stilts

Halloween is fast-approaching, and makers everywhere are gearing up. They’re strolling right past the aisles full of mass-produced costumes, heading instead to the hardware aisle, the fabric section, or the arts & crafts department, gathering materials for their own custom costume creations.

One item that can play a starring role in a variety of custom-made costumes is a good set of digitigrade stilts. These are stilts that imitate digitigrades, which are any creatures that walk on their toes (or digits). This includes animals like cats and dogs, as well as mythological creatures like werewolves, dragons, fauns, and minotaurs.

A custom set of these stilts can be pretty expensive, not to mention hard to find. But with a little elbow grease, a quick trip to the hardware store, and a Saturday afternoon, you can make a pair of your very own digitigrade stilts for a fraction of the cost.

I recently put together a pair of my own digitigrade stilts over the course of a few hours, and afterwards I made this quick video to show you how it’s done.

Here’s what you’ll need to make the stilts:

  • 2x)  1″x4″x2′ boards
  • 1x) 2″x6″x4′ board
  • 1x) Box of 1 3/4″ wood screws
  • 8x) 1″ machine bolts with matching nuts
  • 24x) Washers to fit machine bolts
  • 8x) lock washers to fit machine bolts
  • 4x) 2′ sections of shelving brackets
  • 4x) 3″ x 3″ T-Plate connectors
  • 2x) Adjustable velcro straps
  • 1x) 4″ PVC coupler
  • 1x) length of pipe insulation foam
  • 6x) zipties
  • 2x) 24″ bungee cords
  • 1x) Old pair of shoes

You’ll also need these tools:

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Electric drill with drill & driver bits
  • Pliers (or socket set – used for tightening bolts)
  • Hacksaw
  • Miter saw (or handsaw with miter box)

For step-by-step instructions (and to see the finished product), check out the video below!