Spooky, scary skeletons aren't the only Halloween decor sending shivers down our spines this year. TikTok creators have been posting creeptastic DIY ideas for months now — including pumpkin-painting tips — but Australia-based artist Sophie Brown's (@nesti_home) massive black widow spider is an undeniable showstopper.
A test of bravery for even the most daring trick-or-treater, the 13.5-foot spider — affectionately named Mavis by Brown's followers — came alive after she followed a tutorial posted by crafting experts Wicked Makers on YouTube. Now, Mavis is waiting to make her Halloween debut in an area where trick or treating and wearing creepy costumes aren't exactly widespread traditions.
According to Brown, Halloween isn't widely celebrated in Australia, but the holiday has been gaining popularity in recent years, especially with her kids, who helped her give Mavis her signature black and red finish. As a budding Halloween enthusiast, Brown — who started pursuing her passion for DIY art at the start of the pandemic — did her best to follow the Wicked Makers' tutorial step by step, documenting the process on her Instagram Stories along the way. "I love all of that weird, gooey texture on her from the foam. It just makes her extra creepy," she tells POPSUGAR, adding that the foam-and-water technique she used to cover Mavis's body was the most difficult step to replicate."I'm nervous about hanging it up."
After a few trips to the hardware store to gather supplies — including cling wrap, hot glue, expanding foam, PVC pipes, acrylic spray paint, and more — Brown spent two days bringing Mavis to life, using a balloon and an exercise ball as the base for the haunting arachnid. Once the spider was complete, Brown briefly hung her up to test her durability, adding that the eerie creature was able to withstand a massive storm last year.
When she's not clinging to a bed of cotton cobwebs on the front of the house, Mavis is resting on the floor in the family living area with her legs across the room in a cardboard box. But Mavis's time to truly shine is almost here. "I'm nervous about hanging it up," Brown says, adding that she's glad she "didn't make any children cry" last year when Mavis was first introduced. In a neighborhood where Halloween is a growing phenomenon, the giant black widow will definitely have its time in the jack-o'-lantern-illuminated spotlight, and Brown hopes Mavis won't be the only DIY spider lingering over someone's doorstep this Halloween.
"I just love teaching people how to make things and coming up with ways that people can be creative, because when you become an adult, you don't get to have those times to be creative," she says. "My focus is [helping] people make things that they love but also get a lot of joy out of the process of the making."
Creating a giant spider from scratch is a lot of work, but retailers like Grandin Road, Amazon, and more have us covered. Ahead, shop giant spiders, and see Brown's step-by-step DIY tutorial as you prepare for Halloween.