Toxic Zombie Prop
This is an easy Halloween project that can be made from various household items. In my case I already had most of the materials lying around, so it was extremely cheap and only took a couple of hours to make.
In this first step you will make the body frame for your zombie, but you will need to decide which method is right for you. PVC is most commonly used for this type of project (Tutorial here). It's cheap, sturdy, and adds movability to the prop. If you would rather not go the PVC route, you certainly have other options available to you.
I used a combination of empty 2-liters, tape, and PVC for my zombie's frame. This option is strong enough and helps to keep the prop lightweight. I taped together 2 bottles for the mid-section and attached a foam mannequin head at the top. Then I taped a third bottle to the bottom for added height and as an attachment point later on. To finish the frame I attached a peice of PVC to the back, for shoulders, and two on each end for arms.
Now that you have your frame completed you can start working on your trashcan. First you'll want to add some filler to keep your zombie propped at the top of can. I took a long cardboard box, folded it and inserted it longways into the can. You may have to do some manipulation, but it should be positioned tightly within the can, in a way that it can hold weight. Next, I broke down a small box and folded the corners inward to make the platform.
Now you'll need to cut a hole in the center of your platform to insert the zombie. This works as an attachment point for your zombie's frame and will keep it in place while you work around it. Carfeully use a box cutter to cut the hole. You don't want it too big, so start small. It only needs to be wide enough for the base 2-liter to rest in without falling through.
Now that you have the zombie frame positioned, you'll probably need to add a little more filler. At this point, I had about 2-3 inches of empty space before the rim of the can. To fix this I took a handful of plastic shopping bags and stuffed them in. This also helps if you have a few loose areas.
Once you're satisfied you'll need to move outdoors or to a well-ventilated area away from furniture or carpet. In this step you'll be working with the foam spray, so make sure you have a pair of gloves (this stuff is impossible to get off skin). Take the spray and spray around the zombie, covering the top of the trash can. This keeps everything sealed while giving the effect of toxic goo. Allow at least 30 minutes to stiffen.
While the foam is hardening you can start decorating the outside of your trashcan. Use a base color such as gray, brown, almond or anything you wish. Once the paint has dried, take your signs and adhere them to the can using adhesive spray (you can also use stencils). Allow to dry and spray a few darker spots in various areas (black or brown), to give it a dirty appearance.
Now that the foam has had time to dry, take your fluorescent green spray paint and cover the foam. Using the same paint, you can add a few more spots and drips to the can.
The last step is to dress your zombie. Luckily I had an old zombie costume laying around, but any old clothing will work. Use a zombie or skeleton mask for the head and you're done! You can add monster or skeleton hands if you want, but they're not really needed if the sleeves are long enough.
With mine I used the fluorescent green to paint a few strips of creepy cloth and draped them over some areas. This gave it a nice "swampy" look.
Display your zombie where it can easily be seen by a garage or front steps. Position a strobe or colored light on it for an even eerier effect.
For safe keeping cover with a trash bag or tarp and store in a cool, dry place.