DIY Aragog/Giant Spider Decoration

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Here are the steps to make your very own Aragog!  It is rather simple and very cheap.

1) Materials needed are: Wrapping paper, something to use as filling (I used leftover padding from a mail-in package. Newspaper could also work), scissors, hot glue, and tape.

 

2) Form the head and body with your filling (tape to hold the form if needed), and wrap it with wrapping paper. Tape the ends of the wrapping paper underneath the formed head and body. Once the body and head are formed, hot glue the head and body together. Flatten and shape as needed.

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3) Now for the legs! Lay out your wrapping paper, and start rolling in from one edge to determine how thick you want your spider’s legs to be. Once you figured out how thick you want your spider’s legs, mark where it is rolled to with a pen or snip the edge.

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4) Turn the wrapping paper around, design side down, and crease from the marked point to the other end. Cut out the rectangular piece you just folded.

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5) Now the rectangular piece could be used to measure your other 7 legs. Lay the cut out piece on top of the wrapping paper and mark to make 7 other rectangular pieces of the same size. Cut each rectangular piece out to make 8 rectangles in total.

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6) With each rectangle, lay it out, design side up, and roll inwards from the longer edge. Keep rolling until you reach the end, and tape to secure.

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7) Once all eight legs are made, approximate where you would like to place each leg and bend the leg piece where you think it looks best (bend close to the center of each leg).

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8) Hot glue each leg to the body. You can also tape the legs, but hot glue keeps the legs more securely in place. [NOTE: I adjusted the placement of the front two legs so that it was further back from the head. The legs on the finished product are different from the picture below.]

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9) Once the glue is dried, spray paint the top and bottom of the spider black. You may have to spray multiple coats to make the color opaque because the spray paint drips a little off the paper.

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And there you have your very own creepy Aragog! I could see this giant spider being perfect for Halloween as well, and all you need to do is be creative with leftover materials.

Please feel free to comment below, and check out my other posts on my blog, including my Harry Potter birthday party.

 

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The Art of Transfiguration: Transforming My House into Hogwarts

To transform my house into Hogwarts, I knew I had to create a rustic and warm welcoming feel, since the school is very old but enchanting. All throughout the house, I put out knick knacks that were appropriate to what you would see at Hogwarts and lit a lot of candles or placed some unlit ones around to be seen.  I also used the Harry Potter books as displays since they have delightful works of art on them. I considered laying out my Harry Potter DVDs, but it seemed to lose the Hogwarts feel when displayed.

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I made my very own Snitch using this tutorial at WikiHow. Isn’t it cute?? =)

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The table in the living room acted as a place to play wizard’s chess on as well as hold the photo booth props. I printed the “Witch Weekly” title and glued a black border on it before gluing the final piece onto one of my Vogue magazines. It just so happened that Taylor Swift wore a big hat on the cover that made it look like a witch’s hat when gluing on the title.

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To create my spooky bathroom, I based it off of the second book/movie, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” since the bathroom was such a pivotal setting in that book. I printed out a sign warning my guests about Moaning Myrtle, who bothers all the students with her crying and incessant floods when throwing tantrums.

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Inside the bathroom, there was another warning stating that the Chamber of Secrets was open. My sister finger painted this warning on plastic wrap and taped it to the wall. Pretty creepy!

ImageImageYou can also see the basilisk eyes looming in the frame to emulate the creature that hunted all that were not pure blood wizards (that really just made me sound like a Harry Potter nerd haha). The Hogwarts monogram was laminated and taped to the toilet cover.

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As specified on the invitation, I told my guests to follow the spiders, and they will lead them to the Hogwarts entrance. This is supposed to be reminiscent of the second book/movie, once again, where Harry Potter and Ron Weasley followed the spiders to find Hagrid’s giant pet, Aragog.

