This is the third and final installment of how to build a Mind Flayer. In the Part 1 tutorial, you’ll find how the frame body was made. Part 2, goes over the head build. For Part 3, I’ll show you how I made over 200 feet of legs.
- Poultry Galvanized Netting (150 ft. x 3 ft.), often called Chicken Wire
- Wire Clippers
- Green Floral Wire, 22 gauge, at least 3 large rolls
- Waterproof Filler : Many, many plastic bottles from 16 oz to 2 liters (about 2 or 3, 30 gal. bags full)
- PVC Pipe 3/4″, 4-5 10 ft. pieces (more if needing to use as filler, instead of bottles)
- Black Plastic Sheeting (should have plenty, if bought suggested size roll from Part 1)
- Heat Gun
- Foam Pool Noodles
- Spray Foam (optional for PVC leg filler, but will definitely need for vines hanging on Monster later)
- Drill or Dremel (for holes in PVC pipe)
Hopefully, by now you know how long your legs need to be, and you know how to use a heat gun. If not, read instructions, and stay focused. You can burn yourself faster than you can imagine.
My legs came in several parts: four that were over 35 ft. in length, attached to the torso body, went over the gables, and to the gutter line. Once at the gutter line, I added several 10 ft. and 5 ft. pieces of PVC pipe, that was previously covered with pool noodles, bottles, and sealed with plastic sheeting.
Get ready for the long haul, if you are attempting the same size. This will take many hours/days to complete, on your own. Multiple people and heat guns can get this accomplished, before Halloween.
Take the chicken wire, and roll out what length you want for a leg (the images of legs on rooftop(not counting from gutter to ground) are between 35-42 ft.) now add a few more feet to that. Because it twists, and becomes a bit shorter and gnarly, with the plastic shrinking around it. As long as you’ve gotten the same width of wire I mentioned in the supply list, each length rolled out, should make 2 legs. Cut it equally down the middle, from top to bottom.
Once the chicken wire is cut into two pieces, you’re going to get your floral wire ready next to you. While making the tubal, long, shape, you’ll connect the edges, with either the chicken wire edges twisted together, or using a piece of floral wire to secure. Sometimes, it takes both.
Looking at above slideshow, it gives a better idea of directions.
Once you’ve completed joining a leg together, get as many bottles as you can find. We ended up searching nearby parks, asking neighbors, and even on NextDoor. We met so many wonderful people along the way, and am truly grateful for each and every one of them.
At this point you may cringe at our attempts, with the state of the worldwide virus running rampant. We actually wore masks in our hunt, wore plastic gloves, and disinfected every bottle we touched. We wanted to give Halloween visitors a treat, not cause our own nightmare. Sorry for the segue.
For the larger 2 liter bottles, you’ll need to drop them all inside at once, then spread them out, about a foot or so apart. Because they won’t fit, any other way. The 16 oz. bottles can be slipped in between, depending on the width of the wire netting itself.
After the wired bottles are all firmly supporting the wire tube leg, you’re ready to cut black sheeting strips ( approx. 1.5 ft x 3 ft.), and wrap it around the legs.
Before this Mind Flayer project, I had only used the shrink wrap technique on a skeleton, and used far thinner material. So I tried different ways to accomplish the look I wanted, as well as, be efficient. With hundreds of feet to shrink wrap, efficiency was highly important.
Ways Tried and What Worked Best in Large Plastic Shrink Wrapping
At first, I tried just laying the top of the plastic strip, on top of the wire leg, and heating it up until it began to adhere to wire/bottles. Sure that worked fine and looked great. But it was time consuming to hold each piece, as I went along.
Next, out of exhaustion and desperation, I decided to wrap each strip around the legs, a few strips at a time, securing it with floral wire. I still had to go back to add a patch or strip in areas that had gaps. But it definitely was a faster process. The wire also needed to be either removed or tightened, since once a leg was shrink wrapped, the wire became loose.
The wire wrap technique won out, in the end. It allowed for less stopping to get another strip, holding the piece in place, etc. I did remove some wire. But in some sections, I twisted the excess into a leaf pattern. Little did I know, those wires left behind, would be so helpful when I adding the vines.
Last PVC Leg Parts
The last sections of PVC legs were either 10 ft. (to reach gutter line to join legs on roof) or 5 ft. to add the smaller offshoot legs of a Mind Flayer. First I made a slice down a pool noodle, and it fit nicely around the 3/4″ pipe. Since I only had so many noodles to complete the legs, I supplemented either bottles or spray foam to bulk an area, before shrink wrapping.
Instead of taking strips of plastic (like we did with the other legs), I decided to roll the PVC up into a few layers of sheeting, wiring it securely into place, then heating it all up at once. It was the quickest way to get the job done, but you’ll see it doesn’t have as much definition or gnarly parts. But, it worked for me, after such a long haul. Again, the loose wires that were left once it was shrink wrapped, were twisted into wire leaves or removed.
Attaching the PVC legs to the chicken wire was going to be a challenge, until I thought of just making a few slits (with my Dremel) about an inch or so down the PVC leg, big enough for zip ties to go through, and attach to the chicken wire loops of the legs on the roof.
Putting the Mind Flayer Together
The order of how we put together the entire Mind Flayer on roof: One person carried the torso up, attached a 90 pound line to the far back PVC pipe end of torso (that already had a 100 pound loop in place). Then we tossed the line across the back of the house, and staked it down, into the ground of the back yard.
With 1 person on roof, and another down below, we were able to support and bring up, a leg. The person on the ground would climb up the ladder, with the end of leg over a shoulder, without a struggle. Then the roof person would place leg into position, zip tie to the already placed loops on the torso, using the loops from the chicken wire. We repeated 3 more times. The legs were then placed over our gables, wired in place, with a small nail into the roof.
With all legs either over the gutter line or at gutter line, I could finish the task of adding the rest of PVC legs, myself. Once the PVC legs were attached and touching the ground, I hammered rebar stakes into the ground, picked the PVC leg up, and over the rebar. This ensured, the legs were going nowhere.
Well, that’s how my Mind Flayer was accomplished. I also added homemade vines to it, and that will probably be the next post. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.