This 6-Foot Long COVID Friendly Halloween Candy Chute encourages social distancing for a safe and happy Halloween full of Trick or Treating! No expensive tools required!
At the beginning of 2020 I had a ton of optimism. I was in my new home in my new part of Texas and I was really excited about my new neighborhood. When I toured my soon-to-be house I had noticed that there are a lot of young families with a ton of children roaming around. And a ton of children means lots of little eyes to see my Christmas decorations and a ton of little princesses and monsters and all manner of dressed up littles on my front porch for Halloween. It would be the first time in over a decade that I’d have the chance to pass out treats! What a great house!
Only in my house for 2 months, COVID suddenly happened and 2020 got really weird really fast… But I was still optimistic that we had several months for this pandemic thing to work itself out, no problem-o. When September rolled around I came to the sad conclusion that we weren’t anywhere near being back to normal. And that likely meant that typical trick or treating wasn’t in the cards for 2020. That’s when I drew up plans for a PVC COVID candy chute but things were hectic and crazy and I never got around to building it. But I really didn’t thank that there would be any trick or treaters to use it anyway.
Boy was I wrong.
As I peeked out my kitchen window on the 31st I saw lots of kids. They were all decked out in their Halloween garb and looking so happy. And I couldn’t blame them… Finally a good, normal thing in 2020. And the perfect time to wear a mask :)
With my COVID candy chute only an idea and not a reality I was sad that I had missed my opportunity. And I really didn’t think we’d be in the same COVID boat for Halloween 2021 to make it then. (What can I say? I’m an optimist :) Unfortunately we’re smack dab in a pandemic but things are a little closer normal this year than last. Maybe it’s because I’ve finally gotten used to wearing a mask in public. Maybe it’s because I feel like with smart choices we don’t have to be so afraid. And with things getting back to normal, I figure if there were a lot of kids last year, here are going to be a ton this year!
Wanting to had out candy and toys to trick or treaters but maintaining a safe social distance this year I decided to make my idea become a reality.
Ready to learn more about this awesome COVID Social Distancing Friendly Halloween Candy Chute? Let’s get our tools and supplies together…
A Quick Word About Sourcing Materials for This Project
Right now with COVID causing shortages and demand from online retailers tools and supplies can be a lot more expensive than they would have been pre-pandemic. I strongly suggest shopping around when possible. Currently everything can be purchased from Walmart, Home Depot, or Lowes with curbside pick up for far less than from Amazon.
Supplies Needed to Make a Freestanding Candy Chute:
- 3 Qty – 3/4″ x 10′ Schedule 40 PVC Pipe
- 4 Qty – 3/4″ 90° Side Outlet PVC Elbow
- 6 Qty – 3/4″ PVC Slip Tee
- 7′ of Schedule 40 PVC Pipe 2-4″ Diameter (more information directly below)
- 1.5″ – 2.5″ #6 Bolts with Nuts
I played around with a lot of options when it comes to PVC for this project doing my best to make the project budget friendly. The base is made completely from 3/4″ Schedule 40 PVC and fittings because they are inexpensive and easy to acquire at pretty much any hardware store. I was able to purchase the PVC pipes, side outlet elbows, and slip tees for only $25.41. And since nothing is permanently put together, this project can be taken apart for either convenient storage or another project when we don’t have fuss with COVID and it’s social distancing.
The PVC pipe for the candy chute can get a little expensive but there are a few options…
I used a 4″ PVC pipe which is honestly overkill unless you’re keen on sending full sized candy bars to every kid with a costume. But my dad had a piece he wasn’t using so it was free and nothing beats free. If you know anybody who is big into DIY give them a shout and ask if they have a piece of PVC 1.5″ in diameter or larger that is at least 7 feet long. Heck, it worked out for me.
If you’ll need to purchase your own, PVC pipe is sold in 10′ lengths and you can currently find a 4″ pipe for around $32, a 3″ pipe for around $26, or a 2″ pipe for around $13. I’d strongly suggest purchasing your pipe and fittings online to pick up in store. The plumbing aisle is pretty much always busy at hardware stores and it can get stressful trying to find the pieces you need in a crowd.
Tools Needed to Build a Basic PVC Candy Chute:
If you have a fancy mitre saw, you can make quick work of our PVC Cut List. However, the tools for this project don’t have to be fancy or expensive. You can purchase a mitre box and saw set from Walmart for less than $10, a rubber mallet for $3, and a corded power drill for around $20 (I actually own this exact model).