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I bought some plastic spider decorations off Amazon for really cheap to create my spider trail, and I made my own Aragog using wrapping paper and some leftover packaging used in my mail order from World Market. World Market seems to be green and not want to use any plastic, so they have some interesting looking packaging made out of paper, which I reused to make Aragog and Nagini (Voldemort’s pet snake, which I will show later in a future post on how I made it). Click here to learn how I created this giant spider and make one of your own!

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For the welcome sign, I freehand copied the owl using a picture I found on the Internet, and colored, cut, and laminated it to make it sturdy. I found a small plywood board from Michael’s and freehand copied the Harry Potter font to say, “Welcome to Hogwarts”; then I hot glued the owl on top. The board had a plastic hook on it already, which I used to hang on the door.

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Wizards need a place to park their brooms, so I designated the “Broom Parking” on the opposite wall of the entrance.  Nice to also have a tool on hand to do some last minute sweeping of the porch =P

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Please check back for the next few weeks for more detailed posts on my Harry Potter party and see my next post here on how to create your very own Aragog! Please feel free to comment and check out my other posts based on this theme party (links provided below).

  1. Harry Potter Party Overview — a look into my magical birthday celebration.
  2. Owl Post Invitations

A Magical Evening – Harry Potter Party Overview

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Although there were no actual spells or enchantments cast nor flying owls soaring around at my birthday party, that is not to say there was no magic created that night.  My Harry Potter birthday party was a complete success, and despite all the hours and stress put into the project, I am incredibly pleased with how it all turned out and would do it all over again, if I had the choice.  I also cannot thank my friends and family enough for helping me out, especially after falling ill two weeks before and falling behind on decorating.

Because there was so much put into this party, I will write several more detailed posts on it within the next few weeks, including how I made the decorations and what activities were held at the party.  But for now, this post will show you an overview of what my party was like.  Enjoy!!

As written on the invitation, the party guests were to follow the spiders to the grand entrance to Hogwarts.  Here, they can also park their broomsticks as well as meet Aragog, Hagrid’s giant pet arachnid.

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Once they entered Hogwarts, they were greeted with appetizers and got to embark on a scavenger hunt looking for Voldemort’s Horcruxes.

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Hogwarts décor would not be complete without some candles and the Golden Snitch.  That Snitch was actually handmade by me! =)

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Beware of Moaning Myrtle and the thriving basilisk in the bathroom!  The Chamber of Secrets has been opened.  Enemies of the heir, beware…

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Arguably, the best feature of the party was the photo booth.  I recreated the scene where Harry Potter gets flooded with Hogwarts acceptance letters at the Dursley house and used it as the backdrop for photos.  I am still amazed that two of my friends and I were able to make this look astounding.  I also made my own photo booth props to play with and placed them on the wizard’s chess table.

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Dinner by candlelight and starlight!  We ate underneath the Bewitched Ceiling.  As you can see in the picture below, each person received a personalized scroll that designated who was which professor.

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Dinner is served!  Marinated chicken, short ribs, and lemony potatoes… a hearty meal fit for Hogwarts.

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No Hogwarts dinner is complete without dessert.  Guests caught their very own edible Snitch (Ferrero Rocher chocolates) and were served butterbeer (apple cider floats).

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Me and the other birthday girl, who collaborated with me on this birthday party, also received our very own surprise with a chocolate banana meringue birthday cake and presents.  I got the last Harry Potter book to complete my set =D

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After dinner, my friends got a chance to win the House Cup by playing a trivia game.  Admittedly, those questions I came up with were very hard!

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Although not everyone was a winner that night, every guest got to go home with a goodie bag, which included a quill pen, a chocolate dipped pretzel wand, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans (really just regular Jelly Bellys.. my sister told me how traumatized she was after someone fed her the vomit flavored one), and homemade Chocolate Frogs with a peanut butter filling inside.

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The night was indeed magical, and the best party I’ve thrown thus far.  It just goes to show that turning 28 does not mean you have to deny the kid inside.

Please check back all this month for more detailed posts on my Harry Potter party!

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