I have several half-zombies that hang out in the yard haunt each year, and they get spiked into the lawn and hopefully stay that way until the night is over. This year I wanted a way to mount them that was a little more reliable and that would let me mount them anywhere, not just on the lawn. PVC tubing to the rescue….
I made five 14″ x 10″ bases which required the following materials:
- (20) 1″ 90 degree corners
- (15) 1″ T joints
- (3) 1″ x 10′ pvc tubing
- (1) can Krylon Fusion spray paint – ultra flat black camo
- (1) can pvc glue (optional)
- Sand or fine gravel (optional)
For each individual base, you’ll need to cut up the 10′ tubing so you have the following:
- (2) 11 1/2″ pieces of tubing
- (2) 4 7/8″ pieces of tubing
- (4) 3″ pieces of tubing
- (1) piece of tubing to form the “spine” of your zombie. The length of this piece will vary depending on what you’re actually going to mount on these bases. In my case, a foam head which will be the form for the zombie mask.
- (4) 90 degree corner joints
- (3) T joints
Using the PVC glue is optional; I use it if I have it handy. If you do use it on your bases, I’d suggest leaving the middle T joint unglued so you can change the angle of your zombies. If you know for sure what angle you want the “spine”, feel free to glue everything. If your props are going to be fairly tall or top-heavy, you can fill the tubes with sand or fine gravel before you assemble them. This will help give some extra weight and stability to the base of your prop. My zombies generally hang out on the lawn, so I just spike my bases down. If the base is going on the driveway or deck, then the sand/gravel options is probably better than nailing them down.
When you assemble all the parts, use a rubber mallet to make sure everything has a good snug fit. If you’re going to be painting your bases, make sure any product or price labels are either peeled off, or are facing down. If you paint over them, they’ll eventually peel or fall apart and you’ll end up with little white strips showing. Also, if you have added sand or gravel, you’ll need to plug the hole in that center T joint. You can just fill the lower part of the hole with silicone or hot glue. (Don’t fill the entire hole, or you won’t be able to insert the “spine”.)
Because we used 1″ tubing, there’s plenty of room to drill a hole through pieces of the tubing so you can nail these bases down. This will help discourage your props from “walking away” or from falling over if it’s windy. Drill at an angle so you can spike them down at an angle pointing outward.
Once assembled, you can leave the bases as-is; pvc isn’t going to rot… However, I suggest giving them a good blast of black paint. This will make sure there’s no white tubing visible on your prop. The Krylon Fusion spray paint is fantastic for this. It’s very flat, dries within about 10 mins and is very durable.
Once your bases are complete, cut your “spine” to length and mount your zombie. At this point, I haven’t unearthed (heh heh) my zombies from the Halloween shed yet, so I’ve just put on one of the foam heads that will be the supporting form for the zombie mask. Remember, too, that this particular setup is for a half-zombie that is only partially out of the ground. If you’re creating a prop base for a fully upright zombie you’d either need to make two of these bases (one for each leg), or a larger one for one leg that would support the full body zombie.