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Project

Spooky Porches: Spiders

Introduction

On Halloween, the slightest wisp of the imagination can transform otherwise ordinary critters -- whether raucous backyard crows or peaceful garage spiders -- into terrible, hair-raising monsters. Therein lies the thrill of trick-or-treating.

Sure, candy is important. But what lasts in memory is not the sweets so much as the setting in which they were offered. Outfit your porch or entryway with beastly birds and oversize arachnids, then watch the costumed creatures descend in droves.

The front-door welcome sign is "spun" with chalk on a crafts-store blackboard in a ready-made frame; sticking plastic spiders onto woodwork with weather-stripping tack prevents damage to the finish and allows for easy removal. At the entrance to the creepy sanctuary, the mother spider waits on a web fashioned from fiberglass window screening decorated with a white paint marker.

A huge web can enclose your porch to top off this decoration -- just cut an opening for guests to enter.

Materials

  • For Giant Spider: Large plastic or paper spider (sold at party stores)
  • Black acrylic paint (tube, with brush, or spray can)
  • 2 foam-insulation balls, one slightly larger than spider head, the other slightly larger than spider body
  • Serrated knife
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Black fake fur (optional)
  • 2 red beads, for eyes
  • 3 straight pins
  • White cotton string
  • Pushpin or self-stick hanger
  • For Web: Scissors
  • Fiberglass window screening in a 100-foot roll, depending on porch size
  • Kraft paper or newspaper
  • Chalk
  • Yardstick or straightedge
  • White-paint markers
  • Pushpins or thumbtacks

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Paint the paper spider head, body, and legs with black acrylic paint.

  2. Step 2

    Cut foam balls in half using a serrated knife. Paint one large half and one small half black (save other halves for another use).

  3. Step 3

    When dry, hot-glue strips of black fur to the larger ball for an extra-creepy effect; trim off overhang.

  4. Step 4

    Hot-glue the halved balls to the spider's head and body. For each eye, slide a red bead onto a straight pin, and stick it into the top of foam head.

  5. Step 5

    Hang the spider in front of its web: Pin a length of string to the foam body, and attach the other end to the ceiling with a pushpin or self-stick hanger.

  6. Step 6

    Cut screening to desired size. Lay screening on paper. Mark center point for web with chalk, and draw radiating lines using a yardstick as a guide.

  7. Step 7

    Connect the lines in a web pattern; add smaller webs in the panel corners.

  8. Step 8

    Paint over chalk lines using white-paint markers and yardstick. After paint is dry, cut along paint lines to create an entrance; cut edges randomly for a jagged look. Attach to porch with pushpins.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, October 2003

Reviews (18)

  • scirrito 4 Oct, 2010

    i have searched high and low, online and in store. Just where did Martha get that
    Large plastic or paper spider (sold at party stores)???

  • lala_honu 19 Oct, 2008

    You can use poster tack (looks like silly putty). It works great! I've used this for several years now and its easy to use and comes off great. Works well on both stucco and painted surfaces. You can stick up a bunch of spiders with 1 package. You can usually find it at the dollar store.

  • Jillhudson 18 Oct, 2008

    What did you use to attach all of the little spiders to the door without hurting the paint?

  • jenmaggie 11 Oct, 2008

    I made the large web last year and discovered that you couldn't see the white lines if the web was back-lit. This year I'm going to go over my paint lines with white tape from the hardware store so that people coming up to our porch at night can see the web.

  • vanessagomez 8 Oct, 2008

    I made these spider eggs four years ago and use them every year. Use styrophome balls, wrap batting around them, and stuff them inside white knee high stockings. Put black plastic spiders inside and on the outside of the stockings. You can get everything at Wal Mart. They are simple to make and look great!

  • dmgaran 8 Oct, 2008

    Anybody know how to make the hanging spider eggs on the porch? I can't find directions for it anywhere.

  • snakewich 4 Oct, 2008

    You can find tiny spiders at orientaltrading.com. They are called 'spider sprinkles' and come by the gross.

  • screaminscott 17 Sep, 2008

    Oops, I just realized that the adhesive strips would not work for the tiny spiders. Hmmm you might try a tiny dab of hot glue. It will peel off of some surfaces, but not all, so you would want to test it first.

    Also, there is a great new product for spiderwebs called beef netting. It isn't sold in stores, but you can find it on ebay - http://stores.ebay.com/Rosemarys-Emporium (I'm not affiliated with the seller, i just bought from them)

  • screaminscott 17 Sep, 2008

    For attaching the spiders, you might want to try the 3M brand "Command Adhesive" strips. These are used for putting removable hooks on the wall. They stick great but pull off easily (not reusable, but you can't have everything)

  • sunflowerscomvickiesmith 11 Sep, 2008

    I do need to know ,about attaching all the spiders to your home. thank you.
    sunflowers_458@hotmail.com

  • jdsmithfamily 11 Sep, 2008

    I've used small balls of poster putty to attach the spiders, inside my house I've had no problems attaching the spiders to my wall. However I noticed when the weather became colder, some of the outside spiders fall off because the putty became too brittle. I'm checking out Home Depot this year to see if they have any suggestions.

  • prettynpinkx2 10 Sep, 2008

    I was wondering how you would go about attaching the little spiders to your home.

  • Cydni 8 Sep, 2008

    ladybug458 - you should be able to find the foam insulation balls at your local craft store, such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Garden Ridge, JoAnn's or whatever is in your area. Good luck.

  • ginapas07 25 Aug, 2008

    where can you find fiberglass window screening?,and for how much?

  • ladybug458 9 Aug, 2008

    What a "plan", using fiberglass screening for the webs! Light -weight, allowing a single person to manage decorating alone. This project seems to be economical as well. I do have a question about the spider, what are "foam insulation balls"? I used to work in a hardware store and frequent them now, I have never heard of this type of insulation. Happy Haunting!!! Patty

  • RubyEdge 7 Aug, 2008

    KMo - From Martha's 2007 halloween magazine, she explains that to make the sacs wrap an egg-shaped foam ball in white batting. Pull a white stocking over the ball. Position "baby" spiders inside between the batting on the hosiery;hot-glue large ones on the outside. Hang from the ceiling using pushpins or adhesive hooks.
    Personally I think if you added another light layer of battng over the sandwiched spider under the hosiery it would mask the spiders a little better and look more real. :)

  • blessedgirl 29 Jun, 2008

    Where can I buy the tiny spiders from? The 2" are no problem. Just having trouble finding the tiny ones.

  • KMo 20 Jun, 2008

    I would love to know how to make the "Egg Sacs." Can you please include instruction on that too? I have tried different mediums and nothing seems to have the same neat effect as Martha's!! :)