How to Build a Self-Standing PVC Chute
First things first, you’ll need to cut all of your pieces of PVC. What you can see above is the basic frame. I found that this size had a decent amount of stability and met the guidelines of keeping 6 feet of distance between trick or treater and giver.
PVC Candy Chute Cut List:
Here you will find all of the pieces you will need to cut to build the base for a socially distanced Halloween Candy Chute that keeps the Trick or Treater and the Candy Giver 6 feet apart.
- 6 Qty – 3/4″ x 23″ PVC
- 2 Qty – 3/4″ x 60″
- 4 Qty – 3/4″ x 4.25″ PVC
- PVC Pipe for Chute – 2″ to 4″ Diameter x 7′ Long
- Landscaping Staples or Sandbags
Quick Tip – Cut your 7′ chute piece with matching 15° angle cuts at both ends of the chute for a more finished look.
How to Put the PVC Together
With all of your PVC cut piece them together as seen in the diagram above. There is no need to glue the pieces together, simply pop them in place. Any pieces that are difficult to put together can be smacked onto the ground or tapped in place with a mallet. Once Halloween is in the rearview you can pull this candy chute apart to easily store. If necessary you can pop the pieces back in place if next year we still need a socially distanced way to trick or treat. If not the PVC can be used in other projects!
Want to have this diagram right in front of you? Download the free printable PDF and build your candy chute screen-free!
Using a drill create small guide holes in the 4.25″ sides and through the large diameter chute pipe. Use nuts and bolts to secure the chute into the the cradles on each end.
Note – It might be necessary to position your chute against a wall or solid surface to keep it in place as you add the bolts.
To Paint or Not to Paint
You might notice that while my PVC candy chute started out as standard white PVC it changed colors a little bit. I decided to paint the ends of the actual chute black because the white up against the coffin really stood out. I also painted the legs (where not covered by the coffin) with green paint to blend in with the grass I’m going to have it sitting on. Using chalk paint I already in my stash and I only applied a single coat so that I can easily wash it away if I decide I want to use the PVC for other projects once Halloween is done.
Painting the PVC is an optional step – feel free to paint or not depending on how you decorate your chute up!
How to Secure Your Halloween Candy Chute
So you’ve got this awesome structure built but how do you make sure it stays upright? Luckily you can secure your candy chute for a hard surface (like a concrete sidewalk) or in the ground (grass, dirt, etc.)
I’m personally anchoring my Halloween chute in the grass of my front yard. I figure it’s a lot safer for everyone to gather in the openness of my lawn than in the tight entryway and my practically nonexistent front porch. But if I had a bigger porch I’d probably set up closer to the front door.
To anchor in the ground you’ll need Landscaping Staples. They are inexpensive and can be hacked for a lot of garden use making them reusable. Simply push the staples into the ground around the pipes. If your ground is hard a mallet or hammer will help you set them firmly in place. The more staples you use the more sturdy the candy chute will be.
Placing your chute on concrete or another hard surface?
No worries! You’ll need sandbags or something similar. I successfully used bags of mulch that I covered with a tarp and it worked pretty well for the porch. When adding weights just make sure that they do not stick out and pose a trip risk to your trick or treaters.
Have a better idea? If you’ve thought of a clever way to weight your PVC chute down let us know in the comments, please!
Decorate Your Chute However You Please!
One of the great things about this project is your chute is just a blank slate that you can decorate any way you please. I had 2 ideas, the first being to paint the entire piece to blend in wherever you’re setting it up and then cover in cobwebs and spiders!
The other option is far more time consuming but it is so cool looking! Cover the top of your candy chute with a foam coffin. You can then position Halloween skeletons on each side like they’re carrying the coffin around!
Supplies Needed to Create a Foam Coffin Candy Chute Cover:
- 1/2″ thick 4′ x 8′ Foam Insulation Board – Qty 1
- Construction Adhesive
- Tan Chalk Paint (I used Waverly Fawn available at Walmart)
- Black Tempera Paint
- Matte or Satin Polyurethane/Sealer (if kept Outdoors)
Some adhesives will melt foam. Take care to read the packaging to make sure any adhesive you use includes foam on it’s list of substrates.
What Kind of Insulation Foam Board Should You Purchase?
There are 3 different types of foam you can find at the hardware store. What you want is extruded polystyrene (XPS). It is easy to find as it is normally a color like pink, blue, or green. It’s a super smooth and easy to carve foam that will make this project so easy to complete.
