Hanging Cage Halloween Prop
These easy hanging Halloween props use mostly Dollar Store materials and can be made for about $5 each. They are fun to make and look great indoors or outdoors, so grab some supplies and hang a few around your house this Halloween!
I know, I know, Halloween belongs to Handan. She makes the props, and she writes the posts. My job is to stage them and make them look scary in the photographs that I take. Beyond that, I should just shut up and look pretty, right?
Well, sister, not today.
Why should I spend my days and months busting my hump in the
dungeon basement building crap that no one in their right mind would ever try while she has all the fun and claims all the glory?
Not today, sister.
Today, I turn off my noisy machines, hang up my toolbelt and head to the Dollar Store for a basketload of China’s Finest Plastic, because today we’re going to make a cheap and easy Halloween prop that you can customize to your little heart’s content. Today, we’re going to make some hanging cages. What…or who…you put in the cages, well, that’s up to you.
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Hanging Cage Halloween Prop
Hanging Cage Halloween Prop Supplies List
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- 2 laundry baskets for each cage (Dollar Store)
- 1-3 plastic chains per cage (Dollar Store)
- Zip ties (Dollar Store)
- Black spray paint
HOW TO MAKE A Hanging Cage Halloween Prop
I started by spray painting the baskets. I know, I know, Handan usually paints stuff. But this is my project, so I painted them! Look, I even have proof!
That handsome devil with the spray paint is me, not Handan!
I painted four baskets so I could make two cages. After the baskets were painted and the paint had dried, I cut the rims off with the scissors. While doing this, I realized that I should have done this step before painting, as some of the paint chipped off. Not a big deal and easy to touch up, but I would suggest cutting the rims off first and then painting.
We forgot to take pictures of me cutting the rim off the first two baskets, but here is a dramatic re-enactment using a white basket.
I started the cut with the basket to the right of the scissors. This is counter-intuitive if you’re right-handed, but it worked better for these baskets.
I broke off the trimmed edge every once and a while. When the rim was removed, I went back around with the scissors to even things out.
For the second cage, I cut a little farther down the basket, so I could make it smaller.
If you don’t want to deal with cutting these plastic baskets, you can also use Dollar Store wire mesh waste baskets to make the cages.
At this point, I filled my cages with their occupants and secured them to the bottom with zip ties. Once my inmates were secured, I joined the two halves together. While trying to fit the two halves together, I saw that it would be more stable of one rim fit over the other, so I cut through the bottom rim.
This allowed me to shorten the bottom rim a bit by overlapping it so the top rim would fit over it.
Once I had the top rim fitting over the bottom rim, I secured them together with zip ties all around the rim.
The baskets have 18 spokes, so I attached a chain rung every 6 spokes. Depending on how long a chain you need, you may be be able to get away with 1 or 2 chains if you don’t need your cage to hang very low. Every other chain link is gapped, so it’s easy to shorten or lengthen them to your needs.
Once I had three lengths of chain secured to the top of each cage, I trimmed the excess from the zip ties.
And that was it! Done! Finished! Now I know why Handan loves these projects so much – they are totally inexpensive and dead simple to make (well, that’s not fair to her, because some of her Halloween projects are pretty intricate)! But she could finish enough projects to decorate a house while I’d still be rummaging around for supplies for one of my ridiculously complicated furniture projects.
Enough of my yapping, let’s see the finished product!
Meet Skully McRib and Ratface – two hapless schmucks who ran afoul of the law.
Their sentence ended years ago, but Skully enjoyed hanging around so much, that he decided to stay, and Ratface just couldn’t get enough of the delightful prison food.
We love to see our DIY Halloween decor out in the wild! If you make this Halloween DIY decor for your home, take a picture or video and post it on Instagram, be sure to tag us @TheNavagePatch!
Wait, you’re still here? Yeesh, I would have bolted after the first corny joke. But hey, since you stuck around, would you like to hear the story behind that rubber hand? If not, you can always bail by clicking here. For everyone else, read on!
More Easy DIY Halloween Decor Ideas
- DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light
- Easy Lighted Hanging Ghosts (A Dollar Store DIY)
- Free Vintage Movie Monster Printables
- Gallery Of The Faceless – Easy Halloween Wall Decor
- DIY Skull Sunflower Halloween Wreath
- DIY Lighted Witch Hat (Grandin Road Inspired)
- Apothecary Jars And Free Printable Labels
- DIY Witch Legs (Grandin Road Inspired)
- Eyeball Orb Halloween Wreath
- Dishes Of Darkness: Pottery Barn Inspired Halloween Plates
When I was growing up here in Glastonbury, CT, my favorite store was a place called Davis Hobbies. They sold all sorts of models you could build, they sold model trains, they sold radio-controlled cars, boats and airplanes. It was a little boy’s heaven, though almost everything in the store was beyond my skill and means. But besides all the motorized goodies, they also had a small section of novelties, gags and joke props. Boy, did I love that little corner of the store! Not only were those items priced within my meager reach, but I fancied myself something of a comedian and a prankster. I remember many of the things I bought from the Davis Hobbies joke department, but three stand out in particular. The first memory, and this is also the earliest memory, had to be from about 1979, 1980 or 1981, putting me between 7 and 9 years old. While browsing the spinning display rack of novelties, my young and mischievous eyes settled on a small, unassuming white tube with blue lettering.
