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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The house is under attack this year! To go along with the Pirate theme for 2015, my family said we needed something attacking the house. Okay - let's do a Sea Monster -

No wait... LET'S DO THREE!

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This build is relatively straight forward and uses very low cost materials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
How to build the Kraken:

My front porch has some large columns, so the idea is to have 3 tentacles of the Kraken emerge from the flower beds and be wrapping around the columns of the house. One extra long tentacle will be wrapping around a skeleton pirate on the porch.

Let's get started!

How to build the Kraken:

To get begin, you'll need:

- 36" or 24" Plywood circle base (Home Depot)
- Roll of Chicken Wire
- Dryer Hose
- Foam Pipe Insulation (for suction cups)
- Duct Tape
- 4 Rolls of Wide Masking Tape
- Staple Gun
- Roll Plastic - (the kind for packaging pallets)
- Spray Paint

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Part 1: Building the Base

These plywood bases from Home Depot make for quick work in building the foundation for your Kraken Sea Monster. They come in widths of 36" and 24". For my three Sea Monsters, I opted to buy 1 large and 2 of the smaller sizes.

The process begins by unrolling a length of chicken wire and stapling it down on the bottom of the base.

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The key here is to twist the wires together to make a type of wire tube as the armiture. The second row of wire overlaps the first by about 4" and you just keep adding layers until you get the height you want. Make sure to taper the chicken wire as you go up.

Once the armiture is made, you can flatten on side of the chicken wire - that's where the suction cups will go!

For safety - make sure to wear thick gloves and eye protection while playing around with chicken wire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Part 2: The Tentacle

Using the dryer vent, you'll need some tin snips or a wire cutter to cut the length you need.

Tapering so it doesn't look like a dryer vent...

In order to taper the tentacle, you need to split the vent all the way down. The wire is stiff, so stay with it and cut it along the length.

Starting at one end, use duct tape to gradually overlap the vent so you create a nice, tapered effect. Since material is made from a thin aluminum, I opted to wrap the entire vent in duct tape to keep it from splitting.

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Next, secure the tentacle (dryer vent) over the top of the chicken wire with more duct tape.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Part 3: Adding Skin

For those of you who love Paper Mache - God bless you! I avoid it when I need to and also realized that Paper Mache would be too heavy for the armiture. So I opted to go with the masking tape method. Make sure to purchase plenty of tape. I purchased the 5-roll pack of masking tape from Home Depot and used 4 rolls for my 3 monsters.

Just start going around and around and around... Slightly overlap the previous row of tape and go back to tape over any missing holes. Make sure to reinforce the dryer vent with tape as well.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Part 4: Reinforcement (if necessary)

Depending upon how tall you've made your Kraken Sea Monster, and how long of a dryer vent hose you've used, you may need to reinforce the structure to keep it from toppling over.

You can do this by:
1) Doubling up on chicken wire along the base
2) Or adding a structural skin outside of the masking tape.

I opted to add a structural skin, but using fabric weed guard (from those pesky summer chores) and using fiberglass resin to secure it to the armiture.

If you've never fiberglassed before, it's very simple (and less messy than Paper Mache) :) I like to use weed guard as my cloth (instead of fiberglass cloth) simply because of cost. Since these Kraken aren't meant to last forever, I wanted to go with low-cost alternatives.

For about $15 at Home Depot, you can pick up a 1 qt. can of Bondo 2-part fiberglass resin. Simply follow the instructions and mix the two parts in an old container (like a yogurt cup) and use a disposable brush to "paint" the resin onto the tape. Then apply your strips of weed guard (for strength) and paint another layer of resin on top. You'll need to work fast as this stuff will set up quickly.

You can see the black "band" of fabric that was fiberglassed below:

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Part 5: Making the Suction Cups

To make the suction cups for your sea monster, begin with foam pipe insulation tubes from the hardware store. This is such a versatile material and it is so cheap to use.

Start by splitting the tubing in half, lengthwise, and roll it up, and secure with duct tape. I haven't found a good adhesive for this foam yet, but if you need a little reinforcement, you can run a bead of hot glue over the edge of the masking tape to help the cup from unfurling.

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Make sure you make smaller circles as you climb the tentacle. Don't secure them yet, we'll need to finish the skin first!

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Part 6: Finishing the Skin

I wanted a glossy, wet look for the Kraken Sea Monster. I thought about gloss paint, but while strolling through Home Depot (my personal Halloween outlet), I came across a roll of thin plastic used by movers. I took a chance on it and ran a quick test. Yes, spray paint does adhere to it, and Hot Glue will stick to it to.

Good to go!

Just like the masking tape, start wrapping, and wrapping, and wrapping...

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Part 7: Securing the Suction Cups

Simply run a bead of hot glue around each suction cup and press it on the plastic. If your hot glue gun is one of the larger/hotter varieties, the glue may actually melt the plastic so be careful.

Once you reach the dryer vent, you can simply cut rings of the foam tube to make the smaller suction cups.

View attachment 256571

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Part 8: Paint

Any run of the mill spray paint will do. Given that these will be on display at night and the house is light blue color, I chose a complimentary color palette in the oranges and reds, with a white/pink band for the suction cups.

Spray painting these things is fun, just make sure you get 2 cans of paint (per color) if you're doing 3 or more tentacles.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The finished product!

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Overall the project took 4 evenings after work and about $50 in supplies to complete!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not planning on doing a Pirate-themed haunt but I have been thinking of redecorating the kids bathroom since it is also our guest bath with a Sea/Kraken theme. Wonder how the guest would feel with a few of these in the bathroom with them??? LOL!! Amazing tutorial, thanks for sharing!
Thanks everyone for reading! Hopefully it provokes some new ideas - even for the kids bathroom! My kids would be freaked at first, and then probably just hang their bath towels on it!
 
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