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Halloween Decoration: How to Make a Lawn Skeleton (page 1 of 2)

This Halloween, build a few of these creepy, but happy skeletons to fill your front yard. It is an easy woodworking project, perfect for beginners.

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Step-by-Step Instructions:

Because this project won't remain outdoors for long, it's not necessary to use exterior-rated wood. We used exterior primer and paint for the finish.

Project Cut List

Shoulders – two at 3/4" x 1-1/2" x 8-5/8"
Upper arms – two at 3/4" x 1-1/2" x 12-5/8"
Forearms – two at 3/4" x 1-1/2" x 13-1/16"
Palms – two at 3/4" x 1-1/2" x 4-1/16"
Thumbs – two at 3/4" x 3/4" x 4"
Forefingers – two at 3/4" x 3/4" x 5-3/8"
Middle fingers – two at 3/4" x 3/4" x 5"
Pinkies – two at 3/4" x 3/4" x 5-3/8"
Head one 15-inch edge-glued round panel
Neck – one at 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" x 18"

In any woodworking project, it's typically best to cut all parts for as you need them and not all at once. One small error can ruin an entire stack of lumber. This project uses pocket hole joinery in one step.

Create the Arms

Use the layout in image 1 (below) as a guide for marking, cutting and drilling pocket holes in the shoulders. Cut a 22.5-degree miter on one end. Be sure to create one as a mirror image of the other.

Then mark, cut to shape and drill pocket holes in the upper arms (image 2). Cut a 22.5-degree miter on one end. Be sure to create one as a mirror image of the other.

Then mark, cut to shape and drill pocket holes in the forearms. Cut a 45-degree miter on one end. Be sure to create one as a mirror image of the other.

Attach the 22.5-degree end of the shoulders to the 22.5-degree end of the upper arms using glue and 1-1/4" pocket-hole screws. Attach the 45-degree end of the forearms to the upper arms using glue and 1-1/4" pocket-hole screws. Create two assemblies, one as a mirror image of the other.

Make the Hands

Cut the palms to size per the dimensions in the cut list. Use the layout in image 1 (below) as a guide for marking, cutting and drilling pocket holes in the thumbs, forefingers, middle fingers and pinkies. Create two of each, one set as a mirror image of the other set.

Attach the thumbs, forefingers, middle fingers and pinkies to the palms using glue and 1-1/4" pocket-hole screws (image 2). Create the other hand assembly as a mirror image of the first (images 3 and 4).

Attach Hands to Arms

Position the forearms centered on the back edge of the palms as shown in image 1 and attach using glue and 1-1/4" pocket-hole screws (images 2 and 3).

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