Nightlyre's Realm: Halloween: Decorations:

Terry, the Giant Spider

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Terry, the giant spider

Terry has made quite a few appearances. She was out to greet trick-or-treaters in 1999, complete with strobing lights and a creepy chittery sound (if you'd like to hear it or tape it off for use at your haunt, click here... but please don't put it up on another website). In 2000, she showed up in the office where I was working, and got a lot of compliments there. She came to work again with me in 2004, and was outside greeting guests for the party in 2005.

She's made of PVC pipe, covered with fake fur and strategically stuffed with newspaper. All told, she would cost less than $50 to build from scratch. Because I had a lot of leftover brown fur from my costumes, I built her for the cost of the PVC pipe and connectors: $16. Not bad, for a large and impressive prop that got a lot of attention!

I decided not to secure her legs, so she'd come apart easily for storage. Since she was going to be suspended by the abdomen, I decided to doubly secure her main body using wire. You can see how I strung that in the chart below (click to enlarge).

Terry construction thumbnail

PVC Assembly:

3 PVC pipes, 10ft. 1/2", thin-walled
4 cross junctions
4 "L" junctions
1 "T" junction
24 elbow (45 degree angle) junctions

A couple of photos of the assembled PVC understructure. To give you an idea of her size, I put a yard stick next to her in each photo. (Click to enlarge)

Terry PVC skeleton, front view

Terry PVC skeleton, front view

Spider fur pattern


I would estimate that I used about 2 yards of fur fabric on Terry, but it's kinda hard to say; I was mostly using scraps. Each leg is a 34" by 5" piece, sewn into a tube shape.

I don't have the exact measurements for the body, but you can get the basic idea looking at the drawing to the left. Because I wanted to make sure I could store her easily, all of the pieces attach with velcro; her underside is basically unfinished. Larger areas like the abdomen (the rear end) are stuffed with newspaper to give a rounded appearance.

For details like eyes and fangs, you pretty much just have to improvise. Find some good pictures of spiders, in books or online, and find one to pattern your spider off of. I used some clear plastic domes, painted black on the inside (so they're still shiny) for the eyes, and used fake eagle talons for the fangs. If you can't get that detailed, don't worry - most people won't stick around long enough to notice if your spider has fangs, anyway.