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How To Make Your Skeleton Keep His Legs On

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I was working on another Creepy Creations prop the other day when Wicked Grandma came out of my Halloween Idea Factory and announced, “Ok, you have got to do something about Fred.” For those of you who don’t know, Fred is my Halloween planning partner. I use him for inspiration. We get together regularly over coffee to have a conference to plan our yearly Halloween Party.

Plant Garden Grilling

Now Fred is a pretty dapper guy and he is usually the Captain of our pirate ship. But this year I am planning on using him in Creepy Creations Pirate Rowboat (the project I was working on). Well, Wicked Grandma said she is tired of Fred pulling off his leg in front of the witches. She said every time she goes out to the Halloween Idea Factory Fred has once again pulled off his leg and left it lying around on the floor. I have to admit that I have also noticed Fred has become a little more lax in his appearance around the office. And now it appears the witches are beginning to get upset about his behavior as well. So, in an attempt to avoid a workplace harassment complaint by the witches I decided I better have a little talk with Fred.

Head Sculpture Skull Organism Jaw

I am thinking some other forum members may be having the same problem so here is my resulting fix for Fred’s personality problem.

Plaster Skeleton Leg Hand Art

First you will need some tools: I LOVE hot glue. There is nothing much that I like more than hot glue except maybe a big piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top. But other than that hot glue is where it’s at for me for sticking stuff together. It’s quick. It’s easy. And it’s cheap. So you will need…

A hot glue gun
Hot glue sticks
A wood or metal file or sandpaper

Now to get started, Fred is a pretty good looking skeleton. I bought him at Walmart and he is similar to the pose-n-stay models except he doesn’t pose-n-stay so he is way more flexible which I like. But he is made pretty much out of the same type of plastic. His shoulders and pelvis are pretty thick plastic and usually there is not a big issue with the holes for the pins that keep the bones in place splitting out or breaking..

Joint Jaw

But the weak part is his ball joints in the upper arms and upper legs. The plastic here is really thin and it has a tendency to break or split out at the seams allowing the plastic pins that hold the bones to the skeleton frame to come out resulting in the arm or leg falling off. This is where these skeletons have the biggest issues with loosing their limbs.

Joint Bone Sculpture Art Skull

But it is actually a pretty easy fix.

Step 1: Find the troublesome areas

Step 2: Because hot glue WILL NOT stick to a smooth, non-porous surface you need to rough up the area you are going to glue. Use a wood or metal file or sandpaper to give the area you are going to fix a little working over so the hot glue will stick.

Auto part

Step 3: Put the skeletons leg or arm back in place with the pin holding the arm or leg in the hole in the ball joint.

Joint Footwear Shoe Jaw

Step 4: Working a little area at a time build up the hot glue to cover the split or broken area in the ball joint. Apply the hot glue all around the hole. Let the hot glue cool a little between applications.


Step 5: Now keep building up the layers of hot glue until it also covers the plastic pin where it enters the ball joint. Be sure to NOT glue the plastic pin to the hole in the skeletons pelvis or shoulder or the limb will no longer move. Once you complete this gluing process the bone will move as the pin rotates in the pelvis or the shoulder but it will not come loose from the leg or arm.

Step 6: Now, check the skeleton for any cracks in other areas where the bones move. Here there is a crack starting where the foot attaches to the lower leg. Slowily build a layer of hot glue to cover this crack and any others you find.

Rotary tool Gun Tool
Joint Wood Skeleton Bone Skull

Step 7: I have found that where the lower leg attaches to the upper leg (behind the knee) is also a very thin area of plastic. I do a preemptive fix on these areas by building up a layer of hot glue over the thin part to give it a little more strength. You can also use the hot glue to repair this area if it has already torn out.

Skeleton Bone Skull Joint Fossil

Now your skeleton will have his legs and arms attached so they will not come loose. I know there are other methods of keeping skeleton limbs attached to the body but I have found this method works well and is quick to do.
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Had to laugh, I knew EXACTLY what you were talking about when I read the title.
Have the same problem with a pair of Freds! Had shoulder issues on one as well.

(wondering if we somehow come up with the name from the same source...)

Though, for us a "Bob" is a clean skeleton, a "Fred" is a corpsed one.

572 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
UnOrthodOx, yeah it does seem like there are a lot of Freds. We also have a Cid, Frank, James, Harold, Larry the Skeleton Guy and Skeleton Bob among others.

Matrixmom, you are right that it's good someone knows what he is doing. Fred has nixed a couple of my ideas that I thought were great like having him running through the Haunted Forest with a dog attached to his butt.

643 Posts
"Fred has nixed a couple of my ideas that I thought were great like having him running through the Haunted Forest with a dog attached to his butt"

Fred sounds like a Skellycat, which are now available and I bet they would ride attached to a living dog!

Love the photos and the story.

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