Life-Sized Spider-Man Themed Halloween Display




Introduction: Life-Sized Spider-Man Themed Halloween Display

About: My name is Jerry Jodloski and I'm one of the founders of How-To Halloween, an annual event in Lansing Michigan that celebrates everything d-i-y Halloween.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the original Spider-Man movie release (with hometown director Sam Raimi's vision of Stan Lee's iconic characters), this instructable shows how to make a full scale web slinging superhero and his crazed nemesis, the Green Goblin atop his glider which features working lights and engine exhaust.  The lighted pumpkin bomb and huge spider web are the perfect Halloween accents to this exciting battle scene which will get the trick-or-treater's spider sense's tingling.

This project took less than three weeks to construct and costs under $300.  Besides the mylar balloon bodies, it's made of mostly salvaged junk, old plastic containers, pvc pipes, foam mats and dollar store items.  As with all of my instructables, there are no specialized tools, computer programing, airbrushing skills or complex electronics required for this build.

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Step 1: Research

One of the most important steps is to purchase a copy of the 2002 Spider-Man movie along with collecting images and illustrations available online.  A toy version of the Green Goblin's glider can be a useful reference to understanding the look and shape of the vehicle.

Step 2: Spidey

Incorporating Spider-Man into the display is pretty straightforward.  You can order the giant mylar balloon figure from Party City for $20.  It's actually made out of six separate balloons consisting of the head, torso, arms and legs.  You'll need to order two of them (the other one is for Green Goblin's body), but I ended up purchasing a total of four because there were problems with the legs leaking.  (Luckily, it was easy to swap out body parts.)

Follow the enclosed instructions, but fill up the balloons with a regular air compressor instead of a helium tank.  Since it won't float, you can skip attaching the weights as described in the last two steps.  Finally, hang the finished figure onto the wall with some fishing line.

Step 3: Goblin's Body

Inflate the other balloon to serve as Gobby's body, but only follow steps 1, 3 and 5 in the instructions and skip the steps where you tape his arms, thighs and wrists (so that he can be posed into a different position).  Cut off the adhesive and discard.

For painting balloons, they make specialized flexible paint that you can purchase from a professional sign shop, but I decided to go with standard spray paint that I had lying around the shop.  (I wasn't sure if it would stick, so I just went for it.)  Use gray primer as the base coat followed by flat black (which makes him look a little like Black Spider-Man from the third movie).  He started getting squirrelly to deal with, so I mounted him on a frame with scrap wood, metal and wires.

Using Scotch brand 6mm Automotive Refinish Masking Tape, mask off a simple design for the body suit.  Before applying the tape, stick it to the table top a couple times to remove some of the adhesive (so that it doesn't pull up the paint when you pull it off.)

Spray paint the entire body again with green, then apply a light dusting of metallic gold and gloss black.

Step 4: Goblin's Mask

The mask originates from a Halloween costume which has been discontinued, but can be purchased used on eBay.  The teeth don't look very realistic, so cut them out with an X-Acto Blade and replace them with werewolf teeth from your local Halloween store (for about $4 each).  

Apply masking tape to cover the yellow eyes and paint the mask with primer, green, then a dusting of gold and gloss black (like the body).  Paint the teeth with primer, then metallic silver.

On the inside of the mask, attach the teeth into place with a glue gun, and then tape two layers of an old screen into the mouth area for a nice, finished look.

Step 5: Goblin's Armor

After throwing an impromptu Halloween party for the kids, be sure to save the empty cookie containers, pop bottle, milk jugs and plastic plates.  

Use the lids of the cookie containers as chest plates and the bottoms as wrist guards.  Cut up the bottle and plates to fashion the rib cage armor section and string them together to the chest plates with elastic cord and gaffe tape.  

The rim of the plates glued to strips of the pop bottle make for cool arm accents.  Cut out the sides of some milk jugs for killer shoulder pads.

Spray paint everything to match, but apply a heavier dusting of gloss black along the edges so that the details stand out.

Step 6: Goblin Assembly

Use a combination of elastic cord and gaffe tape to affix the armor and mask.  A little extra tape is helpful in keeping the body parts attached.

At one point when I was topping off one of the legs with the air compressor, it exploded and paint chips flew everywhere.  So make sure to have some spare limbs standing by (see last photo in this series).  The final look of the Green Goblin is extremely menacing.

Step 7: Pumpkin Bomb

The pumpkin bomb weapon starts off as a toy gumball machine that you can purchase at the local dollar store.  Remove the plastic globe and spray paint the inside of it white.  Use some 6mm masking tape, gaffe tape and your daughter's smiley face stickers to make your design. Then spray paint with orange and a dusting of metallic gold.  

Peel away the masking tape and stickers, and hand paint the outside rim with gloss black.  Use your Dremel Tool to cut out a circle in an old tap light, and hot glue it in place to the front opening.  Drill a hole in the top of a 1/2" pvc pipe "T" (so you can poke a  light threw it), spray paint it black and screw it into the back of the bomb.   Finally, do a test lighting to see how your finished prop looks.

Step 8: Glider Frame and Top

The main frame is made out of 1/2" and 1" pvc fittings and pipes all held together with scrap metal and screws.  It turns out that an empty Murphy's Oil Soap bottle is the perfect shape for the front section.  Heat four runs of the 1/2 pvc pipe to bend it into a matching curves to form a base for the top.  The wing platform is made out of some gym flooring mats (three for each side).  Draw the pattern, cut out the shapes with a utility knife and zip tie them to the top.

A combination of an old plastic bin and the side runners of the left over screen which used in the making of the Green Goblin's mask (scraps seen on the floor in the background) are to be cut out and screwed into place to form the front section of the glider along with the knife blades.

Step 9: Glider Bottom

I found an old broken fan in the trash and jigsawed out each side to form the lift ducts.  Then some plastic food containers (for hamburger patties and fruit cups) were screwed into place to serve as the rear engine mounts and maneuvering thrusters.

Step 10: Glider Paint and Finishing

The colors needed for painting the glider are aluminum, gloss black and purple with a chrome spray paint to make the front knife weapons shine.  Screw some heavy duty eye bolts (two on the wings and one on the back) into place in order to have attachment points for hanging the prop.  Feed a pair of flexible tubing lines into the rear engines to funnel the fog machine output and wire in some LED holiday lights into the front section, rear engine and thrusters for some over-the-top realism.

Step 11: Web

I purchased a stock web design on a steel gobo produced by Apollo from a company called Premier Lighting online for about $25 including shipping.  It's used in a projector called the Martin Mania PR-1 that I purchased used on eBay and has been a key element to all of my displays year after year.

Step 12: Final Display Photos

After a couple weeks, the balloons are holding up well and the display still looks awesome.  Of course, it works best indoors in a room with high ceilings.  Thanks for checking out this project and let me know if you have any questions.  If you decide to construct your own Spider-Man Themed Halloween Display, be sure to post some photos in the comments section.

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    7 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I like how you used household items for goblin's armor.Very creative! :)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Man, when I first saw the picture, I was sure it was plastic toys! HOLY COW is this awesome!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks so much! You're right, I now see that the scale of the photo is a little deceiving. So I added the words "Life-Sized" to the title.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Smart plan! I didn't click in the first time I saw it because I did think it was toys, but I kept looking at it and knew it had been featured and thought why would they feature toys I must be missing something, so glad I did! Wise move on adding life size and good luck in the contest you got my vote. :)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    High praise coming from you. Thanks!!