How to Make Dungeon Prop Shackles for Halloween

Updated February 21, 2017

Take your Halloween visitors on a tour of the dungeons to see the frightening creatures jailed there. Make shackles to hold your dangerous prisoners to the wall and use real metal chains to create a realistic sound. Chandelier chain is an ideal choice because it is inexpensive and easy to work with. Hang paper stone walls and use dim lighting give any space the feel of an underground dungeon. Make a dungeon in the school gym for a carnival or in your garage for an at-home event.

Cut four 3-inch strips from poster board.

Measure the prisoner's wrists and ankles. Cut two strips of poster board that are 2 inches longer than the wrist measurement and two strips that are 2 inches longer than the ankle measurement.

Shape the strips into a ring, overlapping the ends by 1 inch. Apply a 1-inch square of self adhesive hook-and-loop tape on the ends of the rings to hold them together.

Measure 2 feet of chain. Hold the link at the 2-foot point with a pair of pliers, grasping it next to the opening in the link. Grasp the link on the other side of the opening with a second pair of pliers. Pull the pliers apart to open the chain.

Tape the ends of the 2-foot piece of chain to the ankle rings.

Make a 4-foot-length of chain by opening a link 4 feet from the end of the chain. Tape the ends of this chain to the wrist rings. Tape the middle of this chain to the wall, tie it to a banister with cord or place it behind a large rock or breeze block.

Have the prisoner wear the shackles around her wrists or ankles.


Do not use duct tape on a finished wall. It will damage paint, stain and wallpaper.

Things You'll Need

  • Black poster board
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler
  • Shears
  • Self adhesive hook-and-loop tape
  • Black chandelier chain
  • 2 pairs of pliers
  • Cord (optional)
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About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.