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Undaunted Haunter
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Discussion Starter #1
First you need a deer. The best time to get an animated Christmas deer is right after Christmas when the stores are having a clearance sale. You can pick them up between $5-$10. Or you can look at yard sales. The deer with the head moving side to side is what I used, but you can use the one whose head goes up and down if it suits your haunt better.

You need a couple yards of furry fabric. The faux fur works best. Look for sales at places like Joanne Fabrics. The color is up to you. I already had a brown mask so I wanted brown fur.

You will need a wolf mask. Make sure it fits over your deer head. You will want the full mask. It works better than the type that only covers the front of the face.

Safety pins or glue gun.

1. Depending on which deer you are using (male or female), remove the antlers, ears and tail. You will have to take the lights off the male antlers. If you want to use your deer again at Christmas, as I do, remove them carefully.

2. It is hard to cut the fur into the correct shape in one piece. I ended up cutting mine into segments to make it easier to work with. Play with it and see if you can fit yours more easily in less pieces. There is no one right way to build this. I do not have photos taken during the process, and don't think it would have helped much anyway. This photo shows which parts I wrapped individually. Each color represents a different piece of fabric. Notice, I made sure to overlap each piece.


Since I still use my deer at Christmas I did not want to permanently attach my fabric. Using safety pins I attached the pieces to each other as I placed it on the deer, being sure to hide the pins as I went along. If you have thick fur like I did this is no problem. If you want to make it permanent you can use a glue gun.

I started with the legs and wrapped a piece of fur around each leg, making sure I went up far enough so it overlaps with the chest and rump fur. I also left enough at the bottom to cover each foot and make it "poof out" a little like a paw. Pin or glue each piece closed as you apply it.

Next I wrapped the back, rump, and tummy area. I started and ended underneath the tummy, again, being sure to overlap. Pin or glue the tummy shut. On the rump I made a flap that went between the rear legs and was tucked into the tummy. Pin or glue the flap to the tummy. Make sure you have overlapped each leg by a couple inches. Now pin, or glue this piece to the leg fur.

The last piece of fur simply goes around the neck. It overlaps the back and comes down to the front legs. Wrap it around and pin or glue it shut at the chest. Again, I created a flap that goes between the front legs. Pin or glue front flap to chest. Make sure you have made this neck piece long enough to go up inside your mask after it is placed on your deer (now wolf). Pin or glue the neck piece to the back and chest area.

Place the mask on your wolf and if necessary, pin or glue. I did not need to. You may want to add some stuffing to the inside of the mask to fill it out. You may also wish to add plastic claws to each foot. Now plug it in and stand back and admire it with a satisfied grin on your face.

Note: Some of these look very realistic. At this point you may want to introduce your children and pets to your new "dog". Our dog had just recently passed away, and I kept thinking it was him whenever I would walk into the room. It is kind of creepy, which of course is a good thing.
 

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I like that! Way to go JustWhisper. I wish I would've got one (or 2 or 10) of those deer when they were on sale. Son of a gun! Oh well.
 

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Thanks for the tutorial! The original article I saw on this, the guy used a foam padding before putting the fur on. Its great to see that this step is not necessary. Im sure it has its advantages, but your wolf came out great without it!

I made a clay sculpture of a wolf head, in which I created a latex mask for. Going to try and paint that to see how it goes before I go out and buy a wolf mask.


 

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Undaunted Haunter
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Discussion Starter #5
I love this idea for all those animated deers. You could use this concept (making a costume for them) for all kinds of things. Thank you
LOL I just got this mental image of lots of little animated christmas deer running around on halloween night dressed in scary costumes.
Wow, Bubbles...that wolf looks great. Some talent you got there. Hope the mask works out.
 

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Funeral Crasher
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I've been wanting to make one of these for years. I've got the deer and I've got the wolf mask. I need to get to Joanne's and find some fur!
Thanks, whisper!! Your yard and video looked really good!!
 