“Invisible Ink” Read the tube.
Invisible ink! Holy smokes! No WAY!
I grabbed the package containing the tube and ran to the counter. I fished through the pockets of my Wrangler corduroys and plopped down my money. The clerk returned my change and put the package in a small brown paper bag. Grabbing the goods from the counter, I found my mom and dad and hightailed it out of the store. I had serious business to attend to! I remember the car ride home. We were in a late-model, wood-paneled behemoth of a Buick station wagon. My mom and dad rode up front, and I was hanging over the back of their bench seat, my mind and my mouth going 100 miles an hour. Plans zipped through my brain. I couldn’t believe my luck! I couldn’t believe they made such a product! I couldn’t believe it was so cheap! I couldn’t believe more people weren’t using it!
“The first thing I’m gonna do is go over and ring Gussy’s doorbell.” I proclaimed. Gussy was one of the neighborhood kids I played with. Like all the kids in my neighborhood, we were cool one-on-one, but as soon as he got with the other kids, I and my sister were the neighborhood whipping posts. Well, it was payback time. “It’s gonna be great!” I continued, “He won’t know it’s me! Oh I can’t wait to see his face!”
My dad parked the car, and I bolted inside to set my plans in motion. I opened the bag, snatched the package and tore through the cardboard to extricate the tube and its precious fluid.
I uncapped the tube.
This was it!
This was the moment I’d been waiting for my entire 7(ish) years on this earth!
It was a pretty small tube, I noticed. Well, a little probably went a long way. The folks who made this stuff were professionals, and they wouldn’t mess around with something this important.
I tilted the tube towards my arm and squirted.
Bluish water shot out of the tube, landed on my arm and spilled down onto the carpet of my bedroom.
Why was my arm still there? Why was it not invisible? I looked closer at the tube, and a terrible feeling crept into my gut. I tried another squirt and came to the heart-wrenching realization that this tube of invisible ink would not, in fact, make me invisible. Rather it was for writing secret messages to friends. I was crushed – my great plans of vengeance dashed upon the jagged rocks of reality.
My second memory is of the time I bought a little can of fart spray. I was in 8th grade at Gideon Wells Junior High School here in Glastonbury. It is mathematically impossible for an 8th grader with a can of fart spray to get into anything but trouble, and I was no exception. After winning the praise and adulation of my friends for my smart and savvy purchase, I decided to bring the fart spray on the bus to school one morning. One of my friends from the extended neighborhood, Mark, was sitting nearby. He was a year younger than I, so by the Rules of Life (Volume 9: The Dumbass Years), that made him fair game. I don’t remember if I prefaced the attack with a witticism, or if I just blindsided him without a word. What I do remember is little doofus me spraying Mark in the face with fart spray and then braying like a donkey afterwards.
He was justifiably upset. He may even have cried. I felt bad and started to get worried that maybe I went too far. I sat back down and sweated out the rest of the ride. When we got to school, I hightailed it to my homeroom. I kept looking at the clock, waiting for first period to begin.
But first period never came. Not for me.
The loudspeaker in my homeroom squawked to life and demanded my immediate presence in the office.
The walk to the school office felt like a thousand year march. When I got there, I was greeted by looks of disapproval and scorn by all occupants. They directed me towards the principal’s office. I knocked and was told to enter. I pushed the door open, and there sat Mark, eyes red and swollen from the fart spray. Across from him sat the principal with a look on his face like I’d never seen before and hoped never to see again. I stepped into his office and closed the door behind me.
This brings us to the hand. I bought that hand from the Davis Hobbies novelty corner when I was about the same age as when I bought the disappearing ink, maybe a year or two older. My initial plan for the hand was to wear it like a glove. In fact, I thought that was its intended purpose. But when I tried to fit my little hand inside, all I accomplished was tearing some of the rubber around the wrist of the hand – a wound that persists to this day.
Okay, so if I couldn’t wear the hand, what the heck was I supposed to do with it? I mean, it was pretty cool and all, but really, it didn’t do much besides sit there. In fact, it didn’t do anything besides sit there.
Inspiration struck one night when my parents went out to dinner, leaving my sister and me at home.
I was a little genius.
I hatched a plan so diabolical that Handan gets faint when I tell her about it all these years later.
