PVC pipe. If you haven’t played around with this stuff, you’re missing out on some fun. It is so versatile. Just type “PVC PROJECTS” in Pinterest and feast your eyes on all the cool things you can do.
I never knew how much I loved PVC pipe projects until I saw a picture of a zombie prop frame and decided to try my hand at it. I got my project list, headed to Lowe’s, and ended up with this just a little while later:
You’ll have to forgive the low-light pic. Just look at this cool thing. It was my first prop project, but let me tell you something. It wasn’t the last. Check out these fun monsters I made this year with a PVC pipe base, some masks, clothes, and foam heads:
I’m really glad I had the after picture for this last one.
If you want to try some projects out for yourself (and I know you do), just go to your local Lowe’s or Home Depot and check out their selection. The pipe itself comes in quite a few sizes, and there are fittings of all sizes and angles to make your wildest dreams come true!
Okay. Maybe not your wildest dreams, but you’ll be able to do some pretty cool stuff with it. They’re like adult tinker toys. Seriously. It’s so fun.
Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started:
1) BUY A PVC PIPE CUTTER! There’s a reason this one is #1 and in all caps. It’s important. I tried using a hacksaw the first time followed by an extra small rotary saw blade. It sucked. PVC dust went everywhere, and that’s just not healthy. You can buy one of these cutters at Lowe’s or Home Depot for cheap, and it makes all the difference.
2) Use PVC glue to make your props permanent. Or you can use them on select fittings to keep your props a little more stable but still able to be deconstructed easily. I don’t use the glue much because I like to be able to take my props apart completely. When you have as much Halloween stuff as I do, space is a big deal.
3) Measure your own limbs and proportions to decide how big you want your prop. PVC pipe is relatively cheap, but you don’t want to waste it by cutting the wrong sizes. Make sure to account for the length of the fittings you want to use.
4) Draw it out. The only art skill you need for this is basic stick figure drawing. Drawing your prop first and counting the angles and connection points helps greatly with knowing how many fittings of each type you need.
5) Get creative with combining these projects with other prop-making materials. You can add thickness and depth to your props by using chicken wire or cardboard under clothes/costumes, or you can use spray paint directly on the pipe to make cages or “steel” pipes in your Halloween display. There are just so many options. For instance, with some thick-gauged wire, cardboard cut in the shape of my palm, and masking tape, I made these creepy, skeletal hands and arms.
So get out there and try some fun projects of your own. There’s no wrong way to do it. Unless you don’t use a PVC pipe cutter. That’s just dumb.