Updated: Sep 27, 2019
Get your Stranger Things on! As Season 3 hits Netflix this Summer, it may just be the best segue way into the Halloween season so far - celebrate by creating your very own demogorgon, perfect for themed parties and great scares!
" Last year, I created a Demogorgon wall prop for my friend's Stranger Things Have Happened Halloween Party... He was quite the hit! "
Now you too can have your very own demogorgon, reaching out from the portals of the Upside Down, by creating him with this Salem & Binx tutorial:
*I've never been skilled at prop-making; if you have better suggestions on the mechanics of assembling this guy, please feel free to comment or contact!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Masking Tape (1, Wide)
Table Top Easels (2)
Zip Ties (1 small pack)
Prop Grave/Lawn Zombie Arms (1 R, 1L)
Butcher Paper (1 Large Roll)
Command® Velcro Strips (8 pc.)
Serrated Knife (1)
Tacks (1 pack, 5-10 needed)
Ziploc Bag (1)
1 1/2 - 2 Days
*This craft requires several tasks that are meant to be completed by leaving to dry over one night (the inner flaps, the teeth, and the black vines). Also leave yourself extra time to account for acrylic paint drying throughout the process.
Cut off the nose of the styrofoam head with the serrated knife. I suggest placing him on something sturdy (I used a paper towel holder). Set aside.
Draw, with pencil or pen, petal-like shapes on the foam sheet paper (5-6 in in width). Eyeball how each shape will be cut to frame the outer ring of the face, leaving an extra inch at the base of each one - these will be your demogrogon's large/outer flaps (If they differ and you want to remember where each one goes, draw markers or numbers with your pencil).
Once cut, snip wire pieces long enough to reach the tip of each petal, all the way to the base, including some extra length to insert the metal into the styrofoam head. Place the wire onto the center of each petal and use hot glue to attach - again, leaving extra space past the base. Once attached, insert the wire into the styrofoam along outer ring of the face. Along that extra inch of foam sheeting, use the hot glue to secure the insertion and attachment. Styrofoam will melt so be careful to keep your flaps in place as they dry. Use tacks to keep the flaps in place and facing up and away from the face.
Once all flaps are dry, play around with the bendiness of the foam sheet and wire to create desired demogorgon look - make sure they can move around easily without coming off as you'll need them to be bendy while you paint later.
For edges on the flaps, crumble and twist strips of butcher paper. Once you've gotten them as thick as you'd like, secure the strips by wrapping them in masking tape, then hot glue them around the edges.
STEPS THAT NEED TO DRY OVER NIGHT:
Next, it's time to complete the structure of the demogorgon face - the inner flaps. Open the Delight™ Air Dry Modeling Compound and begin pressing the compound all around, and on, the face. Work your way further and further up from the face to create 3D flaps. The compound sticks to the styrofoam very well making modeling easy, but tends to dry/stiffen up the more it is exposed to air so modeling some at a time, setting the head aside, and returning to model more may be the best way to achieve the inner flaps all together. *Because of this, be sure to keep the compound in a spare Ziploc® bag to keep it fresh when you are not grabbing at it. Leave to dry over night.
This guy needs teeth! Now, this part is time consuming, but will be completely worth it (and way cheaper than buying fake fangs/teeth elsewhere considering how many you will need), so sit back, watch your favorite Halloween movie, or Stranger Things for that matter, and grab that air compound; piece by piece twist the compound into little cone shapes with a flat bottoms - make an array of sizes from large to small. Set aside. Let dry over night.
To make snake-like portal vines cut long butcher paper strips, crumple and twist them around the remaining decorative wire, and secure them by twisting masking tape around it all. After making a dozen or so, make sure they are all posable and smooth enough to be spray-painted. Lay them all on a plastic tarp (or trash bags are fine) and spray paint them black. Let dry over night.
And just before you got to bed, (last, but not least) take chunks of butcher paper, crumble and fold them into messy triangular shapes, then cover them in masking tape too. Paint these pieces with red and/or brick red colors. Let dry over night.
By the next day, the modeling compound should be fully solid - ready to paint! The goal is the make the center of the face the darkest (black/dark purple), and to work your way out, getting lighter as you go (a brick red). On a palette, I used the colors as listed above (Brick Red, Red, Chocolate, Wine, Black), mixing and blending several colors along the way to achieve a natural/accurate look.
