For years now we've been decorating our yard for Halloween. Every year we get a few new things to add. Some of them have been well worth the money- they do really cool things that I can't do on my own (like anything with motors) but other items have seemed awfully expensive for what amounts to little more than foam sticks and plastic.
Lately I've really been wanting a life size witch for the yard. There are lots of cool ones that animate but they are a lot more than I want to spend and lets face it- after almost 10 years of decorating I don't have room to store a 5 or 6 foot animatronic witch. But even the ones that don't move are big and expensive, so I decided I was just going to try and make one. It was so easy and cheep I still can't believe it!
First you're probably gonna need to buy a few things.
Foremost on that list is a likely a mask, my husband and I found the one we used at a chain drugstore on sale for under $7. (And it came with the hair attached!) We also found a plain witch hat at the same place for $1.50. Then I picked up three plastic tablecloths (at $1.50 each). I got one standard rectangular in black for the cape, one round and one more rectangular in purple for the dress. Then I found a set of gloves for $5. The rest of the materials I had around the house. Total cost to me was $18, but if you had to buy everything I think you could still do it for under $30 dollars.
The rest of the materials used are- 2 stakes or dowels (one should be about as tall as you want your witch to stand). Some scrap pieces of styrofoam, roll of duct tape, hot glue, 2 bouncy ball eyeballs (or other novelty eyeball), newspaper, plastic bags (one gallon plastic zipper, a bunch of grocery store bags and one black trash bag), 2 wire coat hangers and a 5 gallon bucket filled with rocks and sand (unless you want to stick your witch into the ground).
Here's how you do it:
Step 1: Find a stake or dowel about as tall as you want your witch. This will be the spine of the entire thing. My husband had a few scrap pieces of wood hanging around that were perfect.
Next tape a bit of styrofoam to it. I literally pulled these pieces out of a box we were going to throw away, they don't have to be pretty or smooth or round, you just need a base to build a head on.
Step 2: On the second piece of wood I measured the width I wanted the shoulders. The witch is actually about a foot taller than I am so I just measured my shoulder width and added an inch or so. I cut the second scrap piece of wood into two shoulder length pieces and nailed them to the dowel (I added a little wood glue too but honestly I think it was overkill).
You can see I added the wood to the front and back- I thought this would make the entire thing seem less flat and it worked out really well.
Step 3: Using newspaper pad the shoulders to give them some shape. I also taped some folded newspaper in the middle of the two cross pieces. I found when I wrapped the first shoulder it pulled the wood tightly together and left a big gap on the other side. This quick paper spacer on either side did the trick. I covered the entire wad with duct tape to help keep any rain off the newspaper.
Step 4: Now bend a coat hanger around each shoulder to form the arms.
Step 5: Time to make the head. Start by wrapping newspaper around the foam taping it as you go. Once you get a good ball shape cover the entire thing with duct tape really well. The tape not only makes is more water resistant but it helps to make the head sturdy enough for the mask to sit on.
Then cover the entire thing with a gallon plastic zipper bag for more water protection.
Step 6: Cut a slit in the rectangular purple tablecloth so it fits over the head and drape it over the arms and body. I hot glued it onto the coat hangers then hot glued the edges of the cloth to each other to seal it up. ( I placed the head on really quick to see how it was coming along.)
Step 7: I stuffed the costume gloves with little bits of ripped up plastic grocery bags. Then taped them to the coat hangers. This is the one part of the witch I'd like to improve- I might try to find some green hands after Halloween.
Step 8: To add a final water barrier to the head cover with the corner of a black trash bag. I taped it around the neck over the purple cloth so if any water were to get under the mask it would run down this bag and over the purple table cloth.
Step 9: Now add the black tablecloth for a cape. I draped and glued it around the neck to cover the join of the head and purple cloth. I also glued it over the arms.
Step 10: Position the mask over the head and glue it into place on either side to hold it. She's really coming together now!
Step 11: The eyes- I used two bouncy balls leftover from last years trick-or-treat bags. They sell these all over this time of year usually with the other little toy items for treat bags. This really made the whole look come to life. I hot glued them onto the black trash bag inside the mask and once I had them the way I wanted I put a tiny dot of hot glue wherever the eyeball touched the mask.
Step 12: Last but not least- glue on her hat. She's ready to roll for Halloween now!
My husband and I set up our not so fair maiden in front of a fiery cauldron to cast her spells. We lashed 3 branches from the backyard together and hung a plastic cauldron from the center. All week she'll have a yellow light on her at night but on Halloween she'll have a flaming fire (fake fire bowl) and a steaming cauldron (water fogger).
My husband put her into a 5 gallon bucket filled with sand and rock to hold her steady. I covered the bucket with a round purple tablecloth. I taped it under the other purple cloth and tucked it under the edges to hold it in place.
I bought the materials Saturday night- made her Sunday morning- She was up and the cauldron created by Sunday afternoon. Quick, easy and cheap! Best of all she looks great in the yard!