Friday, October 18, 2013

Witchy Window Silhouette DIY

These wickedly cool witchy window silhouettes come to you via the ever creative and talented, Dave Lowe, and you can snag the templates for your very own spooky abode here.  Seriously, Dave is a HUGE inspiration to me, his imaginativeness and his attention to detail are truly astounding. Hop on over to his blog and be prepared to spend hours scrolling through his many awesome halloween (other holidays too!) projects.  He takes you from rough sketch to the finished product, and let me tell you, that finished product is DISNEY quality in design and polish.

The best part about this project is how ridiculously easy, cheap, and effective it is.  I don't have much of a front yard to construct a haunt for the season, but I did want to add some creep to my pad.  These silhouettes were perfect, since my flat already comes equipped with four very large windows that loom above the sidewalk out front.  

There is still plenty of time to tackle this project, if you're so inclined, since it takes only a couple of hours to complete. 

Here's what you'll need:
  • Templates, which can be found here:
  • Black poster board. Found at Dollar Tree for only 69 cents a sheet.  I recommend getting more sheets than you think you'll require (depending upon the size of your windows), as you are sure to go through a couple of 'test' runs getting them sized appropriately.
  • Double stick tape, or temporary glue dots.  You don't want something permanent here, just something strong enough to hold the paper to your windows.
  • Xacto knife, or other sharp blade for trace cutting, and a cutting mat or other surface you don't mind cutting on.
  • Translucency sheets for overhead projecting.  I had a bunch left over from a presentation, but these can be purchased at any office supply store.
  • Tape measure for sizing your images to your window size.
  • Cardboard box, slightly larger than a bread box (to build a light box for projecting).
  • White crayon or chalk for tracing image onto black poster board.
  • Light source, such as a small lamp or I found the LCD flashlight app on my smart phone to be superior and easiest.
Let's get started...
  1. First, you need to print out your templates. I simply downloaded them to my desktop, and then opened them in MS Word.   You will want to enlarge them so that they fill the page as much as possible, without cutting off any of the image.  This will make sizing them on your wall with the projector easier later.  Print your images onto translucency pages, being sure you set your printer setting to the 'translucency page' if it needs to be.  You will also want to be sure you're printing onto the correct side of the translucency page so that your ink dries properly.   Otherwise, you're going to smear your image and have ink everywhere...
  2. Next you need to create a simple light box/projector.  This is a lot easier than it sounds, and if my instruction is unclear here, there are plenty of tutorials on how to do this on YouTube (look up 'light projector for wall mural how to').  Tape the lid and bottom closed tightly using tape -- you want to be sure you close any seams where light might escape, so using a colored tape, like painters tape works excellent for this.  Use your Xacto knife and a straight edge to cut a rectangle in the front of your box, large enough to tape your translucency sheet across for projecting.  Finally, cut a small channel (about 3 inches wide by 6-7 inches long) in the bottom of the box so you can insert your light source to shine from inside the box.
  3. Pick a witchy image, tape her to the front of your newly constructed light box and turn on the light inside.  Project image onto a blank wall and play with the distance of the box from the wall in order to size the image to your required dimensions for your window.  Moving the box closer and further away will change your image size, but moving the light inside your box closer or further away from the translucency page will make the image sharper or fuzzier on the wall.
  4. Tape black poster board sheets onto wall where image is projected, so that the image is now being projected onto the black surface.  My measurements required me to tape two sheets of cardboard together to capture the entire size of each witch -- but that is because I wanted my witches to stretch tall and fill the entire length of my windows.
  5. Use a white crayon or chalk to trace the outline of each witch.
  6. Move your black board to a surface safe for cutting, like a cutting mat or a flattened old cardboard box, and carefully use your Xacto knife to cut out each witch.
  7. Hang in window pane using double stick tape between the poster board and the window.
  8. Iluminate your windows from the inside by lighting your room as much as you can, or by placing lamps closer to windows from the inside.
  9. OPTIONAL: add colored tissue paper behind your images so that the entire window is now covered from the inside.  This is a final step I have yet to finish, and I have chosen a great chartreuse tissue paper to finish off each window pane.
So there you have a couple of hours, you can create a surprisingly effective ambiance from inside your home this Hallowe'en.  Carve up a couple of Jacks for your front steps and let the ghastly glow of your Window Witches beckon those little tricksters to your front door...