Introduction: Kang From the Simpsons Yard Decoration
No way was I handing out candy this Halloween. And I sure wasn't going anywhere in a costume. Still I wanted to do something fun and festive. When I saw the Fandom Contest winner from ramenkingandi http://media.nbcmontana.com/KangKodos-Sculpture... I knew that Kang was the answer to my Halloween prayers.
My challenge was to build a Kang dirt cheap and not labor intensive. I've listed the supplies I used, but that's because that's what I had on hand. Be creative in your builds and try to use and re-use stuff you already have. My major purchases were a large beach ball, about $17, a can of lime green spray paint - $5, a tube of construction adhesive - $5, a tube of clear caulk - $5, and 4 dollar store tablecloths. It definitely came in under $50.
tree stump or high stool for fan base
small piece of plywood to secure to top of tree stump
legs from patio table or flexible pipes, maybe dryer venting
PVC pipes and 2 connectors - I had leftover 1 1/4" PVC
4 cinder block anchors for pvc pipes - filled with concrete
2 umbrella stands - to anchor the space helmet outline
16 gauge fencing wire 4 ft. tall
duct tape - including black for mouth opening
pool noodles or pipe insulation - 5 or 6
old plastic tarps
oscillating fan to move eye
large white beach ball for eye
clear plastic bowl from $ store - to hold eye on top of fan
2 plastic cat litter containers - for teeth, controls on helmet collar and point on top of space helmet outline
4 lime green plastic rectangular tablecloths from the $ store
caulking tube of construction adhesive
hot glue and gun
tube of clear caulk for drool
corrugated plastic for helmet collar - I had leftover blue plastic signs
EVA foam floor tiles - just a couple for the ears
lime green spray paint - for the ears
string of lights for interior of helmet collar
green and gold flood lights
exterior electrical cords
orange, red, pink, and black acrylic paints
E6000 adhesive, because just about all projects need E6000 sooner or later
screws and other miscellaneous stuff
Step 1: Building the Base
I'd had a tree cut down in the front yard. I had them leave a tall stump because I didn't want to trip over a low stump and I figured some time in the future, I could use the stump as a base for a bird bath. But for now it's the perfect base for Kang. A neighbor had left a patio table out on the street and I had dragged it home to incorporate the round glass tabletop into a fountain. That left the aluminum pipe legs that would become Kang's legs or arms or whatever they are. I used brute force to bend the legs/arms into shape and screwed them into the base of the tree stump to secure.
I screwed in a piece of plywood on to the top of the tree stump to hold the oscillating fan. The cinder block bases were next. I'd already made some cinder block anchors from another project. It was just a matter of sealing the bottom of a single cinder block with some aluminum foil, placing a piece of 1 1/4" PVC pipe in the center and filling around the pipe with concrete. I had four cinder blocks, I stationed them at four even points around the tree stump with one at each side, then inserted the PVC pipe. The pipe at the front was shorter than the other three. The eye needs to show over that pipe. The other three pipes were at least six feet tall.
I'd built a "catio", another story, and had leftover 16 gauge fencing wire. I wrapped the fencing around the four PVC posts and secured by tying together with pieces of wire. I bent the wire down to be able to access the fan stand from the back.
Step 2: Creating the Oscillating Eyeball
I had a funky fan in the garage and decided to sacrifice it to the Halloween gods. I removed the plastic fan cage and blades. Then I cut off the back cage and replaced its base on to the front of the fan. Because I was afraid of trying to screw the clear plastic bowl to the fan, instead I hot glued a spray paint can lid to the top of the fan then screwed the plastic bowl to that. The rotor that spins the blades is exposed on the front, so avoid that.
I couldn't find a white 36" beach ball, so I had to content myself with spray painting a clear beach ball white. I painted a black iris line in the middle of the eyeball.