I’d be long in bed and asleep when my parents came home, so I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the payoff, but I could still enjoy the planning and setup of my gag.
I took my severed hand and crept into my parents bedroom and turned left into the master bath. I lifted the toilet seat and placed the hand on the edge, palm down, fingers pointing out. Then I closed the lid of the toilet, securing the hand in place. I stepped back to admire my handiwork.
I crawled into bed, satisfied with a job well done and chuckling to myself imagining the good laugh my mom would have when my parents returned from dinner. I was sure she would see the same riotous humor that I did. Surely she’d crown me the King of Comedy the next morning. I drifted off to sleep thinking of my coronation.
I woke the next morning and went downstairs to accept my birthright and ascend my throne.
Huh. She’s pissed. That’s weird.
It never occurred to me that she would come home, flip on the lights in the master bath and think her son was dead in the toilet with only his hand sticking out.
That was the night I nearly gave my mother a heart attack.
Somehow, I managed to hold on to that hand throughout my childhood, high school and college. When I moved out on my own, I left it in my mother’s care, and against all odds, she held on to the wretched thing for all of those years. Sometime after we moved into this house, my mom found it and offered it back to its original owner. I’m glad to have it back. Handan uses it every Halloween, but lately it’s been calling me. It’s been calling me and telling me to put it somewhere…
Greg, I think you’re bad to the bone! hehehe!
Thank you, Tonya!
There is nothing like a good dramatic re-enactment to make a project pop! It really cleared up any questions I had! Lol! I loved the stories, we are the same age and seem to have a similar sense of humour. Must be a 70’s thing!
LOL, Thanks, Giselle! Were you also a mischievous kid?
This must be why Handan does the halloween!!! Lol awesome blog lol.
LOL, thank you, Erica!
Loved your prop! I have already made the Cousin It and the floating potion bottle; these cages will be perfect on the porch as a hint to those door-to-door salesmen! And your stories? Too funny! I went to school with a kid who must have been your brother-from-another-mother! We couldn’t wait to see what he would bring to school: snapping gum, whoopie cushions, fake dog poop, fake barf…good times!
Thank you, Sharon! Handan will be so happy to hear that you’ve been making all of her projects, and I’m psyched you’re going to make this one. Good luck, and send us some photos when you’re done!
very cool project greg, but as usual you outdid your project with your words the stories were great i loved them xx
Thank you, Chris! You had Handan worrying again, lol! You went 3 three hours over your 24 hour deadline before commenting, and Handan was getting anxious 🙂
Hahahaha – he is correct! Ever since the accident, I check your Facebook wall to see if you’re all ok if you don’t comment on Greg’s posts quick enough 😀
Oh shame Greg, your poor Mom. I would have totally lost it if that was me. LOL, 😀
She claims now not to remember the incident…but I do. I’ve told the story many times throughout the years! 🙂
Wow… this hanging cage is awesome. You did an amazing job. Thanks for sharing this post.
Thank you, Alina!
They actullay had a name for a “hanging cage”. It was called a gibbet. It was meant to deter people from straying from the path of serfdom.
Right you are, Maclovio! Thanks for the history lesson! 🙂
Great idea, BTW. I made one myself.
OMG, your Halloween props are amazing. I loved your story, I felt as thought I was reading from “A Christmas Story”. So funny! You always do excellent work.
Thank you so much, Ivory! 🙂
What is the structure you are hanging but from?
Hi Shannen, the cages are hanging from a double shepherd hook. You can find them at Home Depot, or on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2yzMfAJ
This is awesome! What size skeleton did you use for inside the cage?
Hi Courtney, I got a 36 inch skeleton from Michaels. Amazon also sells one here http://amzn.to/2y0PKkU
I have to say, this craft is great – my kids will truly enjoy making a few of these for Halloween… but, this story is hysterical! I’m a mom of 6 (21, 15, 13, 12, 10, & 8) and I promise that one of my kids wouldn’t wake up the next day without retribution….. well, maybe not the very next day since I would have to figure out how to get my revenge but it would eventually come. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to each post! Thank you for sharing this with us!
Thank you, Nicole! LOL, my mom doesn’t remember that prank. Probably a good thing! 😀
Greg, I thought I should let you now I just saw two of these pictures on one of my Face book pages, Doller Tree Projects, without any mention of your name or The Navage Patch.
Thank you, Annetta! We found her post and responded. She not only stole our pics, but she cropped out our logo, too. She knew what she was doing. Content Thieves are everywhere, but thanks to you, we shut one down! 🙂
OK, OK, I have a fart spray story that beats yours. My husband ordered some in the mail about 15 years ago. We were both in the Army at Fort Stewart, GA and went to the PX. Well, he decided to spray by one of his friends in the store. That sure was the stupidest thing he’d ever done. They instantly evacuated the store and called in the military to rule out terrorism or a massive gas leak. They quarantined the store, brought in the bomb squad and hazmat. This took about 15 minutes from the moment he sprayed until they got there. About 30 minutes later, they all left and about 30 minutes later they reopened. It was crazy. They never figured out what happened.