For the flap edges, and the rest of the demogorgon head (and later arms and hands), combine the vanilla color with a few drops of brick red to achieve a pale, fleshy color. Once you have completed painting the back of the head, let it dry. Then, dry brush subtle streaks of brick red throughout the fleshy colored areas.
Let the paint dry - check on it over a period of a few hours. Acrylic paint tends to dry quickly, but with many coats and layers, give it some time.
Once the paint has dried, attach teeth to the flaps of the demogorgon using hot glue. Make sure you cover the entirety of both sets of flaps, but scatter them about - be sure not to make him look too perfect. Leave any hanging glue strings, drops, or drips that occur - this will give your demogorgon authentic-looking, drool-like slime. Feel free to add more when done applying all the teeth.
If you find large, more claw like hands at your local Halloween shop, feel free to alter those for this project, otherwise do what I did (which will take longer); use regular prop hands.
The goal with this prop, as we have no body, is to make it appear as though the rest of his body is behind the Upside Down portal. To do this, I placed one hand out, reaching with an extended claw, and the other grabbing at the portal opening.
Essentially you'll be adding lots and lots of tape to give thickness to whatever prop hands you are using (if skeletal then use more tape, etc.). One thing I did to extend the fingers was to actually break them (or cut them) off, add an extra couple inches of tape, then reattach them. This will place the knuckles out further, creating the illusion of longer, larger hands, especially when adding more length to the tips of the fingers with more tape. Mold more air compound chunks on any funky spots to make it look less like tape and more like skin, set aside. Let dry.
Once dry, repeat the same paint process used to the back of the demogorgon's head (fleshy and reddish). Let dry.
Meanwhile, Take your foam poster board and the two small easels. Open the first easel, and face it toward the foam board, and turn it upside down. You should have the back leg of the easel sticking up and outward from the poster board. The styrofoam head should already have a hole in the center (on the bottom) of it, so place the head on the easel leg securely. With the head on the easel leg, eye-ball where the easel should be placed on the board (may be best a little bit higher than center), and mark any corners with a pen. Then do the same with the other easel - this will be holding the extending arm. Depending on where it looks best, the easel may be best placed just below the head-holding easel, next to it, or off to the bottom right. Mark the placement of those as well. To fully secure the easels, hot glue some areas into place and/or make small cuts into marked areas, near corners, to string zip ties around - be sure to secure the zip ties in the front of the poster board, NOT the back - keep the back flat so that command velcro strips may hold it more securely.
Assemble your demogorgon! Keep the grabbing hand off to the side for now, but feel free to hot glue and tape anything and everything else in order to make sure the head and the extending arm are fully secure - remember this will be hanging on a wall and gravity will pull it all down if it is not sturdy. Don't worry about how ugly, disorganized, or messy this process looks - you'll cover it all up in the next step...
Collect the previously painted black vines (leave a handful aside for later) and begin molding them around, and in-between, your demogorgon parts, making it look like a very dense, thick portal to break out of. During this process find a place for the grabbing hand to be taped securely onto the board, posing it to appear as though it is grabbing at any vines in its way. Hot glue as many areas as you can to secure the vines in place, again, covering the mess that is the assembly of the extending arm and head - but don't worry about getting too close to the arms and head because you will need room for the next step:
Hot glue the messy triangular pieces between the arms/head and the black vines, and bend them in a way that will give the illusion that the demogorgon is breaking out of the portal.
Next, cut any obvious square edges of the foam board off, and paint any remaining parts of the board black so they blend in with the black vines all together. Don't forget to add a few red spots throughout to create the illusion that the Upside Down is glowing red behind them. Hold up your board to test and make sure all items on it are secure.
Finally attach your demogorgon prop to any flush wall using velcro strips. To be safe I used about four (eight total). Again, test the strength of it by gently wiggling it. Apply as many velcro strips as needed to hang your demogorgon securely!
Once your demogorgon is fully secured to the wall, take the remaining black vines and place them among the prop - hot gluing the end each vine that connects to the other vines, and using mount putty to secure the other end of each vine that touches the wall (press firmly). Repeat the process with each remaining vine, spreading them outward along the wall- this will bring the portal to life!
Now you have your very own demogorgon!
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"If you like this Stranger Things D.I.Y. check out "D.I.Y. 'Upside Down Barb' Prop from Stranger Things," and for more Stranger Things inspiration check out my Stranger Things Have Happened Halloween themed party album in Work!"
"Happy Halloween!" 🎃
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