Sweet, Sweet Spider Booty; A Shelob Cosplay Adventure
Shelob cosplay in the basement is exactly how it sounds like: Horrifying.
Much like how Ron Weasely must have felt venturing into Aragog’s forest, we felt a certain sense of horror building a giant spider goddess in my basement where her not-so-much-smaller children could come out of the woodwork – or rather that ominous drain hole in the corner-– at any moment. There’s nothing like seeing a spider that could take out your big toe with one bite, just as the motion sensor light goes off to send a shiver down your spine. But, I was determined to bring Shelob to life, and after surreptitiously covering the drainpipe, and turning on every light in the basement and then some, we were ready to begin.
As you can see from this diagram, spiders are very complicated creatures with many parts.
I was put in charge of the abdomen and the thorax aka Shelob’s lovely lady lumps. We needed to body to be large – large enough to cover the bearer.. er… I mean wearer and accommodate the many long legs. You could say that this arachnid needed awesome assets… Which made me the perfect hobbit for the job – I’m no stranger to having junk in one’s trunk. Speaking of junk in my trunk, one of the nice thing about being a craft hoarder is that I don’t have to go far for materials!
To build the Spider’s ass, er I mean abdomen, I took some foam egg crate and cut it into 3 strips, probably 3×2 feet in size. I then laid one down in the middle, and places the other two on top at an angle to form a sort of fan. To clamp the strips together, I use pieces of cardboard on either side, pressed down hard and stapled together with a staple gun – not your average office staple gun, but more like a carpenter’s staple gun. This acted like a sort of rivet, that, after a good pounding with the hammer held the foam together well.
After ensuring that the egg crate was sturdily attached, I cut two horizontal lines, at a slight diagonal about halfway through the two outer pieces. These lines allowed me to fold the egg crate, creating a concave that worked nicely to form Shelob’s rear. Once I had the shape looking symmetrical, I used my cardboard rivets again to tack the folds in place, making the shape more permanent.
To further ensure that the abdomen kept it’s shape, I took some wire coat hangers and bent them into a loop shape that served as a frame to hold the bottom edges of the egg crate in its bulbous form. Once the foam was hand stitched to the wire, it was just a matter of covering the whole thing with fabric.
Much the way that Bob Ross treats his oopsies when painting, I like to try and turn unfortunate draw backs into total wins.
Like the fact that the three crate pieces were 3 smaller pieces and not one giant piece (it was what I had laying around…) or the fact that I meant to have the center piece be on top and the two outer pieces be on the bottom, but due to having recently hit the old gaffer’s leaf a bit too hard, I got my spinnerets crossed and accidentally inverted the whole thing when I attached it to the metal loop. Being the lazy hobbit that I am, I couldn’t be bothered with undoing all of the stitching and starting over, so I decided to just roll with it and see what happened. I was, however, very pleasantly surprised to find that once covered in black fabric, the effect of the two outer pieces was quite pleasant, and worked with the contours to give Shelob’s robust rump a refreshing ripple effect. After covering the entirety of the piece in the black fabric we had picked out, we were ready to connect it to the other body piece – the Thorax.
Stay tuned for more about putting this beast together!