Intro: Life Size Electric Chair for $8.00
I always wanted a full size electric chair prop, but It was always such a huge expense and frankly quite a daunting task.
This idea came to me while planning our Annual Halloween Party theme...This year is "Escaped". I kept getting this vision of an escaped criminal in his last few minutes before the switch is pulled.
While thinking of this, I also had the joy of one of my Kitchen chairs deciding that would be its last day as an actual chair.
While now sitting on the floor and examining the broken bits, I could easily see how a Favorite Swedish company could find a way that anyone could follow their instructions with a few pieces of pine, and within minutes have a chair.
I am a busy working Mom, and don't have a lot of time to spend on each prop I make, nor do I have endless funds to just throw at piles of pine, shelac, ect ect.
What I used for this project:
1 Pallet (free from local re-cycler)
2 matching belts (Ardene's 80% off section $2.90)
1 small metal salad bowl ($1.00 From Dollarama)
2 Glass resistors (Found at local Buy/Sell Group $5.00)
Handful of Nails
Saw of some kind
Chicken Wire (Free from my backyard fence)
Stain or spray paint (optional)
First thing I did when I got the pallet home was to de-construct all the boards so I had a pile of rough slats, Than I gathered all the like sizes. I was careful in choosing my pallet to be sure I had good slats for back and seat.
Next I cut 2 of the pallet slats in half so i had 4 equal pieces just short of 24" long each. I was left with 5 thinner width pieces of pallet wood which I also cut in half so i had 10 pieces (creating the rest of frame)
Next I made the frame of the back of the chair by making an "H" shape and nailing the pieces together, From there I made a box off the cross bar of the H, I nailed each one with 2 nails. This used 4 pieces of wood.
I used 4 more Pieces to make the legs by simply nailing each leg into the inner corner of the box frame. The Chair could now stand on its own.
I laid and nailed down 3 slats to create the seat, and the 5 remaining small slats for the back support.
To Make the arms I simply cut one last piece of pallet wood into a 1x2 size and nailed in an upright position. Laid a board across each one to get an arm and for a added touch rounded off the edges with sandpaper.
The restistors I bought were already attached in a slanted postion on a small piece of wood so I took advantage of that and nailed them in to the back inside part of the frame.
Next, I took some chicken wire and wrapped it around a PVC pipe to give the wire a curly effect, wrapped the end around the glass bulb.
I drilled a small hole on either side of a small salad bowl and attached it to the chicken wire from the resisters. **Added touch is a small square of a yellow kitchen sponge that I glued into the top part of the hat, but its optional**
I found some fabulous elastic belts with the buckles, from a local Ardene's/Claires. I Simply cut off the elastic and nailed the buckle to each arm of the chair to give the illusion of arm restraints I used a second belt by cutting it in half and giving the illuison the belt goes all the way around the back. Attached them with a small nail (2 in each side)
Last thing i did is found some old ebony stain in my husbands workshop, I used a piece of Paper towel to add the color very lightly, being sure to give the stain look the look that the chair had been well used.
The chair is not meant to be used as a working prop, or a regular chair. Tho is can easily hold a 150+lb person, My husband had to try it a few times
I will be adding a newspaper dummy in a prisoner suit, with black felt bag over the head area, using a ballon to give the head some shape. For more added touches, I painted a Pencil case box with "Rustoleum brand Rust colored paint, I hot glued an old spur as a switch, I also found a High Voltage sticker and put that near the chair.
I hope this can inspire someone to take my idea and run with it..Halloween can be so much fun especially when it save a ton of Money!
Total Build time: Approx 3 hours
Total Cost on Chair $7.43