Learn to make an easy and imposing Halloween mannequin from PVC for about $6. It packs flat (doesn't add to your clutter), and holds costumes in ways sure to get a lot of attention from your halloween audience.
Once materials are gathered you can make this in about ten minutes, and kids can help!
for contributed photos, more detailed instructions, variations on this theme, PVC resources, and links to other PVC mannequins.
Some of my Halloween work is also in other instructables:
Godzilla / T-Rex
General Grievous with Mechanical Arms
Step 1: Gather PVC Materials
# three six foot tubes of 1/2" PVC (~$1.50 each)
# one bag of 1/2" slip elbows (not threaded) (~$3 for ten)
# one bag of 1/2" slip t-joints (not threaded) (~$2 for ten)
# a PVC tube cutter if you don't have one (~$8)
# PVC cement (~$4)
# optional: roll of black plastic contractors plastic to cover frame ($13)
# optional: polyester fiber fill (from a craft store) ($5)
Lots of costume components! Masks, capes, clothing, etc.
Step 2: Assemble
The photos themselves show the assembly I used.
The base splays out in both directions to allow it to be weighted. I just used exercise weights or plates on the base.
The chest is made from three t-joints (joined with <2" pieces near the neck) and four elbows. If you don't glue the shoulders you can pose the arms.
Finally there's a view of the whole thing. By adjusting the body lengths you can make anything from a dwarf to a giant.
Step 3: Glue Key Joints, Add Bulk/Volume, Dress
Cement (gluing) is optional. The mannequin will stay together well if you take the time to push and lightly tap them into the joints with a hammer. If you want to take it apart, don't glue it, but be warned that the parts near the base have a tendency to rotate forward and backward once weighted so gluing these bits may be advantageous. Even with the base glued you'll still be able to take it apart for easy storage.
Use wadded up newspapers, light pillows, or polyester filter floss to add bulk and volume around body and inside mask and shoulders to give it some volume.
Dress with your favorite costume components and you're done!
for contributed photos, more detailed instructions, variations on this theme, PVC resources, and links to other PVC mannequins. Thanks for reading!