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Shadow box dancer
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1,443 Posts
I like the wolf. I actually made the frame for my wolf/dog and covered in fur much the same way you did yours.Mine has the side to side motion and his mouth opens and closes as well. He also has red lights as his eyes. I think my first project this year is to put in teeth and I have thought about making a tail that moves as well. Like your whole haunt by the way. Good job.
 

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Undaunted Haunter
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Discussion Starter #8
I actually made the frame for my wolf/dog and covered in fur much the same way you did yours.Mine has the side to side motion and his mouth opens and closes as well. He also has red lights as his eyes.
YHJ, it sounds cool. got pics?
 

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Undaunted Haunter
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Discussion Starter #11
YHJ,

That is really nice. And I don't think it is a bad picture either. I am impressed you made his mouth move. I cannot do that yet. I want to learn this year how to make mouths move, how to do pneumatics, and sound chips (?). Your monster in a box looks great too. Thanks for sharing that with us.
 

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Shadow box dancer
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I broke my camera before Halloween and the video we took Halloween night is great on the camera but we couldn't get it onto the computer. Only the sound. I am kind of a frugal guy so my wolf was made basically for free, just payed 5 bucks for fur at the fabric store. The lights in the eyes and mouth were from a kitchen stove. The frame was wooden and the cranks for the motor were from aluminum I scrounged and we just had a looped wolf growling on the I-pod. So for 6 bucks (5 for the fur and 99 cents for the growl download) I think it is pretty cool. The only mods I think I will do this year is ad teeth and paws. I am going to put him in a dog house this year so I don't really have to add a tail. Originally he was going to have a tail that wagged too.

My Monster in a box was free(well I did pay for a red light bulb). I used a surge protector as the switch for it last year, but I got some wireless remote plug ins for Christmas, so I can turn it on from anywhere this year!!! I am going to most likely build it as a coffin this year to fit in better with our theme.
 

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Thanks for the tutorial JustWhisper. I had planned on doing this last year and never got to it, now I have somewhat of a pattern to follow. I'm also wanting to make a bat out of a Xmas angel.
 

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Undaunted Haunter
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Discussion Starter #15
This just became my new project! Where did you get the mask? I couldn't find one like that.
Hmmmm...not really sure where I got the mask. I think the only places I have ever bought Halloween masks would be WalMart, Spirit, or Spencer Gift. I am pretty sure I got that one at Spencer a couple years ago when it was 50% off.


maleficent, the bat sounds like a cool project. If you get around to making it be sure to post a pic for us.

YHJ, what kind of motor did you use to make the wolf's mouth move?
 

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Shadow box dancer
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"YHJ, what kind of motor did you use to make the wolf's mouth move?"

Every haunter has a few things they keep secret, but lets just say it came out of an appliance.
 

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Undaunted Haunter
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Discussion Starter #19
Dragon, I think I actually bought 2 yards, but I didn't use it all. I just wanted to make sure I had plenty. Just measure your deer from nose to tail and see how wide the fabric is too. If it is wide enough to go around his middle with overlap, then probably just a little more than his length will do. Most of those fabrics are really wide. I always err on the side of too much.

YHJ, actually most of us reveal all our secrets on here. It is kind of the point of the forum. I will respect your right to keep it a secret. But I bet it was a lawn mower motor wasn't it? Ha Ha I am just kidding.
 

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Dragon, I think I actually bought 2 yards, but I didn't use it all. I just wanted to make sure I had plenty. Just measure your deer from nose to tail and see how wide the fabric is too. If it is wide enough to go around his middle with overlap, then probably just a little more than his length will do. Most of those fabrics are really wide. I always err on the side of too much.

YHJ, actually most of us reveal all our secrets on here. It is kind of the point of the forum. I will respect your right to keep it a secret. But I bet it was a lawn mower motor wasn't it? Ha Ha I am just kidding.
Thanks! I ordered the wolf mask yesterday and I have a 40% coupon for Joann Fabrics! And I've even got the reindeer. lol We had one that had a ton of lights out so the hubby let me have it. I'm ready to go!!!! Oh wait...I might need some more hot glue. :eek:
 
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