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I've been experimenting with making my own skeletons for various projects because they're so darned expensive.
Stolloween does it with paper mache, of course. Spyderwood uses foam or plywood with a template.

Have you ever made your own skeleton? If so, what did you use? Were you happy with the results?
 

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My tutorial on a paper mache skeleton, and if you read the updated instructions, I move on to plaster wrap because it dries quicker and makes the thing a LOT quicker to make. The more I work with it, the more I find cheaper ways of utilizing the basic template.

http://www.halloweenforum.com/tutorials-and-step-by-step/79779-b-y-o-b-updated-make-your-own-skeleton.html

I've been using that template in various forms for years now, and think the results are just fine for most uses.

As with virtually anything, practice indeed makes perfect. My first attempt:



Pales in comparison to my 4th:


My 6th is presently being worked on and just using the barest minimum of the template to try new ideas. It's made from a poster board, hot glue, and rope.
 

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Crunchitize Me Cap'n
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That bottom one using the plaster wrap method? Are you just mâché-ing with plaster wrap instead of paper? One last thing, what's keeping the plaster wrap on?

EDIT: scratch that, I re-read and zoomed, I see now its rope, not plaster wrap. My question remains, what's holding it on there?
 

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If you don't already HAVE a Skeleton, then you must be a Jelly fish or a Portugeezer Man-o-War? An X-ray will prove to you it is already there.
"Make Your own skeleton! I never! (Grandma would say.)
I have made parts of skeletons because that was all I needed. I had good success using steel welding, grinding it. Styro foam covered with Bondo.
A steel skull caps my 45 foot high pointy tower I built, you need binoculars to see it and tell what it is though.
 

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That bottom one using the plaster wrap method? Are you just mâché-ing with plaster wrap instead of paper? One last thing, what's keeping the plaster wrap on?

EDIT: scratch that, I re-read and zoomed, I see now its rope, not plaster wrap. My question remains, what's holding it on there?
Hot glue and rope on that last one, yeah.
 

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Rutherford Manor Haunt
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For me this is one of those kinds of items that are so time consuming to make it is not worth my while to justify the cost savings. I am fortunate to live a few blocks away from Costco, I have purchased 2-3 skellies over the past couple of years. I will do the same this year, and then I corpse a few. I find between work and family my time is better spent on DIY props that are more expensive than the say the price of a Costco/Walgreen's skelly.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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I discovered a new big boy toy at Harbor Freight.

http://www.harborfreight.com/welding/plastic-welders/plastic-welding-kit-with-air-motor-and-temperature-adjustment-96712.html

It is like a heat gun with a super fine nozzle, and you can literally weld two pieces of plastic together using plastic welding rods.

I can potentially build an entire skeleton (minus the skull) from PVC. For ribs, I simply take a 3/4 inch diameter pipe and cut it in half lengthwise on a table saw. Then I cut the two halves to whatever lengths I need, and use a heat gun to flatten out the sections, then shape them as ribs that I can weld directly to a pipe used for the spine.

For the pelvis, I'm experimenting with a 6 inch diameter pipe, which I sliced once with my table saw, then used the heat gun to unroll and flatten it until I had a sheet of thick PVC 10 feet long and almost 20 inches wide. Once I have a pattern I am satisfied with, I'll cut out the pattern in the PVC, and heat it up to fold it into the 3D shape, then weld fittings where the spine and hip will attach.
 

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For me this is one of those kinds of items that are so time consuming to make it is not worth my while to justify the cost savings. I am fortunate to live a few blocks away from Costco, I have purchased 2-3 skellies over the past couple of years. I will do the same this year, and then I corpse a few. I find between work and family my time is better spent on DIY props that are more expensive than the say the price of a Costco/Walgreen's skelly.
I think it depends, really.

I've come to really not care for the wally skeletons, myself. They just fall apart too easy for me to do much with them as a skeleton or a corpse. Sure, I'm certain I can find some way of fortifying the things to be useful, and I've fought them for years now and will likely continue to, but I've no real interest in buying more.

The Pose and Stays (costco), I have several myself, but they are just pricey enough, I'm not going to use them in every random prop idea I need a ribcage or torso for, and you have to take care of the slightly flimsy spine on those.

Now, for $15, I can build my own skeleton in about 2 hours (used to take me longer, but practice and all) using the plaster wrap method. Often, for us, that IS family time as well, with several of us working on it.
 

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I was just thinking back to when the only skeleton anyone had for Halloween was that articulated cardboard one that every store in America sold.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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Maybe pvc can be found for sale as sheets on-line? A model builder uses pvc sheets (I think?)
That would be polystyrene the model makers use, a substantially weaker form of thermoplastic.

PVC sheets are available, at a cost of a minimum of $15 per square foot. So a 10' long, 6" diameter pipe can be converted into a 10' x 1.5' sheet at substantially less than the $225 it would cost to obtain a preformed sheet of PVC of the same dimensions (and that doesn't include the cost of shipping!)
 
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