist the meanings of words on the 'intarwebz'.

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snafell

8 years ago on Step 3

Picture wire is usually brass so no need to worry about rust and is also softer than steel.
Andy

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jwystup

8 years ago on Introduction

Awesome! Definitely going to keep an eye out for after halloween sales on these guys. I happen to have one who is falling apart right now...

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Lftndbt

10 years ago on Introduction

Simple and effective, brilliant!! I would love to see these even slighlty animated. Perhaps if even one knee joint would recieve a door hinge it may spookily sway will the wind.. Nice work once again!