Updated: Sep 27, 2019
Already craving more Stranger Things? This D.I.Y may not make a fourth season come out any sooner, but it might just get you your Upside Down fix! Behold the ultimate Salem & Binx "Upside Down Barb" How-To, perfect for themed parties and great scares!
" Last year, I created several props for my friend's Stranger Things Have Happened Halloween Party... one was a Demogorgon wall prop, and the other was an "Upside Down Barb" prop - resembling how she was found in the Upside Down..."
Now you too can have your very own "Upside Down Barb," whether you place her on a wall, in your yard haunt, or on the ceiling for her to watch over your Halloween party guests...
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Bobby Pins (Several)
Blue Puffer Jacket or Vest (1)
Posable snake - 2 in. diameter (1)
Bags of Spider Webbing (3-4)
Cheesecloth (1-2 packages)
Decorative Aluminum Wire (2), or any Flexible Metal Wire
Butcher Paper (1 Large Roll)
Masking Tape (1, Wide)
1 -2 Days
*This craft requires several tasks that are meant to be completed by leaving to dry over a period of hours or over night (Barbara's air modeling clay face, and the black painted tentacles). Also leave yourself extra time to account for acrylic paint drying throughout the process.
Day 1 Head:
To create Barb's face, form small pieces of the Delight™ Air Dry Modeling Compound into these shapes: 2 semi-circles (for top eyelids), 2 thin round strips (for bottom eyelids), 2 lip-shaped strips (1 top, 1 bottom). Apply to the proper areas of the face, using extra air-modeling clay as needed (REMEMBER: She's dead, so let the eye lids hang lower than normal). For the mouth, DO NOT apply lip strips over existing styrofoam lips, apply them around those, leaving her mouth open for later (REMEMBER: the snake-like creature that slithers out of her mouth). LET DRY (overnight, or several hours).
Cut wire into long strips, then wrap long strips of butcher paper around them, securing them with masking tape as you go (REMEMBER: they are spooky and ugly so no need to make them perfect, but do try to cover most of the butcher paper as the tape is easier to cover in paint). Set onto tarp (outdoors or in garage) and spray paint all angels of the tentacles black. LET DRY.
Mix the Vanilla and Red Brick paint colors to achieve a flesh-like color, then paint face - leaving the eyes white. Fill in the eyes with Chocolate Brown colored paint, let dry. Finally paint in black pupils, let dry. Mix Vanilla and Wine colored paint to create a mauve-like color for the lips (REMEMBER: she's dead so the color should be darker than normal), paint, and let dry. Use Brick Red paint color to dry-brush paint eyebrows, let dry. Also, use thin paint brush and Black paint to achieve eye-liner (both eyelids).
Once entire face is dry, both dry-brush and water-color brush Wine, Gray, and Green paint colors on desired areas of the face to achieve that dead-like look. LET DRY.
Although Barb is not found with her glasses, I felt it was a nice, recognizable touch to include them. I also kept them crooked to show signs of a struggle (poor Barb!)
Also, be sure to check your local thrift stores - that's where I found mine!
To achieve the broken glasses effect - DO NOT actually break the glass lens in the glasses (it will just shatter, and be destroyed). DO take a thin paint brush and white or Vanilla paint and paint this image, or one like it, on one of the lens:
After the glasses and Barb's face are dry, cut the top 6-inches or so off of the fake snake. Hot glue the cut-off end to the open area of Barb's mouth. LET DRY.
Once fully dried, place red-haired wig on head. (I had an old one and it was medium length so I tied and pinned it back to look like Barb's, but feel free to cut or buy one already cut like her hair. Again, check your local thrift store for an item like this!). Use bobby pins to secure hair, but hot glue them to the styrofoam head if necessary. Set aside.
Put together styrofoam boards by placing the shorter ends side by side (best to lay them on a table). Attach them using masking tape (or hot glue, if you prefer). Place blue puffer jacket or vest (again, got this item at the thrift store - great cheap find!), around one pillow, then place Barb's head snuggly inside the collar of the puffer - lay flat on the boards. Below place the other pillow. If you prefer, feel free to cut the sharp edges of the boards down so that they are rounder and less obviously boards, although I never needed to (the edges later became useful when drilling the prop to the ceiling, but if you are not planning on placing her up like that, by all means shape the structure to be more cocoon-like). Next, tape the half-dressed, no-limb Barb to the boards with masking tape, securely and from all angels. Lift the board to test the sturdiness. If fine, continue.
Apply both masses of fake spider web material and several black tentacles - interwoven. Secure it all with masking tape, which can be hidden beneath the webbing and on back of the styrofoam boards - be sure to cover all visible tape. It should appear as though Barb's whole body (besides her head and neck) is covered up in a cocoon-like mess. Almost done!
Use cheesecloth in random areas to create more coverage and texture throughout - and leave some to hang off the structure so that it looks more organic in its space. For tentacles that spread out further than the structure, secure them with mounting putty.
This is where you can really have fun!
Outdoor: Place Barb in the front yard for trick or treaters to enjoy! Whether up in a tree, right on the lawn, or up against your front door (attach to wreath hanger or use command strips)!
Indoor: Bring the ultimate Stranger Things party to life by having Barb be the centerpiece on the snack table or...
Place her upside down! During our party, we turned the garage into the "Upside Down." So, we turned Barb around to look down on party-goers, and drilled the corners of the boards to several storage beams that hung below the ceiling. Once sturdy, I made sure to spread the remaining black tentacles, cheesecloth, and fake webbing throughout her surroundings - making her appearance there seem more organic and natural - the result was a huge hit!
Now you have your very own "Upside Down Barb!"
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"If you like this Stranger Things D.I.Y. check out "D.I.Y. 'Demogorgon' Wall Prop from Stranger Things," and for more Stranger Things inspiration check out my Stranger Things Have Happened Halloween themed party album in Work!"
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