Building the Kraken Sea Monster Prop
Making a Kraken, Sea Monster, Giant Octopus for your Pirate Themed Halloween
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!
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
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.
The key here is to twist the wires together to make a type of wire tube as the armiture.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Make sure you make smaller circles as you climb the tentacle. Don't secure them yet, we'll need to finish the skin first!
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...
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.
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.
The finished product!