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Build a Halloween Spider from Pool Noodles

Closeup of wolf spider

Halloween decorations can be expensive, but making your own is both fun and costs less!

With so many seasonal decoration options available, how do you choose what to make? Sure, scarecrows are classic, and clowns can be creepy.

But here at The Tye-Dyed Iguana, we’re fond of Halloween decorations that feature creepy, crawly creatures, so this article is going to show you how to make your own Halloween spider for decorating your porch or front yard for October.

Here’s what to do…

Step 1: Find a spider picture you like

This step is pretty easy. Look online and do an image search for spiders, or for particular types of spiders. Can’t think of any types of spiders? Here are a few to try:

  • Tarantula
  • Jumping spider
  • Wolf spider

Once you know what kind of spider you want to make and have a reference picture, you’ll know how big you need to make the body and how long to make the legs.

Step 2: Gather materials

No matter which type of spider you choose to make, you’re going to need about the same materials, and those include:

  • Pool noodles
  • Heat gun
  • Box cutter or other craft knife
  • Black or nude pantyhose (whatever the main color of your spider’s body is), several pairs
  • Hot glue or Gorilla Glue spray
  • Ceiling hanger wire, wire clothes hangers, or thick floral stem wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Silicone adhesive
  • Accessories to create eyes and details (foam balls work great for this)
  • Spray paint
  • Chunky yarn (similar to spider’s hair color)

And that’s it! Pool noodles are the key to getting a lifelike, inexpensive, giant spider decoration.

Step 3: Cut the pool noodles

Keeping the pool noodles in their original shape would be pretty unwieldy to shape into a spider. The good news is you can easily cut them in half lengthwise to bend them into all the shapes you need for your spider—even the abdomen and head!

Refer to your spider picture, and continue cutting the pool noodles into the shapes and sizes needed for your particular spider.

Step 4: Start shaping the body

By bending the pool cut pool noodle pieces and fusing them together with the heat gun (set on low heat), you can create the spider's abdomen and thorax. It will look something like this:

Pool noodles being shaped and fused

Photos courtesy of Stiltbeast Studios

Pool noodles being shaped and fused

If you find this step difficult, don’t be afraid to make the body shape simpler, even if it’s less realistic. It’s supposed to be fun, after all!

Step 5: Create spider legs

To make the legs, you’ll cut notches into eight pool noodles that have not been cut in half lengthwise and use the heat gun to fuse the notches into permanently bent joints where the spider's legs bend.

Pool noodles being shaped into spider legs

Photos courtesy of Stiltbeast Studios

Depending on the size and shape you need, you can also cut the noodles into segments at an angle and fuse the angled sections together to create a joint instead of cutting notches. Feel free to cut and shape the foam any way you want to create the leg shapes you desire.

You can also use the heat gun to contract the foam, creating more realistic, uneven circumferences around the legs:

Pool noodles being shaped into spider legs

It’s your spider, so you really can’t mess it up!

Step 6: Cover each end of the torso in pantyhose

Cover both ends of the abdomen and thorax with the top of the pantyhose and cut off the pantyhose legs. Use as many pairs of pantyhose as it takes to get the coverage you want.

Pool noodles being covered in pantyhose

Photos courtesy of Stiltbeast Studios

Pool noodles being covered in pantyhose

You may need to use something to help keep the pantyhose in place, like spray-on Gorilla Glue or hot glue.

Step 7: Attach the legs and eyes to the body

Cut the wire into shapes that can be used to attach the legs to the spider body, and attach everything together. You can also use hot glue, zip ties, or silicone adhesive to help reinforce the attachments.

A decorative spider made with pool noodles

At this stage, you will also want to attach whatever you’re using for eyes, pincers, and other details.

Step 8: Apply the remaining decorative touches

To finish things off, spray paint the spider thorax, abdomen, and legs the desired color. Then, pull apart the yarn to make it look more natural and cover the abdomen and thorax in yarn to replicate the spider’s hair (attach the “hair” by applying silicone adhesive in sections and pressing the yarn to it).

Finally, paint the dried, attached yarn with spray paint to create the look of the spider in your reference photo.

A decorative spider with hair and spray paint

Photos courtesy of Stiltbeast Studios

A decorative spider with hair and spray paint

To see real spiders, scorpions, and toads, come into The Tye-Dyed Iguana in Fairview Heights!