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Spooky, scary skeletons aren’t the only bit of Halloween decor sending shivers down our spines this year thanks to this giant DIY spider. TikTok creators have been posting creeptastic DIY ideas for months now, but Australia-based artist Sophie Brown’s (@nesti_home) massive black widow spider is an undeniable showstopper when it comes to outdoor Halloween decorations.
A test of bravery for even the most daring trick-or-treater, the 13.5-foot spider — affectionately named Mavis by Brown’s followers — came alive after she followed a tutorial posted by crafting experts Wicked Makers on YouTube. According to Brown, Halloween isn’t widely celebrated in Australia, but the holiday has been gaining popularity in recent years, especially with her kids, who helped her give Mavis her signature black and red finish when they built her last year.
As a budding Halloween enthusiast, Brown — who started pursuing her passion for DIY art at the start of the pandemic — did her best to follow the Wicked Makers’ tutorial step by step, documenting the process on her Instagram Stories along the way. “I love all of that weird, gooey texture on her from the foam. It just makes her extra creepy,” she tells POPSUGAR, adding that the foam-and-water technique she used to cover Mavis’s body was the most difficult step to replicate.
“I’m nervous about hanging it up.”
After a few trips to the hardware store to gather supplies (cling wrap, hot glue, expanding foam, PVC pipes, and acrylic spray paint included), Brown spent two days crafting Mavis, using a balloon and an exercise ball as the base for the haunting arachnid. Once the spider was complete, Brown briefly hung Mavis up to test her durability, adding that the eerie creature was able to withstand a massive storm in 2021.
When she’s not clinging to a bed of cotton cobwebs on the front of the house, the large spider is resting on the floor in the family living area with her legs across the room in a cardboard box. But Mavis’s time to truly shine is almost here once again. “I’m nervous about hanging it up,” Brown says, adding that she’s glad she “didn’t make any children cry” in 2021 when Mavis was first introduced. In a neighborhood where Halloween is a growing phenomenon, the giant black widow will definitely have its time in the jack-o’-lantern-illuminated spotlight, and Brown hopes Mavis won’t be the only DIY spider lingering over someone’s doorstep this Halloween.
“I just love teaching people how to make things and coming up with ways that people can be creative, because when you become an adult, you don’t get to have those times to be creative,” she says. “My focus is [helping] people make things that they love but also get a lot of joy out of the process of the making.”
Creating a giant spider from scratch is a lot of work, but retailers like Costco, Amazon, and more have us covered with life-like animatronics. Recently, we’ve even seen stores get extra creative by releasing a six-foot punk-rocker skeleton, a 12-foot animatronic mummy, and a 13-foot Jack Skellington decoration. Needless to say, there’s no shortage of ways to keep your neighbors on their toes this Halloween.
Ahead, check out a step-by-step tutorial for re-creating Brown’s giant DIY spider, and keep reading to shop similar ready-made spiders as you prepare for Halloween.