Making Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas) Part 1

Just completed prop of Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas). Image CC All Rights Reserved, Debbie Morrow

Just completed prop of Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas). Image CC All Rights Reserved, Debbie Morrow

Over the next week or two, I’ll be posting separate tutorials on how I made Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. If you want a totally static(not moving) prop, follow the directions below. If you would like your body frame to be pose-able with hinged joints, check out the tutorial at The Haunt Forum.

Making Sally’s Body

You’ll need:
2-3 rolls of box or duct tape
1 1/2 rolls of a dollar store plastic wrap
Approx. 2.5 (10 ft. each) one-inch PVC Pipes
1-inch PVC couplers: 1 cross, 1 tee, 4(90 degree angle) elbows and optional 45 or 90 degree elbows(if you want arms to bend)
PVC cutter or saw
Goop Adhesive for PVC
Stuffing material (newspapers, plastic bags, foam, etc.)
1 willing healthy person to be your body form (shouldn’t have circulatory problems or issues standing in place for over 30 minutes)

Throughout the process, make sure your model is feeling okay. Wrapping the plastic or the tape can really be constrictive and problematic for some people.

You can break it into several sessions where you just work on one small section of the body and tape the pieces together afterwards.

1) Have your model dress with minimal clothing. They can wear shorts/tank or get down to their underwear. Starting at the foot, wrap the plastic several times around the foot and work upward over the leg. Add a piece of tape to secure it and repeat on all the limbs – followed by covering the rest of body. Make sure all the parts have at least 2 layers of plastic.

2) Wrap your tape around the entire body, making sure you’ve gotten all the areas where there is plastic. You’ll need no more than 2 layers.

3) With a pair of scissors, carefully cut straight down the back of legs, middle of back, and arms. Peel off duct tape/plastic off model. Lay the form on the floor.

4) Temporarily secure back cuts together with a piece of tape to ensure the actually shape of the form. Measure from shoulder to spine, shoulder to hip, shoulder to elbow, elbow to wrist, hip to spine and hip to ankle. These will be the measurements for your PVC frame. Remember to take in consideration the added PVC joint lengths when making your cuts.

5) Put together your PVC body frame and place it inside your tape body(see image below for more detail on PVC pipe and coupler placement). If the frame fits correctly in plastic form, remove the frame and follow the directions for using the Goop glue to secure the joints. Add tape over glued joints for added strength as well. Place the glued/taped frame back into the form.

The PVC frame inside the tape/plastic form.

The PVC frame inside the tape/plastic form.

6) Fill your duct tape/PVC body with your choice of stuffing materials. I used newspapers and when they were firmly packed in the body, I was able to tape one more time around for strength.
I thought about filling the plastic cavity with expanding foam but thought against it because I may want to change positions of the character.

Over the next few days I will be posting the next step: Making Sally’s Head and Hair. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me an email or add to the comment section.

6 thoughts on “Making Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas) Part 1

  1. Pingback: Making Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas) Part 2 – The Head | Frugal Frights and Delights

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  3. Pingback: Part 3: Making Sally’s Dress (The Nightmare Before Christmas) | Frugal Frights and Delights

  4. Pingback: Part 4: Completing Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas | Frugal Frights and Delights

  5. Pingback: Two New Nightmare Before Christmas Props Added to the Family | Frugal Frights and Delights

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