Gutless Joe Prop




Introduction: Gutless Joe Prop

About: Full time College student (Computer Science and Engineering Major) with a passion for building stuff with whatever is on hand at the time. Been tearing stuff down and putting it back together my whole life. ...

This prop can be the most disgusting prop in you arsenal of Halloween goodies.  I saw a picture of this type of thing on a Halloween site. I didn't see any plans so I decided to make it how I thought it was built. Its a prop that can be modified to either sit or stand. 

The cost of building the prop depends on the materials that you have on hand. It is a very effect prop because people will become grossed out thinking that its real. 

The whole goal of this project for me was to make something gross, but easy to store for the rest of the year.  The "skeleton" can be taken down in two pieces and the guts can be taken out of the pants.

Step 1: Materials

There are a lot of materials needed in order to complete this Prop.
They are:

-2 Cans of Great Stuff Spray Foam
-A pair of old jeans (mine were 36X30)
-3/4" PVC Pipe (10 Foot Section)
-Blue Painters Tape
-Duct Tape
-Chicken Wire
-Zip Ties
-Wax Paper
- A LOT of Newspaper
-Shipping tubes (2 Sizes)
-3 90 Degree fittings for 3/4" PVC
-1 45 Degree fitting for 3/4" PVC
-Cherry Red, Real Red Gloss, and Alizarin Crimson Acrylic Paints.
-Paint Brushes
-Couple Nails
-Some old Shoes
-PVC Cement 
-Gloss Clear Coat
-Safety Pins 

Tools are:
-A Hacksaw
-A tape measure
-A Pen or Pencil
-A box cutter

Step 2: Skeleton of the Prop

The skeleton of this prop is PVC and the two different sized shipping tubes. 

First thing I did was determine where the knee of this prop would be so that it seems as real as possible. Then I determined the rest of my "skeleton". The measurements for me are:
Thigh- 13 inches
Leg- 18 Inches
Center/Butt- 8 inches

First cut two thighs and two legs to the lengths that was determined and one Center/Butt. Then you use the PVC Cement to glue two 90 Degree fittings to the center pole facing the same direction.  then glued a thigh to each of those 90 Degree fittings. 
This piece is shown in the first picture of this step.

Tip: I marked lines on the fitting and PVC pipe so that they will line up correctly when I glue them.

The next things I glued were the legs.  I first took one leg PVC pipe and glued a 90 Degree fitting to the end of it. Then you take the other leg pipe and glue the 45 degree fitting to the end of it. I did NOT glue the legs to the main part because I wanted the option to change the pose. 

I painted the end of the legs near the ankles black. This is in case the tube shows a little from the pant leg.

Step 3: Making of the Guts

The guts are the main part of the prop. The guts consist of two can of Great Stuff Expanding Foam.

First thing I did was cut a piece of my chicken wire to match the waist of the pants. I secured the ends with zip ties. The chicken wire can be seen inside the pants in picture 3.
After that was done. I put wax paper all around the waist band because the expanding foam can bleed through the pants and make them look darker. Next thing was to take a piece of scrap foam from the tombstones I was making and use it as a base. Then I took newspaper and filled in the gaps between the chicken wire and the scrap foam.

Now its time to spray the guts.

Take your can of Great Stuff and Spray the whole inside of the pants with it. Closer to the top of the pants is when the spraying needs to be controlled because this is the part that will be showing. Just think of what intestines look like and spray a strand back and forth in one consistent spray.

A way to set the look that you want is to take a spray bottle of water and mist the top of your intestines. Water speeds the curing process for this stuff. The center will still be liquid for awhile so you need to wait at least 8 hours before continuing with this build.

Step 4: Full Figure Look

 The way that I made the figure look as if it is real is by using the shipping tubes. The larger tube is for the thigh and the smaller tube is for the shins. You start by measuring the lengths of tube for the certain part you want.

I used a hacksaw to cut the shipping tube. After fitting the PVC into the cardboard tube, you seal off one end with duct tape. Then tightly pack each tube with newspaper so that the PVC pipe is in the center of the shipping tube. Seal off the other ends of the shipping tube with duct tape once its stuffed with paper.  Then cut a hole in the duct tape for the PVC to go through at the knee and at the ankle. 

Note: I used packing tape and switched to duct tape at the end of the build because its more durable.

At the knee I stuff newspaper into the joint and used Blue painters tape so that I can take the "Skeleton" apart for storage. If your going to keep the "skeleton" together for storage, then use PVC cement to glue the two parts together and use duct tape to create the knee.

OPTIONAL: Use black paint and paint the entire rig. This allows some error because if a part of it shows (like at the ankles), then the audience won't know that its not real.

Step 5: Painting and Extras

I created two strands of intestines coming over the pants. Added in some twine for veins.
This is optional, but I'll go through the steps. After setting up how the guts will be inside the pants, I used wax paper and draped it over the waistband and down the legs. I sprayed the foam and added twine to add some veins. Then sprayed water and let it dry.

I already did an instructable on how to make fake intestines using spray foam. The link is .
That instructable shows how I painted the guts, but I'll copy and paste the steps here.

This is where your work determines the look of the guts. First thing you need to do is set up your work surface with newspaper, a cup of water, and some paper towels. Next thing to do is get your paint ready for use.

Start by using the Real Red Gloss acrylic paint . Paint the entire piece of foam with this paint. Then switch to Cherry Red acrylic paint and only paint little tiny areas in order to create some contrast to the piece. Sometimes I use this darker paint in the cracks and crevasses to make the guts "pop".

The darkest red (Alizarin Crimson acrylic paint) is for blood splatter. I use the straw in order to create the blood splatter. A better way to have done this is with an airbrush, but I couldn't find where mine was.

In order to create the blood splatter with a straw, you need to use your breath. You suck up a little paint into the straw and then blow it back out until theres very little left in the straw. Then blow the rest of the paint onto the workpiece so that its doesn't glob in only one spot.

The last step is to apply the clear coat and let dry.

Step 6: What's Left

Put the "skeleton" into the pants. Use chicken wire in the groin and butt area of the prop in order to keep the shape when you put the guts in.

Add some red paint or fake blood in blotches onto the pants to make it look more real. (especially at the waist). I found that the intestines were smaller than the waist band and caused the pants to fall. I used a safety pin in the back in order to make the waist band tighter. 

Set up the prop in a chair, on your porch, or anywhere you want. Put a pair of boots or old shoes so that it looks like it has feet.

Even before I had it painted, I had it set up in my living room and my mom thought that someone was sitting on the couch. 

Fourth Prize in the
Halloween Contest

1 Person Made This Project!


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6 Discussions

If you don't have shipping tubes you could try pool noodles. The nice thing about most noodles is that they are hollow so they are easy to cut. We used pool noodles to bulk up our skeletons for Halloween this year and they looked more realistic.


9 years ago on Step 6

I think Im going to try and make this, but the only think I going to change is adding a bone sticking up to out of it like the spine, and Ill probably just stuff the pants not go through all the trouble of building the skelton.


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

The bone sticking out of the back would be cool. Especially if there's little bits of flesh and blood dangling off the vertabre.

Stuffing it works too. I just didn't want to keep doing it each year I use it.


9 years ago on Introduction

that came out fantastic ! I like the packing tube idea, we've been using recycled 2liter soda bottles with floral wire run thru them, they quickly stuff arm and legs and the "joints" work fairly well. The only thing I see with yours is that the intestines have 2 ends and while that is creepy, a small pile of intestines in the lap would also be cool. ^5


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Thanks. The pile of intestines on the lap is a great idea.


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

One of the greatest aspects of this site is how it can stimulate the imagination