Glowing Eye Critter Halloween Prop How-To


This project came about after looking for a solution I could put out in the yard and not have to worry about sprinklers/rain ruining anything. It had to have lighted eyes so that people who notice it will do a double-take trying to ascertain if it is real or not.

Thus was born the "Glowing Eye Critter" (GEC)

The GEC guarding my yard

Part 1 - Ingredients

To build the GEC you will need:

a small bucket
ping-pong balls
small extension cord
expanding foam
fake hair
building supplies - hot glue, spray paint, duct-tape, etc.


Part 2 - Cutting It Up

Curring the bucket

This image shows a unblemished bucket on the left, and what I did to it on the right. I used a skill-saw to cut off the bottom couple of inches and a 3/4" drill to cut the eye-holes

Part 3 - Wiring It Up

Placing the electrical stuff

This image shows the simple wiring system I employed. Basically I use a night-light connected to a extension cord. The night-light sits up on a spray can lid to position the light behind the holes.

attaching the electrical stuff

Now we have the finished wiring scheme, carefully duct-taped to the inside of the bucket so when it is all turned over the light will stay in place. Although not shown in the picture, I tried the eyes out in the darkened garage and they weren't bright enough - so I replaced the 4watt bulb with a 15 watt one - kind of long and skinny, its used in our chandelier but works great in the GEC as well. I tested the heat output of the 15watt bulb and everything was fine even hours later.

Part 4 - The Eyes

attaching the eyes

I found some orange ping-pong balls and purchased them. I cut them in half using a pair of scissors - easier than you think if you cut right along the seam. Then I hot-glued the half-balls over the holes.


coloring the eyes

Finally a little work with a black marker and the eyes looked pretty good!

Part 5 - A Body

It's usable as a prop right now but looks pretty plain. I wanted it to be weird looking, something that would attract a second glance if spotted in the daylight. I decided to use some expando-foam on it, that would give the proper "weird" look and then glue on some hair later to keep it from looking to plastic...

Spraying Foam

By covering the eye-balls with some old spray-paint lids I could spray foam all over the GEC and not have to worry about the eyes getting covered, it also makes a nice eye-socket. Unfortunately the plastic vinyl bucket I used didn't allow the foam to stick to it, notice the sides where it had fallen to the ground. Still with a whole can of foam I was able to make it look decent!

After the foam is dry, I spray painted it a chocolate brown, then removed the paint can lids. You can see where they were. This area is painted black. I also dry-brushed a little black around the body. Actually what I did was take a napkin, dip it in the black and kind of "blob" it around, but "dry-brushing" sounds more professional...

all painted

And you can see the result. Ready to scare people with their glowing eyes.... But there is still more!


Part 6 - Hair

The finishing touch, to keep it from looking like just another "prop", was to add some hair. That way, people will dismiss it as a dog or something until they take a second look or see the glowing eyes. Hair can be added really easily, in my case I found a witches hat with silvery-grey hair attached for $2, so I purchased it, cut off the hair and threw the hat into the "parts" bin.

Getting Hair

As you can see from the picture, I took small wads of hair and hot-glued them all over the GEC. Then I trimmed the hair to not be too long, "teased" it so it spread out and the mighty GEC is finished!

The GEC in the yard

During the day it looks like a dog or some bizarre thingie, but during the night the lighted eyes glow with evil promise!


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