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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

First post (sorry if I inadvertently break any forum rules). Just wanted to share something I'm working on. I created a rudimentary 'Reaper' for my porch last year, but I wasn't happy with the look, especially those stumpy little plastic dollar store skeleton arms I used. Image at the end.

So I decided to try and make something. But with zero budget I used things I already had. And this is what I came up with (WIP). I wasn't expecting to share this as a tutorial or anything so I don't have full instructions or photos of every step. But as I got some ideas from you fine folks, sharing is caring!

What I had to work with:
  • Corrugated plastic sheet (Coroplast or corflute)
  • Garden frost protection fabric
  • Foam hot water pipe insulation
  • Coloured sanded siliconized acrylic latex caulk, 1 tube (Summer Wheat)
  • Carpet underlay
  • Black chain link fence bracing wire
  • Wire coat hangers
  • Painters tape
  • Florist tape (green stretchy stuff - no adhesive)
  • Glue gun
  • Spray adhesive
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors
After traipsing through the galleries, this forum, and everywhere else for ideas I just winged it.

I traced my hand on the corflute as a guide and cut that out. Stuck on some wire with hot glue and tape, created some anatomical features, wrapped the wire with carpet underlay, and secured it all with the green florist tape. I tried using masking tape but had a couple of problems. It was too bulky, ripped the foam if I had to take it off and the hand just looked like foam covered in tape.

I made the forearms with wire coat hangers and the pipe insulation. I only had one piece so I cut it down the length, 2/3 for the radius which is the bigger bone, and 1/3 for the ulna. Wrapped the coathangers with it, used the spray glue and taped the seam. Don't use hot glue, it just melts.

Once all the taping was done, I used the frost fabric as a covering. It's semi-absorbent, so I thought it would make a good bond with the caulk. It's also lightweight, easy to cut, tear and manipulate and adheres really well using the spray adhesive. I got this idea from a post about using landscape fabric, but that's too heavy to work with.

I read instructions suggesting latex flooring adhesive as a skin over the substructure. From memory that stuff stinks, it's messy and expensive - and I don't have any.

The caulk looks great. Because it has sand in it, there is a great texture to the final layer and it dries matte. And as it's coloured, I don't have to paint over it. I just smeared it on using gloved hands, one side at a time, to allow drying in between. Before it was dry I used a damp hog hair paint brush to remove obvious 'strokes' left behind by my fingers and that added even more texture, and pushed the caulk into any tiny crevices in the tape.

They are just shy of three feet in length.

So that's it. I hope someone can benefit from my experiment!

IMG_4665.jpg IMG_4668.jpg IMG_4667.jpg IMG_4669.jpg


Typical Ghoul Next Door
7,508 Posts
Nice use of found stuff and the end result looks really great! I have a soft spot for getting creative like this using junk/trash/found objects. :)

I think they look like ancient mummy hands in the up close pic, but they definitely work well for anything creepy... I could see even giving them a coat of greenish flesh tone and having a nice set of old crone witch hands!

Read Only
1,348 Posts
What a great job. Like you, our budget is next to nothing every year, so it takes a bit of doing to come up with new items. But for us, part of the fun is finding stuff we can make into other stuff. Or, finding stuff that no one wants any longer and making it into our stuff. :) We love seeing the haunts of folks who have budgets that dwarf ours here at the forum and other places. They are amazing at times. But Like Frankie's Girl, our soft spot is for those who take what others might see as trash and create a treasure. We're sure your Grim Reaper will be so much happier with his new hands. Thanks for posting.
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