Step 3: Adding the Top of Kang's Head
Don't ask me why, but I had a small hula hoop from the $ store, I used that to build a framework to create the top of Kang's head. I added wire to create a dome effect, but the circumference of the hula hoop wasn't big enough, so I created a bigger circle with pool noodles/pipe insulation and connected with pieces of pool noodles and duct tape. I duct taped this to the tops of the three tall PVC pipes. I also taped off any raw wire edges on the fencing so I wouldn't deflate the beach ball eye. Turned out the top wire dome was a bit too tall, so I wound up squishing it down a bit.
Step 4: Adding More Dimension
To create the mouth, I made two large ovals of pool noodles taped together. I wired and taped them to the fence frame. My husband tried to throw out two deteriorating plastic tarps, but I stopped him, knowing that I could use them for Kang. They were literally falling apart, but I managed to secure them to the the framework with duct tape. I had a ton of duct tape in primary colors, so it was used to hold the tarps to the base. I painted all the vibrant-colored tape green, so it wouldn't show under the thin plastic $ store tablecloths.
At first I lifted the pool noodle over the eye to give the eye more exposure, but he looked too sad and wistful, so I added another curved piece of pool noodle to create an angrier expression.
I added pool noodles/pipe insulation to the patio table legs, but really that was a waste of pool noodles. I thought about buying dryer venting to build up girth on the legs/arms, but that would have cost over $10, so instead I just encircled the legs/arms with more 16 gauge fencing. Worked fine.
Step 5: Covering With Tablecloths and Adding Ears
Aligned the center of the first tablecloth with the front middle of Kang. That way the seams didn't show on the sides. I used a construction adhesive that dried white, would have been much better had it dried clear. Don't even think about using a glue gun. You'll only melt the tablecloth and burn your fingertips. Because the adhesive dried white, I tried to apply it in creases and folds where it wouldn't show. I didn't try to remove any wrinkles, but I've read that using a hairdryer on a low setting will remove wrinkles and creases in plastic tablecloths. But again, beware of melting the tablecloth. The legs/arms took another couple of tablecloths.
For the ears, I had a couple of EVA foam tiles that I cut into ear shapes and hot glued sections of pool noodles to outline. I screwed the ears into the PVC pipes on Kang's sides. I added hot glue just to make sure they weren't going anywhere.
I was going to paint the mouth black, but it was easier just to fill it with black duct tape.
Step 6: Pulling It All Together
I covered a piece of cardboard with plastic wrap then piped out drool from a caulk gun. It took days to dry. Instead of trying to peel it off the plastic wrap, I left the plastic wrap on and just cut around the drool. I used E6000 to adhere the drool to Kang's bottom lip. I secured with straight pins until dry.
For Kang's teeth, I cut out triangles from a white plastic cat litter container. I simply hot glued the teeth to the black duct tape mouth opening.
For Kang's helmet outline, I inserted two PVC pipes with connectors at the top into umbrella stands on both sides of Kang. Then I took a long piece of PVC and used a heat gun to bend the pipe at both ends. With the ends inserted into the connectors, I adhered a triangular point cut out from a cat litter container to the top middle of the helmet outline.
For his helmet collar, I used several pieces of blue plastic corrugated plastic. At first I hot glued them together, but that didn't hold, so I inserted holes with an ice pick and wired the pieces together. For the controls I cut out the bottom of a cat litter container and painted it orange. The top lids of two cat litter containers were painted pink and a couple of side pieces were painted red. All were hot glued to the helmet collar.
I cut a slit in the upper back of Kang to be able to turn the fan off and on.
Step 7: Lighting Kang and His Future Plans
I added string lights to the inside of Kang's helmet collar, but the lights don't show up that much. I also illuminated Kang with a green floodlight on his left and an amber floodlight on his right, to show off his eye.
He's had a good Halloween run, which has extended through the election. Because of the materials used, he's fairly water-proof, so I'm hoping to exhibit him through the holiday season. For Thanksgiving I plan on adding a turkey leg to a leg/arm and perhaps a Pilgrim collar. For Christmas, I'm thinking a Santa hat. Who knows, maybe a heart and Cupid's bow for Valentine's Day?
Runner Up in the