We’ve never been huge decorators during the holidays.
Don’t get me wrong–I’ve always wanted to fancy up our home and get real “festive” for whatever upcoming holiday. However, when you’ve always struggled to even get your house decorated for the “everyday,” decorating for some holiday takes the back seat!
As my kids get older, however, (ages 10, 6, and 4), I realize that they’re at the age where they’re creating fun memories of their childhood. I want them to think back to the coziness of a decorated home. I want to create annual traditions of pulling the pumpkins out of storage at the first sign of a chill in the air.
I want to see their smiles and listen to their giggles with the first ghoulish screams from the lawn decorations. Halloween has always been one of our favorite times of the year and after living in our home for almost 6 years, I finally feel “settled” in enough to start giving some of my outdoors some holiday decorating love.
The Front Door Before
This is how our front door usually looks, 365 days a year.
… and After
But with a huge shipment of fun decorations, the kids and I completely transformed our door and walkway for Halloween!
Pumpkin Path Lights
Our favorite decoration are the scary jack-o-lantern lights that lined the walkway!
If we thought they were awesome in the daytime…
…they were even more awesome at night time!
One thing I’ve always wanted on my door was a wreath. As crafty as I am, you’d think I would have DIY’ed one in the nearly six years we’ve lived here. But I hadn’t.
After hanging this cute candy corn wreath, however, and seeing how it “cozies” up my door, I can guarantee that I’ll have a wreath on my door every day! I love this wreath, especially!
One thing that screams “fall” to me, along with pumpkins, are bales of hay! I picked this one up from The Home Depot for about $10, and thought it would be the perfect addition to the lighted jack-o-lantern and mums!
As I was setting everything up, the kids started getting excited as they saw it coming together!
The front porch was finally starting to feel magical, especially with all the lighting!
There was one thing I wanted to make, however.
How to Make a Huge DIY Spider for Halloween
As much as I love ready-made decorations, you know how much I love to get crafty and upcycle, right?
So I decided in addition to my Home Depot Halloween decorations, I would add this awesome huge wooden spider to my Halloween décor!
Here’s how I made it!
- Large piece of plywood
- 8 – 16 crib slats or some other narrow wood
- 8 screws
- 8 wing nuts
- Power drill with drill bit (use appropriate size drill bit for screws)
- Jig saw with scroll blade
- Brad nailer (or hammer and nails)
- Black paint
- Pattern of spider body (optional)
- Wood glue
Step 1: Gather wooden slats
I love upcycling left-over scraps from other projects, so I used crib slats left over from when I recently turned my sons’ old crib into a coffee table.
The slats would be perfect as spider legs!
Step 2: Remove the slats
I used my jig saw to cut the slats off of the crib.
Step 3: Cut the slats to size
Using my miter saw, I cut the crib slats in half.
Since spiders have eight legs, I needed 16 pieces in order to make bent spider legs.
After cutting the crib slats in half and having 16 pieces, I determined how I wanted the spider legs to be pointed, and then used my miter saw (but you can use a jig saw, too) to make the spider legs pointy.
Step 4: Paint the spider legs
Using black paint, I painted the legs with a couple coats.
Step 5: Trace the shape of the spider
Next, I had a large piece of birch plywood left over from another project.
I free-handed a spider body out of paper and traced it on the birch plywood.
Step 6: Cut the spider shape out
Using my jig saw, I cut out the shape. Be sure to use a scroll blade to easily cut around the curves.
Step 7: Lay out the spider legs and body
Afterwards, I laid out the wooden spider to visualize how it was going to look and where I needed to nail it together.
Step 7a: Attach the legs to the body
This is the point in the project where things got tricky. I tried to use wood glue to join the spider legs together in a 30-degree angle, but that didn’t work well. Even super glue didn’t hold well.
While trying to figure out how I was going to secure the legs, I decided to just let my 10-year-old go ahead and paint the rest of the body. Mommy was going to figure out a solution!
Step 7b: Screw the leg parts together
Finally, I realized that the only way to secure the spider legs at a secured angle was to use screws and wing nuts.
So I drilled a hole with a drill bit and power drill and inserted a machine screw and wing nut into each spider leg joint, then touched up the legs with another coat of paint.
I like the idea of using the screw a
nd wing nut, because I can angle the spider legs however I want now, which is pretty cool.
The Completed DIY Spider
Overall, I’m stoked at how the huge DIY wooden spider turned out for our Halloween decorations!
Two of my boys were being silly and wearing the left-over spider web on their heads as turbans, wielding left-over crib slats as swords.
I asked them to give me “scary” faces, but this is the best I could get.
The Beautifully Scary Front Door Decor
Let’s have another look at the boring before.
And after, with Halloween decorations!
I think we very well may have started a new tradition here at the Appiah household!