Our Big, Giganitic Halloween Spider, Part 1

I love Halloween. Even though we lived in a condo for eight years, I bought bags of candy each October, thinking that we just might get trick-or-treaters at our door. The only time we had a little one in costume show up was when we told a neighbor to bring her daughter by. We dumped the whole bowl into her bag. Every other year, Marc and I have eaten the candy between Halloween and Thanksgiving. I consider it akin to getting a base tan before going on vacation. We prepped our systems for holiday food with all that candy.

We are amped up for our first Halloween in a real neighborhood. We have five kids on our cul-de-sac and plenty more on the surrounding streets. We are so excited to finally have trick-or-treaters. I told Marc that we had to start thinking about our decorations a few weeks ago and I came home to some giant spiders in the living room that evening.

Marc told me that there was one more spider he wanted, but didn't get. It was a massive thing at the Plow & Hearth outlet, but he wasn't sure I would want it. I imagined putting it on the roof right over our front door and told him to grab it the next time he was driving by the store.

A few days later, Marc came home a little sad. The staff at the Plow & Hearth outlet said the spider had crept out the door just moments before he arrived. So, I decided to try and make a huge spider. I googled a bit and saw lots of different methods for making a huge spider. There are all sorts of tutorials out there for using paper mache, balloons, PVC pipe, tubes from a clothes dryer, flexible drain pipes...I was dizzy with options. We figured we would go to Lowes and just wandered until we found the right materials.

I decided to use chicken wire for the body of the spider. That was easy enough to find in the garden center. We originally picked out small, black PVC pipe for the legs (the Lowes staff found us debating our plan in the plumbing aisle and they were so enthusiastic). Right as we got to the check out, we saw a guy with large segments of the insulation that is placed around pipes and we knew we had to trade out our materials right away. We went to back to the plumbing section like there was some sort of emergency. When we found the insulation tubes, we were like winners on Supermarket Sweep.

The cashier must have thought we were nuts because we were chuckling as we went through the check out process. We were so happy about our spider legs.

Once home, I started coaxing the chicken wire into shape. Are chickens unusually strong? Why is chicken wire so damn impossible to bend? Oh...probably not to keep the chickens in, but to keep things that eat chickens out. Oops.

When the spider body looked kind of like a spider, I started working on the legs. We consulted many disgusting spider pictures (and some videos) and decided to make the legs bend in two spots after the largest spiders we found in our research, the Huntsman Spider (so gross) and the Goliath Spider (so, so, so gross...seriously, don't click if you are afraid of sliders). I cut a wedge out of the tube at each spot where we wanted it to bend and then used black tape to secure the sides of the tube so the tube would stay bent.

I still have to cover the spider body with black, furry fabric, but we're pretty happy with where things are going.

I have to think about how to keep the legs reasonably close to the spider body since sticking the ends into the holes in the chicken wire won't be an option after the fabric is on the body. I might make the legs totally separate and have the body "sit" on top of a frame that is attached to the legs.

Stay tuned...


  1. I think that is awesome! I can't wait to see how it turns out with the fabric. The shape looks incredibly realistic though, enough so that I already find it creepy.

    Chicken wire is ridiculously hard to bend because it's not really meant to bend; you're supposed to put it up as flat panels around the chickens, reinforced with wood planks or metal posts at the corners. Sadly, it is more than strong enough to keep the chickens in, but foxes/weasels/fishers actually bite right through it or crush it enough to lift up and crawl under.

  2. This post just makes me happy. I was cracking up at your inner monologue about chicken's being unusually strong. Can't wait to see the finished result!

    Every year I've but a million pounds of candy in hopes of trick-or-treaters and we've gotten maybe 10. I still don't understand because we live in a neighborhood with plenty of kids. Maybe in our next house...

  3. I already love how it looks! We are so excited to have real trick or treaters this year too!


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