You want to avoid expanded polystyrene which is a white foam sheet. It looks an awful lot like those cheap foam coolers you can grab at the convenience store in the summer. The structure is very cellular and can make smooth carving difficult. Also avoid polyisocyanurate and it is a rigid foam that is covered in paper or silver material. It won’t cut as easily and smoothly as extruded polystyrene.
Tools Needed to Create a Foam Coffin Candy Chute Cover:
- Retractable Utility Knife
- Caulking Gun
- Tape Measure
- Wide Ruler or Other Straight Edge
- Fine Tip Permanent Marker
- Dull Pencil
- Free Printable Cut Diagram
I absolutely loved every minute of this project and I’m so pleased that it is made without using any crazy expensive tools!
How to Make a Halloween Coffin out of Foam Insulation Board
First we’ll need to cut out the shapes.
Lay your 4′ x 8′ foam insulation board out on a flat work surface. Print page 2 of the free cuttable diagram. Measure out the points as show on the diagram (also shown above) with a tape measure and use a long straight edge, like a yardstick or even a piece of straight lumber, to draw lines to all of the points. Use an extendable utility knife and the straight edge to cut out each piece (be sure to protect your work surface).
The pieces on the right side of the board will be the sides of the coffin. Reference the diagram (not shown here) to see which pieces go where to form the coffin’s sides. Hang on to the pieces at the bottom of the sheet (shown with a gray X) as these will be used to support and embellish the coffin.
We will need to cut an opening at the foot of the coffin and a slip on opening at the head for it to fit over the PVC candy chute. On one 12″ x 12″ piece, measure and draw a line 2″ down from the top. Using a compass draw a circle that is 1″ wider than the external diameter of your candy chute pipe. Cut that circle out.
Repeat the process for the head of the coffin cutting a circle out in the other 12″ x 12″ piece. Using your straight edge create 2 straight lines running from .75″ inward from each side of the circle so that the straight cuts are not as wide as the circle.
Using the scrap foam from the bottom of the sheet, cut wood planks the same width and length as the engraved design on the lid and sides.
Embellish and Paint the Foam Coffin
Remove any protective plastic on the foam. Embellish the top and sides of the coffin with an easy engraved wood grain pattern. Decide the length of the “planks” of the wood in your design… I went with 3″ x 18″ to coincide with a ruler I have making the wood plank shapes quick and easy to transfer.
Use a dull pencil (I LOVE Ticonderoga) push firmly into the foam to engrave the shape of each plank. To draw the woodgrain pattern in each plank draw random knots and lines. You can look online for woodgrain images for a little help or inspiration.
Once the design is complete paint the entire piece with 2 coats of tan chalk paint and allow to dry (don’t worry if it isn’t a perfectly even coat – it won’t matter in the end). Brush black tempera paint onto one plank at a time and quickly wipe away the excess. Repeat for all of the planks on the top and sides of the coffin. Be sure to allow each coat of paint plenty of time to dry before moving on.
Continue building the coffin. Once all pieces are in place leave the piece alone for the full cure time indicated in the directions of your adhesive (I left mine as is for 48 hours).
And say hi to Carly as she tries to distract me from my foam coffin building mission with one of her favorite toys Furricane Floyd :)
Put Together your Halloween Coffin COVID Candy Chute!
With your PVC base assembled and weighted into place, slide the bottom of the coffin onto the chute. Finagle your way up to the top of the coffin and pull it up and over the top of the frame. You want the foam to be on the other side of the uprights so that it prevents the coffin from sliding off. The top should give a sort of satisfying pop as it fits into place.
Now let’s add those darn helpful skeleton pall bearers…
These are 60″ and have movement at the joints that will lock into the place. Test skeletons in store by moving an elbow, knee, or the hips. Does it make a ratcheting sound and click as the joint moves? Perfect. Tip – My skeletons are from At Home and sell for around $30 apiece.
Manipulate the legs and feet into a standing or kneeling position with the arms straight down. Move into place and then lift the hands up and under the foam coffin. Squeeze each arm so that it ratchets as tightly as possible, sandwiching the sides of the coffin in both arms.
For me this was pretty darn steady in normal conditions. However, I tested in strong winds and eventually the coffin would twist just enough that both skeletons fell backward. But if you’ll notice at the top of each skull is a hanging loop. On Halloween night I’ll run fishing line through the loop and tie up into a tree in the front yard. That way even if the wind kicks up or if a little trick or treater decides to get grabby it will stay in place!
Ready to Build Your Own DIY Halloween COVID Candy Chute?