Shelob Cosplay: Building the Spider Legs

Those Lovely Shelob Legs…

I had a very solid vision for these legs…and it’s a damn good thing I did or else I’m not sure what we would have done! These beautiful spider legs were a true labor of love (even though the items we started out with looked like a pile of garbage…)!

A pile of junk
The starting materials look like a pile of junk and scraps. But the magic will happen!


Initially, I ordered pool noodles off of You can find the pool noodles I ordered here.  Unfortunately, these pool noodles were lifted off of my patio (in the middle of December, oddly enough…I’m sure someone thought they were getting something great and then was hugely disappointed when it was pool noodles!), so we ended up using Pen’s pool noodles. Her daughter was devastated that we cut up her “favorite pool noodle”, I have yet to deliver on my promise of replacement…but that is another story for another day!

To start with, I cut four pool noodles in half and then notched the end into a point to create a little creepy spider walking horror.

Raw lady legs.
Pool noodles can be art!

After cutting up the pool noodles, this is what I ended up with.  Next, I cut one-quarter of the noodle off at the top to create a hinge joint-this allowed the legs to scuttle a bit once the legs were attached to the body creating a slightly disconcerting look as they moved.

After the noodles were all cut into similar shapes/sizes and the notch was in place, I pushed a zip-tie through the small end (just below the notch), and into the notched part of the large part of the noodle.  Finally, I tightened the pool noodle pieces together with the zip-tie as tightly as I could. This created the tension needed to give the legs a nice spider shape and to keep them high on the body.

Lady Legs Assembled
All zip-tied together.

Next, the real work begins!…Martha Stewart would be horrified by my awful sewing skills…

After the legs were assembled came the hard work…I had never used a sewing machine and I now had to sew eight leg sleeves.  The top quarter was made out of a shiny black material, the joint was a fuzzy black fabric that we used on the back (it was a bitch to cut, a bitch to sew, and overall a bitch to work with, but I did it!), and the bottom of the legs was a heavy duty black fabric with a mottled pattern on it that gave the legs a really amazing textured look. This 3D texture created a depth and realness without a lot of hard work and anguish.

Fuzzy fabric is a bitch to work with.
Pile of leg sleeves.

Although it was my first time using a sewing machine, it did not go too badly! I had a couple of false starts and was absolutely terrified of sewing my finger to the legs…but, I guess that just leaves a little part of me behind for future enjoyment! Despite my worst fears, I made it through all of the legs with minimal do-overs and multiple life skills gained!


Once the leg pieces were sewn together, we pulled them over Shelob’s noodly legs just like you would pull on a sock. Because the upper fabric was lighter and I kept the joint loose, we were able to keep the legs mobile and allow them to be positioned freely to give Shelob a much more realistic look.

Spider sock legs.
Pulling on the spider socks!

After the legs were completely assembled, into the backpack they went (as Pen had already created the leg slots).

In the backpack, we tied the legs together internally using a heavy duty picture hanging wire so that they would stay rigid, where we put them, but still have a bit of movement and life.

Finally, I hand-stitched the fuzzy fabric to the bottom of the leg piece (where the joint is) so that the pool noodle would not be able to be seen (as awesome as pink and green pool noodles are!).

Painful to cut this backpack up!
Attaching the legs into the backpack.

Next, we will start building our gloriously disturbing Shelob head, so stay tuned!

Check out our other Shelob makings!

Sweet, sweet spider booty here!




Rindell Fairbairn

My name is Rindell, Rindell Fairbairn, Rin for short, and you have somehow managed to find Hangry Hobbits, so, welcome! I hail from the rollin’ green hills and my cozy hobbit hole in the Shire is where I hang my cloak. My mother is Primrose Proudfoot and my father is Falco Fairbairn. My evenin’s are spent goin’ with Pen down to the Green Dragon and getting’ a cold refreshin’ pint (they come in pints in the Shire, now, too!) and relaxin’ in the sun with my feet in the dirt and my back against a tall tree, “Old Toby” halfling’s leaf in hand (get it fresh from Pen’s garden), and it’s always a party to remember when Gandalf shows up with some of his fireworks! Though I’m not one to ever turn away from a shortcut to mushrooms, very rarely do I set foot outside of the Shire…if home is where the heart is, then my heart is in these the woods, the fields, the little rivers and grassy knolls, reliable wildflowers, and, of course, second breakfasts.

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