have you wanted to add a nice big prop to your yard for Halloween and just don't want to spend Hundreds of dollars on something from the store?
You have come to the right place!
You can Make this Reaper Yard Statue for under $100.00... It's True!!!
Follow me and I'll show you how :)
Step 1: Materials
I got the idea for this statue here:
I modified a few things as you will see to keep it simple...
For Materials here is what I purchased:
- (One) 1 1/2"x10'-0" PVC Pipe
- (One) #4x6'-0" Deformed Rebar
- (One) 24"x50'-0" Hex Netting
- (One) 1 1/2" PVC Elbow
- (Three) 1 1/2" PVC 45 degree Elbow
- (One) 1 1/2" PVC Cross
- (One) 1 1/2" PVC Cap
- (Six) Yard of Brown Burlap Fabric
- (Five) Rust-Oleum Spray Truck Bed Coating
- (Ten) Safety Pins (Not pictured)
I also added a solar lantern (optional) that I found in a local discount store.
Step 2: Frame Construction
I started the frame construction in my workshop (basement).
First I cut the 10'-0" section of PVC to a 6'-0" length for the height of his shoulders.
I then placed the PVC Cross on top and tied that to the heating pipe near my rafters.
Once the frame was standing I started working on the arm.
I took the remaining section of PVC and cut two 9" sections for the shoulders.
For the arm I cut the bicep and forearm at around 18" each, then used a small section for the wrist/hand.
I then connected everything with the 45 degree elbows and used the 90 degree elbow for the wrist.
Once I got the arm into a position I liked, I pre-drilled holes through the elbows into the pipes and placed screws so it would not be able to come apart or move.
Step 3: Support
For support I wanted something that would not tip over in heavy wind as I was making my Reaper very tall, and also not rot like a wooden base might.
I ended up using a 6'-0" piece of 1/2" (#4) Rebar.
I marked it with some High Visibility Spray Paint I had laying around, but you could use tape, or anything else you have lying around.
I then used a 5 pound and sledge hammer to drive it 3'-0" into the ground (so the mark is at ground level).
Step 4: Cage (Fabric Support)
I used the wire fabric (Chicken Wire) to create a support system for the fabric that I would be draping over the statue.
I rapped a loop at the base and slowly spiraled upwards until I got to the shoulders.
I slid the shoulder PVC pieces through the wire mesh so it hung on his shoulders like a tank-top straps.
I then cut a separate piece for the arm and head.
I used a piece of wire like a twist-tie to connect the layers together and also connect the arm and head to the body.
This is my first time working with Chicken Wire and it was not too bad.
Step 5: Fabric and Painting
To apply the Fabric I cut a piece of fabric twice the length of his shoulders.
I then cut a slit in the midpoint of that piece.
This enabled me to drape the fabric over the statue like a poncho as you can see in the first picture.
I used safety pins to keep the fabric closed and in place on the sides until I painted everything.
Once the body was covered, I ripped the remaining piece in half and used once piece to make the 'sleeve' and the other to drape over the head.
I also used safety pins to keep the sleeve and hood closed and in place until painting.
I started painting and worked my way down.
I do not have more painting pictures as the sun was setting on me and I was working in the dusk light.
Step 6: Finishing Touches (and Thoughts)
Once I was complete with the Reaper I wanted to add a lantern and ended up finding one in a local discount store.
I screwed a hook into the PVC Cap where his hand would be to hold it in place.
I also noticed that you could see inside the hood too well and were able to see the PVC 'skeleton' inside. I eneded up getting a $4 ball and placing it inside the hood and painting it black as well. (you can see it in the daylight picture)
I did some touch-up painting and am pleased with the finished look.
Paint: The spray-on Bed Liner was just a thickened paint and was not as thick as I was hoping, but it was fairly cheap and it worked. I would suggest trying something else.
Body: I ended up making him looking a bit too fat when he was done. I fixed this by giving him a hug and squeezing the wire frame inside (do this when the paint is dry if needed). This helped and I just re-placed some of the safety pins to take up the extra fabric.
Support: The day after I made this, we had very high winds with strong gusts and he did not tip over or have the rebar bend. The only thing that happened is the left arm sleeve acted like a sail and he was spun around in my yard, but o damage was done.
Future: Due to the disappointment with the paint, I am thinking of getting some spanish moss and other paint and giving him an 'aged' look at some point. I also want to fine a larger foam ball to use as his head so it is a bit more stable (Maybe something I can also place masks over).