Hi Corinda, I’m sorry for the late reply! Yes, your fart story totally beats mine! LOLOL! I read this to Handan and we both had a great laugh. I’m trying to imagine the same scenario playing out in the the PX in Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan! Oh, man!
I enjoyed your stories. We had a rubber severed hand in our household; both of my kids were pranksters–can’t imagine where they got it! I opened the refrigerator door one morning to get the milk to put into my first cup of coffee, still rather catatonic! I let out a screech when I saw the hand grasping the milk jug! Stepson scared his grandfather with the envelope of rattlesnake eggs. Daughter scared her friend’s mom when she placed the spilled bottle of red nail polish and melted creamsicle on BRAND NEW furniture. She also got her kindergarten teacher when she was in second grade with a hand buzzer; the poor woman’s scream was heard the length of the school! She got with me with the fake barf when she yelled to me that the old cat hat barfed on the rug. She laughed hysterically when I came by armed with cleaner spray and paper towels and the barf skittered across the rug! Who bot this stuff in the first place–me!
Kathy, your kids are awesome! LOL! And you can’t blame them – after all it was YOU who bought all those jokester props for them! 😀
OMG-my boys did the same things you did-one was born in ’73 and the other in ’80-made my hair turn GREY before its time. But I laugh at the memories I have. Good job on the cages!
LOL, I think your boys and I would get along famously! 😀
I loved reading your stories. I teach 7th grade English and will be reading those to my students. As for sharing your ideas on FB? No way! I don’t want everyone to know how easy the projects were that I made!!! ha ha… Or, that I commandeered those jokes instead of thinking them up! Sorry about your luck on that one:) Seriously, though, I’m glad I stumbled upon your site. I will enjoy visiting with you.
LOL, I’m glad you like the stories, Barbara, and I’m thrilled you’ll be reading them to your students! 🙂
I’m so glad the Amazon ad suggested me Liquid Fart Spray, just to tie everything here together ?
These actually look amazing and there is no way I would suspect they were laundry baskets! I wish Halloween was a thing here because I would definitely be making a couple of these. Great project (and as always, thanks extra for the hilarious stories!)
LOL, did it really? Gotta love those contextual ads!
OMGAWD….I laughed so hard my stomach hurt reading this story!!!! The part about the fart spray! I couldn’t stop laughing…I had to walk away. Thanks Greg for sharing.
Las Vegas, NV
LOLOL! I’ll never forget that day!! 😀
I love this. Can you tell me where you got the rat? How tall is it?
Hi Sherry, we got the rat from GrandinRoad (link is below). But I believe Dollar Store also sells similar ones.
Ha ha thanks for the giggles, love Scully McRib and Ratface, that hand is brilliant! Wish i had storage space to make all these brilliant Halloween projects. Usually we get dressed up and take the children around our village, this year because of ‘the pesky virus’ my neighbour suggested the adults get dressed up, the children stay home leave their goody buckets at the gates and we go round and drop a bag of goodies in them so we shall see what happens hopefully there won’t be another complete lock down.
I hope you don’t have another lockdown, Catherine. The reports I’m reading over here of what’s going on in the UK and Australia paint a pretty grim picture of what the authorities are doing. I hope you’re holding up ok, and I do hope you’ll be able to get some trick-or-treaters at your door! 🙂
I would like to Light mine up at night… have you tried this? Any ideas on how to do that?
Hi Sherry, I light them up with these cheap solar spotlights from Amazon.
I’m a little late to the party. But just seeing your posts for the 1st time. Love them! DIY shouldn’t be too complicated or expensive, in my book. So I wanted to share one shortcut with you. I’ve cut pipe insulation foam into small circles to use for chain. You have to cut open to loop together. But one small dot of hot glue seals it back together. They’re not capable of bearing a lot of weight but make great props. And it works up quickly. Keep posting the great ideas!
Thank you, Carlene – that’s a great tip for making chain! I never would have thought of that. Have a happy Halloween!
I made the skeleton this year and dressed her like a girl with a fancy hat .. i got tons of compliments ,,, .thanks for the idea .. it was so fun and easy to do.
Oh good! I’m happy to hear that, Vicki!
Not sure where I first saw this idea, but I made a cage for a bat skeleton hanging from a rod. The baskets were bolted together without cutting the rim off. A dowel runs thru the gaps with the bat zip tied on it. The wife daughter and granddaughter love it!
All I can say is YOU CRACK ME UP!!
Your stories always give me a good belly laugh. And your detailed projects are pretty cool! Keep ’em coming!
Thank you, Barb, we sure will!