Making an Electric Chair Prop

Written by camela bryan
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Making an Electric Chair Prop
(speaker wire image by Paolo from

An electric chair with a frightening occupant is an easy but disturbing Halloween decoration. If you need a realistic electric chair for a stage prop, choose a chair design that will be appropriate to the era of the play. The first electric chairs were ordinary looking wooden arm chairs with added straps. You could make a more modern-looking model with a dental chair. If your play is in the fantasy-horror genre, let your imagination run wild and add lots of shiny wires and springs to a large black iron chair.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Armchair
  • Dog collars
  • Duct tape
  • Leather belt
  • Large clip-on gooseneck desk lamp
  • Extension cords
  • Small box
  • Ruler with holes
  • Wire
  • Spray paint

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  1. 1

    Tape large, thick dog collars to the arms and legs of the chair. Tape ankle straps 8 inches from the floor on the front legs of the chair and straps a few inches from the front and back of the chair arms. These would secure the victim's ankles, wrists and forearms. Tape a belt to the middle of the back of the chair.

  2. 2

    Remove the bulb from a large gooseneck clamp-on desk lamp. Clamp it to the back of the chair and curve it forward so the shade of the lamp becomes the "hat" of the electric chair.

  3. 3

    Cut the top off a small cardboard box. An 8-inch cube would be a good size. Poke a hole in the centre of two opposite sides of the box, 1 inch below the top edge. Stand the ruler up in the box.

  4. 4

    Run a wire into the hole on one side of the box, through the hole in the centre of the ruler and out through the other hole. Secure the wire with duct tape or by poking it back into the box an inch lower on each side. Spray paint the switch or cover it with black tape. Be careful not to hinder the movement of the switch if you use tape.

  5. 5

    Cut a hole near the bottom of the box and stick one end of the extension cords inside. Secure the cord with tape. Tape the other end of the cord under the base of the electric chair. Add lights, sounds, cobwebs or other decorations as desired.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want to use the chair as a Halloween decoration, give it an occupant. Stuff a long-sleeve jumpsuit with rags, then add shoes and gloves. Make a head by dressing a soccer ball or a volleyball in a mask and wig.
  • If this will be a stage prop that someone will actually sit in, you may have to add a higher back to the chair. Cut a piece of plywood so it will fit between the arms of the chair. Screw or tape it to the chair. Add the lamp and perhaps more straps for the head and neck.

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