Fans of Tim Burton will love this DIY Beetlejuice snake porch decor. The Halloween scary snake basket is sure to bring screams of fright and delight to your costume-wearing trick or treaters when they get to your front door on October 31.
The movie “Beetlejuice,” a classic by Tim Burton, had three snake appearances in it. Although Burton’s snake had a bigger head than my snakes do, the black and white stripes, so popular in the movie, add a fun touch to my Halloween porch decor.
I think the material also gives the snakes a slithering effect which is slightly hair-raising.
Imagine how people would jump if you had this decoration on your front door steps? It’s perfect to have outside on your porch, along with your carved pumpkins, to add some spooky Halloween curb appeal.
Since the Beetlejuice snake was a sandworm – a species of worm-like snakes that inhabit a world known as “Saturn,” I thought it was appropriate for my snakes to be emerging from the ground in a planter bucket.It's Beetlejuice sandworm time! This DIY Halloween scary snake basket is sure to delight and frighten your Halloween visitors this fall. 🐸👻☠🎃😈👺🧛♀️🐸 Click To Tweet
Halloween scary snake basket
I originally made a version of this snake basket for my Gardening Cook site. The project was a bit more whimsical and fall looking, rather than spooky and frightening. I used some pre-formed striped picks for the snakes.
Although I loved these snakes when I first made them, they never looked quite “Beetlejuice” enough for me.
I finally decided to remake the the project when I figured out how to make them more to my liking, by using duct tape and foam dowels!
Making this DIY Beetlejuice snake porch decor
This Beetlejuice snake project is very easy to put together. You’ll need these supplies:
- 5 x 15 mm Eva foam dowels
- 32 gauge floral stem wire
- Green moss
- Wooden bucket
- Black and white striped material
- Black duct tape
- White duct tape
- Packing peanuts or other type of filler for the basket
You’ll also need a barbecue skewer to make a hole in the dowels to poke the floral wire through.
Note on the dowels: You can use either white or black dowels. I had both on hand and used them in my project. The dowels will be covered in duct tape and won’t show.
Making the Beetlejuice snakes
The bendable quality of the snakes is made by using a floral wire center. The thickest wire you can get will give the best results in how much the snakes will be able to be formed into twisted shapes. You can even double up on the wire if it will fit through your dowels.
Start by using the barbecue skewer to poke a hole in the center of the foam dowels. This is the part of the project that takes the longest. The foam “grabs” the skewer making it hard to push through.
This method pre-drills a center holes in the dowels, similar to drilling and adding raw plugs in woodworking projects. It takes a while to get the technique down, but makes inserting the floral wire much easier.
I found it easiest to just insert from the outside into the center in short sections, rather that to try and poke the skewer all the way through. If you can get it through in one piece, even better.
Next, push the floral stem wire through the foam dowels. The floral wire is bendable, and so is the foam, so it’s easy to form the dowels into snake-like shapes.
I used single wire through the center of the dowel and some extra pieces of wire in each end. You will use the top end to form the snake head and the bottom end to poke the snakes into the bucket.
Wrapping the snakes
Once you have the wire inserted, it is time to make the snakes!
The snakes are made with full width strips of white duct tape and smaller 5/8″ pieces of black duct tape. Cutting your tape and having it ready ahead of times makes wrapping the snakes faster.
Wrap the dowels with the wider white tape, leaving a 5/8″ space between each piece. When you have done this, wind the spaces between the white tape with the thinner pieces of black tape to give the traditional Beetlejuice striped effect.
At the top end, cut a 1 1/4 inch strip of black duct tape and wrap it tightly in a point to form the snakes head.
Continue wrapping the dowels in this manner until they are all covered in the duct tape. An added bonus of wrapping the dowels is that it makes the snakes more water-proof, which means that you can display them outdoors as well as using them for indoor decor projects.
At the bottom end, cover the pieces of floral wire to finish the stems for the bucket. This step is not absolutely necessary since the ends will be under the moss, but it finishes up the project and makes the snakes easier to store for another year.
When you are done, you’ll have a pile of bendy snakes ready to go into your porch bucket.
Finishing up the DIY Beetlejuice snake porch decor
The Halloween scary snake basket is simple to finish. You’ll need something in the bottom of your bucket to fill it up.
Add some crumpled paper, plastic packing peanuts, or floral foam will all work fine. Add enough filler to go almost to the top of the bucket.
Next, add a layer of green moss to cover the top of the packing material. These Beetlejuice snakes are sandworm predators, so it stands to reason that they would love to live under a layer of moss in a bucket, just waiting for the right opportunity to strike!
Use your hands to manipulate the “snakes” by making curves and bends in the foam. Be sure that the head of the snakes has a sharp curve to make it look as though the snake is ready to strike at anyone who comes near.
Poke the ends of the snakes through the moss and arrange them as you like. I made some tall snakes ready to strike and some curled up, just waiting for their prey!
My wooden bucket had a diameter of 10 inches and I had plenty of room for 4-5 snakes.
Note on the snakes: The shorter you cut your dowels, the more curly you can make the snakes. Longer dowels give the snakes a more flowing look.
Time to display my Halloween scary snake basket!
This hair-raising Beetlejuice snake bucket makes the perfect addition to your Halloween porch decor. Add lots of fall greenery nearby, but be careful not to let the snakes get loose in them!
The stark contrast of the black and white snakes slithering up from the green moss and rustic bucket is both frightening and fun to display. If you are having an adult Halloween party, the sights of these snakes as guests arrive is sure to scare them silly!
I guarantee you that guests will want to know where you purchased the Beetlejuice snakes. Won’t it be fun to tell them that you made them yourself?
Place them next to a carved jack o lantern to make a vignette of spooky decorations!
Pin this DIY Beetlejuice snake project for later
Would you like a reminder of this Halloween scary snake basket? Just pin this image to one of your Halloween boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.
You can also watch our video on YouTube to get in the mood for the project.
For more whimsical Halloween scary projects, be sure to check out my list of witches leg decor ideas. They are also a lot of fun to do.
Admin note: This Beetlejuice inspired Halloween scary snake basket first appeared on the blog in October of 2013. I have updated the post to redo the project with new materials and all new photos, a printable project card and a video for you to enjoy.
- 5 x 15 mm Eva foam dowels (either white or black works fine.
- 32 gauge floral stem wire
- Green moss
- Wooden bucket
- Black duct tape 2 7/8" wide
- White duct tape 2 7/8" wide
- Packing peanuts or other type of filler for the bucket
- Sharp barbeque skewer
- Use the sharp barbecue skewer to poke holes in the center of the foam dowels. It is easiest to do this in short sections along the tube than to try and poke it all the way in one push.
- Poke the floral stem wire through the foam dowels.
- Cut the white duct tape into pieces and wrap the dowels, leaving a 5/8" space between the white strips.
- Cut the black duct tape into 5/8" pieces and wrap the dowels in the open space between the white tape.
- Cut small pieces of black duct tape and press it over the end of the foam dowels, making it some to a sharp point for the snake head.
- Use a long piece of black duct tape to cover the floral wires on the bottom end.
- Add some packing peanuts or crumpled paper in the base of your bucket and cover it with the green moss.
- Use your hands to manipulate the “snakes” by making curves and bends in the foam. Be sure that the head of the snakes has a sharp curve.
- Poke the long black covered ends of the floral wire into the moss and place the snakes so that they look as though they are ready to strike.
- Arrange the snakes as you like and enjoy!
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