Monkey Wrench Giant Prop

About: I Build Monsters.

I made this prop for my Grease Monkey costume, because I love terrible puns and I hate people with sophisticated senses of humor!

My boyfriend and I were cleaning out his shed and there were a couple of monkey wrenches in there, which I immediately seized, thinking that it would be fun to carry one menacingly on Halloween. But I was also immediately chagrinned by the weight. The obvious solution, of course, was to make my own monkey wrench out of lighter materials... and if I was going to make it myself, then it might as well be absurd.

So I hit the internet and started looking for a wrench that I might be interested in copying, found a simple design, and got to work.

This instructable is not my most highly detailed, but I was basically winging it the entire time. Mostly I want to demonstrate that making an oversized prop can be pretty easy, with just cardboard, tape, and paper mache!

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Step 1: Forging Ahead

I made the shaft three feet long, drawn on corrugated cardboard with a Sharpie. Then I cut it out and traced it so I had both sides of the wrench. I separated them with a one-inch strip of cardboard all the way around the perimeter. This wrench was already feeling pretty hefty, and still weighed only a fraction of the real thing!

The “adjustable” portion of the wrench was slightly more difficult because it has a more complicated shape. Still, it was just a matter of making end pieces that could fit over the shaft, and trimming everything so that it fitted snugly. I wasn't doing any pre-planning here, just taking measurements of the open areas and cutting cardboard to fit the space. If it's a litte off, just shave a bit off with a sharp blade and lash it all together with masking tape!

Step 2: Wrap Your Wrench!

I covered the whole thing with paper mache. It's such a simple thing, but when you do this, it turns your wonky little cardboard assembly into a single object! Once it dries, your project stops feeling like a fragile construction.

Now that I had my pieces, I added the spiral around the "adjustable" bit with paper mache clay, and smoothed out the butt a little, but you could absolutely get away without those details if you didn't have the time or the clay.

The more details you add to an oversized object, the better it will look, but the drama of the size is really doing most of the work!

Step 3: Finishing Touches

Since this wrench was a prop for the Grease Monkey, I painted it to match! With the same slightly dull red that I'd used on the monkey face, I painted the whole wrench, except for the lower jaw and the spiral shaft. Those I gave a black base coat.

Then I used the steel paint to give the entire wrench that battered old tool look, hitting all the edges and scraping it across the body! It's super easy and amazingly effective.

The whole thing is sturdy and strong, but really light and easy to carry! The adjustable bit is loose enough to slide up and down, but friction keeps it from flying all over the place if you want to pretend to use the wrench. It's not really meant to be convincing, but just the fact that you can move it makes the wrench seem that much more real.

My point is, you can totally make a gigantic costume prop out of recyclable trash in about a day, so you should probably go do that right now.

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Halloween Contest 2019

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