If you're looking to keep cost low and creepiness high, head to the dollar store to grab some stuff to build your own pumpkin creeper!
Step 1: What You'll Need
- Plastic jack o lantern
- Garden vine stands
- News paper, craft foam, plastic bags
- Glue sticks and glue gun
- Wooden dowels
- Scissors or blade
- Acrylic paints and paint brushes -black, red, orange.. Or greens if you're going for a mouldy look
- Masking tape
- Yarn, ribbons, burlap strips
- Spider webs
- Paper towel or wrapping paper tubes
Step 2: Building the Body
We're going to build up the body with the vine stands. Stack them and tape the bottoms together. Cut the top row off of the front one, and and attach that to the back, turning the trimmed pieces upwards (for the neck) and outwards (for the shoulders/arms).
Use a few wooden dowels to help space out the rest of the front vine stand to build up the rib cage area.
Use your paper tubes and wooden dowels to build up the arms, taping and gluing them in place.
Step 3: Idle Hands Are the Devil's Playthings
To make the hands, take your wooden dowels and cut/break off little pieces for the hand and finger bones. I didn't measure these, but tried to generally match my hand shape. I made the fingers longer than normal for more creepy vibes. Glue the fingers together in a bent position, laying them sideways, and when cooled attach them to the hand that you've hot glued together. Prop the fingers up on random items you have laying around if you need to while they cool. Play around with the angles that you attach the fingers to to make them lively.
Once it's all built, wrap the whole thing in masking tape and tape/glue it to your arm dowel.
Step 4: Put Some Meat on Those Bones
Time to bulk up. Using paper, first make a ball and build up the shoulder joint, taping as you go. Use large sheets of paper, foam, or plastic bags to cover the gaps in your rib area. It doesn't need to be filled, just covered.
Take more foam and cover your arms and hand(s). I cut tiny squares roughly the size of each knuckle and taped them in place, then taped over everything one more time. If you like doing paper mache, this would be the perfect place to do it. I didn't want to deal with the time or the mess though, so masking tape was my go to.
Cut a hole in the bottom of your jack o lantern and stick it onto your wooden neck dowel. Glue it in place. My pumpkin had a hole in the back so I used that to attach more tape so it wouldn't flop around a lot, much like the tendons in our neck.
Step 5: Painting Time
Now you get to paint everything! I grabbed what I had on hand so a bunch of reds, oranges, burgundies, and black. I poured them all in a cup and started brushing it on with a foam brush not bothering to mix the colours together first. That gave me some colour variation.
Do the top half, let it dry, flip and repeat.
Step 6: Play Dress Up
Now is the time to add your finishing touches. Drape/wrap your cheesecloth over the arms, shoulders and chest area making sure to leave stringy bits on the end (I slashed mine with a knife to get a nice rough edge). I cut a bunch of strips of rough black ribbon and tied/wrapped it around the hands and arms, and wrapped an especially large piece around the torso which helped hold the cheesecloth in place.
Finally, add a healthy dose of spiderwebs over everything.
Step 7: Set Up for a Scare
Once you're ready, pop some glow sticks in the mouth and find a place to put this! If you have a garden, you can stick the vine stands right into the dirt, but if you don't then use some more of your black ribbon to hold this up against a tree, post, or fence. Add more ribbons and spiderwebs as necessary.
This was not made with the intention of lasting outside for very long or for holding up to rough weather. I made this to go outside the night of my Halloween festivities and no longer, and if it rains it's coming inside. That being said, I think when it's outside with all the other decorations it will be a great addition!