Introduction: Skeleton in a Hanging Cage From Scrap Metal - Yard Decoration
I love Halloween and I try to add a little something new to our home's outdoor decorations every year. This year I got lucky one of my neighbors was selling 7ft x 5 ft metal fencing panels for $15 a piece. As soon as I saw his classifieds ad I knew exactly what I was going to make with one of the panels. I have several 60 inch skeletons that I use to decorate outside and I figured it would be pretty cool to have one locked inside a cage and hang it from a tree. To add to the spookiness I hid a Bluetooth speaker in the cage with the skeleton that will play creepy weeping noises.
I use a welder to make this I don't really know how to weld well but that has never stopped me from using my welder to stick two pieces of metal together.
The first thing I did was measure the skeleton to get an idea of how big to cut my metal pieces. In my case I needed two 21-1/2 inch sections and two 16-1/2 inch sections that would make up the four sides of the cage. I used my angle grinder fitted with a cutoff disc to cut the sections. I also used the angle grinder to remove the top sections of the metal tines.
Next using a flap disc on my grinder I removed the paint and slightly beveled all the edges that would be welded. I used some magnetic welding holders to hold the pieces at 90 degrees to each other and tack welded 3 of sections (the right and left side and the back of the cage) to one another.
I had to purchase some slim hinges to weld to the front of the cage for the section that would become the door. I first welded the hinges to the 3 side box then I welded the hinge to the door section. This was a little awkward to do but eventually I was able to prop up the door and make the welds. I did lay the weld beads a little heavy and had to clean up my welds a bit with my angle grinder so that the hinge would close on itself.
Since I would be hanging the cage from a tree I wanted to make sure that the piece of metal that the cage would hang from was very secure. I don't trust my welds enough for that so instead I cut a piece of a bed frame/angle iron that I could attach across the top of the cage with bolts. So I cut the piece of bed frame to length and drilled the holes for the bolts.
I also drilled a hole in the center of the bed frame angle iron for an eye bolt that would be were the cage would be suspended from. I had to notch out a "V" in the angle iron to allow for the "D" ring that I would use to attach the chain to the cage.
For the floor of the cage I measured and cut some pieces of pallet wood and attached them to the cage frame using some screws. I made sure to pre-drill for each screw. I don't have a picture of it but I did spray some black paint on the boards that were lighter just to try and blend the floor together.
I wanted to add something that resembled a lock so I got a piece of scrap wood and used two different drill bits to make a key hole shape. Then I attached the "lock" to the door of the cage. And again I predrilled and screwed it to the metal.
I needed a latch and didn't want to go to the store to buy one so I used a piece of scrap steel to make a simple latch to hold the door closed. As you can see from the picture its just an "L" shaped hook of sorts. I attached it to the top of the main body of the cage using a screw and two washers to allow it to move freely. The latch "latches" on to the body of a screw that is screwed in to the top corner of the door.
Next I used some black spray paint to cover up my welds and any exposed metal as well as the "lock" that I made. I thought I was done and put the skeleton in the cage but it didn't feel quite right I felt like it was missing something.
I decided he needed some old dirty disheveled clothes. So I got an old shirt from my son's closet and an old pair of pants from my wife and cut them up and dirtied (dragged them on the floor of my garage) them up as best I could. I used some black spray paint on the pants as they were brown and didn't show dirt well. I made sure to cut open the back of the shirt to make it easier to dress the skeleton.
I think adding the clothes really added to the piece.
I used some reusable zip ties to hang the skeleton from the bed frame angle iron at the top of the cage otherwise he would just sort of be slouched over in the cage. Once he was positioned in the cage I carried it outside. I attached a length of chain to a "D" ring and the "D" ring to the cage and hung it outside off of our largest tree. It hangs about 3-1/2 feet off the ground our largest tree isn't very tall. I also added some prop shackles and chains that I bought at the dollar store to the skeleton.
I added a couple of outdoor black lights to add to the ambiance. On Halloween night I will place a Bluetooth speaker hidden in the cage that will play the sounds of a weeping ghost. It will be dark so it will be relatively easy to hide the wireless speaker under some dark cloth behind the skeleton. I will connect an old cellphone to the wireless Bluetooth speaker to play the spooky sounds.
Here again is what the Skeleton looks like and sounds like.
Participated in the