Spider 1 – How To Corpse a Cheap Plastic Spider to Make a Realistic Arachnid Prop
In this tutorial we take cheap plastic spiders then chop them up, glue them back together, corpse them and finish them to look way more realistic and spooky. An easy and cheap Halloween decoration using cheap and free materials.
Materials and Tools:
Dryer Lint (I used dark lint, from when my wife makes me separate colors from whites)
School or All Purpose Glue
Various Paints (Black spray paint, burnt umber, white and ochre acrylics)
Small Beads (for eyes)
Take a some wire cutters, or a jewelry saw and carefully remove the spider legs. Try to cut where the main two joints are on each leg. Make sure to mark all the pieces so you know which bits belong to each leg. Cut 4 pieces of wire (you can use copper wire or florist wire). The pieces should run all the way from the end of one leg all the way to the opposite leg and leave about half inch of extra wire sticking out (see pic below).
Hot glue the wires to the under side of the plastic spider’s thorax. These will become all eight legs. They will be bendable and posable to a certain extent.
Hot glue the rest of the leg segments to the wire. Leave a small gap (about 1/4 inch) between each segment so that the spider can be posed in a more realistic manner and not like a squished (and glittered) position as it comes from the store. Like I wrote before, leave a bit of wire at the end of each leg, we are going to build an extra joint (or is it foot?).
This is where the spider starts looking real. Go ahead and pose your spider any way you want. I “googled” the word tarantula to get a few pics of spiders and their positions. I chose the above walking position for this tutorial. In the video you’ll see me pose the spider as if it was “rearing up” ready to bite.
For this next step, take a cotton ball and glue it to the bottom of the spider. I shaped the cotton ball with my hands until it fit neatly under the spider. I used a paint brush to spread school glue on the under side and glued the cotton ball as shown above.
Take a small piece of wire and bend it as shown above, this will be hot glued under the head to make some “fangs”
Glue the fangs under the head. Leave some extra wire for now. We will trim these later.
Trim the ends of the wire so that you have about 1/4 to 1/2 inch extra wire. Using hot glue, build around the wire to make the extra joint. Go ahead and trim the fang using the wire cutters.
This next step takes a while, but it’s very easy. Using a paint brush, spread some school glue over the whole spider, one part at a time. Apply your dryer lint to the glued areas and smooth down with your fingers. Do this all over the spider, including the under side. This is where attention to detail will make the difference between a realistic spider and a ball of lint with legs. Let dry and proceed to the next step.
Once dry, spray paint the spider. I used black spray paint and let it dry for a couple of hours. At his point some of the paint was still tacky so I used my fingers to better conform the lint to the shape of the spider. I added two seed beads as eyes, but these were too small. I also went ahead and stole my wife’s black nail enamel and used some to paint the fangs.
Woo hoo! Final step…detailing. I made a mix of burnt umber and yellow ochre and dry brushed the whole spider. I started with the darkest shade all over the spider and then used the lighter shades for the joints and to highlight the back of the spider. I also found 4 bead that I glued for eyes. I painted these with black nail enamel (2-3 coats) and recoated the fangs also, a couple of times.
And there it is! A corpsed spider that looks much better than it’s prior life as a cheap plastic spider. This took me about an hour (without drying time) to complete. If you were to batch the processes, then you could probably make 3-7 of these in one lazy Saturday.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Join the Monster Tutorials mail club for more of these tutorials and cool stuff (and no spam, I promise)…and don’t forget to share, share, share!