Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Giant scary clown Pez dispenser!!! — part 1


Published by Manning on September 16th, 2018

I made this 6-foot scary-ass clown Pez dispenser for my Halloween party in 2018! The idea came to me when I was working on some other giant candies and realized this would be a pretty easy project that would really add to the overall ambiance.

Giant evil clown Pez dispenser - finished!!!

My first step for this project was laying everything out in Photoshop and figuring out the exact measurements for the “body” of the Pez dispenser — the evil clown head I pretty much just freestyled!

Making the Pez dispenser

Evil clown Pez dispenser sculpture - cutting foam board to make the body

I built the Pez dispenser “body” shape out of several sheets of 30″ x 20″ foam board, which I measured and cut and taped together with shipping tape. I do lots of planning and measuring in Photoshop so I know exactly what panels I need to cut out. See my article about working with foam board.

The panels you’re looking at in the pic above are for the front/back/sides of the Pez dispenser, as well as the long strips that make up the narrow protruding panels in the front and back. That’s a lot of foam board! And this isn’t including the pieces for the top and bottom of the body, or the triangular supports inside (coming up), etc.

Evil clown Pez dispenser sculpture - adding internal supports

Before assembling the main big box shape I added some triangular supports inside along the length, to help make the shape a little more solid and less crush-able.

Evil clown Pez dispenser sculpture - body shape complete

I taped the box-shape closed and then taped the long narrow panels onto the front and back. I added some long strips of masking tape on the body to help prevent warping when I apply the paper maché. The feet aren’t attached yet in this pic.

Evil clown Pez dispenser sculpture - paper maché

When the body shape was assembled I covered the entire thing in a layer of paper maché to hide the tape and to unify the overall texture. You can read about my paper maché process and materials here. You can see the feet back there drying separately (info on those coming up), as well as a giant candy cane and a giant gummi bear — posts about those coming soon.

Making the feet

Evil clown Pez dispenser sculpture - making the feet out of foam board

I made the feet for the Pez dispenser out of four layers of foam board, with strips of construction paper and masking tape running all the way around to conceal the edges of my imperfectly-cut layers.

This might sound like overkill, but I put two wooden spatulas from the dollar store in the feet to help keep them rigid; my reason for this is that I expected party guests to move the Pez dispenser around to take pictures with it, and I realized that with all the weight I’d be adding in the bottom (info on that coming up) there was a risk of breaking the feet if someone leaned the dispenser forward on its toes. This is one of those things where I had no idea if it would work while I was doing it.

Anyway, I cut out spaces for the spatulas in two layers of the foam board and glued them in there with lots of Gorilla Glue so it would expand and lock them in place. Before the glue had time to dry and expand, I taped the feet panels firmly together. The whole shape felt nice and solid and heavy. I then covered the feet in one layer of paper maché.

For the candy-dispensing mechanism in the “neck,” I just cut the various pieces out of foam board and taped them in place, and then covered them with a layer of paper maché — I then reinforced the points where the neck connects to the body with six more layers of paper maché; I need this part to be strong because it’ll have to support the giant clown head.

Making the Pez logo

For the Pez logo on the sides, I found a high-res image online and printed the letters out at the appropriate size. In doing my research I found that some Pez dispensers have the logo with the letters right-side up and stacked on top of each other, and some have the letters turned sideways so they run along the length of the dispenser if you hold it sideways. I opted to stack the letters up for mine.

The logo has two layers; I used foam board for the background layer and craft foam for the smaller pieces in the foreground.

Evil clown Pez dispenser sculpture - cutting out the Pez logo

I traced the complete letter shapes onto foam board and cut them out to make the background layer.

Giant evil clown Pez dispenser - 3d letters

I covered these foam board letter shapes with a layer of paper maché, mostly just to hide the ugly edges. They warped a little bit when they dried, so I laid them under heavy books for a couple days to flatten them back out. In hindsight, I should have made these parts out of craft foam, like I did for the smaller bits. Craft foam wouldn’t need the paper maché and I wouldn’t have to worry about it warping.

Giant evil clown Pez dispenser - finishing the letters

I cut the smaller foreground shapes out of craft foam. For the irregular shapes in the letter “P” I cut one of out of paper and traced it onto the craft foam. The rest of the shapes are all rectangles, so I just measured them and drew them in long rows on the craft foam using a ruler; three different sizes of rectangles and a total of 76 rectangles for the two Pez logos on either side of the dispenser.

I then spread lots of wallpaper adhesive onto the letter backgrounds and laid the small craft foam pieces in place.

I attached the background layers of the letters to the sides of the Pez dispenser with Tacky Glue.

(Of course I repeated these steps for both sides of the Pez dispenser.)

Assembling the Pez dispenser

Giant evil clown Pez dispenser - adding weight in the base

I wanted to add a lot of weight in the bottom of the Pez dispenser to help it stand upright; without any weight in the bottom, the weight of the head might make it easy for the whole thing to tip over. I used plastic bottles full of water for the weight; I then used Gorilla Glue (which expands a lot) to glue the bottles inside the base, and I also added a lot of masking tape just in case; I don’t want these things rolling around in there. I attached four bottles, one on each side inside the box shape.

I attached the body to the feet with a few techniques: first I glued down the edge of the body with Tacky Glue, and when that was dry I put several of layers of heavy duty shipping tape around the base of the body where it connects to the feet. Lastly, I covered all that tape with about four layers of paper maché.

That’s all for part one! On to part two: making the scary clown head and more!

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