I love Halloween, and I've been looking for an excuse to try out the Dremel tool my husband gave me. I thought an eerie Halloween scene covering my garage door would have a lot of impact. Rather than a standard cut-out pasted on, I wanted to add some extra spook factor by lighting it from behind. So a silhouette was a perfect choice.

I'll apologize up front for the photography. These photos just don't do it justice. I wish I knew how to get better Halloween photos at night. Something to work on for the next instructable!

I've no special talents with drawing or tools, just a dogged determination to make something I've envisioned come to life. This took some work, but the result is well worth it. It's a traffic stopper on my street!

Also, our garage door is an old wooden one, and we don't mind screwing things like this into it. I don't think this woul d work with a roll-up panel door. Perhaps it could be mounted on a large wall, or staked into the yard with lights behind it.

You'll need:

drawing materials

roll of paper for a pattern



2 4' x 8' sheets of material. I used a 3/16th inch thick plywood I found at Lowe's. Fairly lightweight and easy to cut with the Dremel tool.

Cutting tool such as the Dremel

Sand paper (or use the Dremel again)

Black paint

Several 1" x 2"s and screws for mounting

2 to 3 strings of lights. I used 2 70-bulb strings of orange.

plastic spider

Step 1: Prepare the pattern and transfer to pattern paper

When drawing my design, I considered the size of my display space (a 2-car garage door), as well as the material I would be using. I used 2 sheets of thin plywood. One sheet runs horizontally, 8 feet wide and 4 feet tall. I had this cut into 2- 4x4 pieces at the store. Each side piece started as a 2 x 6 piece, cut from the other sheet. This gave me some height, and also frames the scene nicely.

I had the cuts made strategically, so that seams would not be too visible. One seam bisects the cauldron, one is between the 2 jack-o-lanterns, and the third is between the cat and the tree.

I drew the design on 8 1/"2 x 11" paper, then used the grid method to enlarge it to the proper size, which I drew on kraft paper, and then cut out. You could, of course, skip the pattern and draw the enlargement (in reverse) straight onto the back of the plywood. Or, if you'll be painting it black, you could draw it right onto the front, as any drawing lines will be covered by black paint.

Using a sharpie, I traced the pattern onto the back of the plywood. The entire design is 12 feet wide and 6 feet tall in the tallest places.


<p>Looks really cool!</p>
<p>We need to get in and out of the garage every day or I would definitely do this. It looks awesome!</p>
This one has a lot of wood cut away, so it's not too heavy and my door will go up and down. The Bethlehem scene I did for Christmas is much more solid, and therefore heavier. The door stays down for the 10 to 14 days that it is up. &quot;Double digits.&quot;<br><br>
<p>This is an awesome project I want to try! As a high school teacher in charge of the group that decorated for homecoming, we always used the 1 inch styrofoam sheets (4X8) used for insulation to make our cut outs. Still sturdy but can be cut easier. And if you know a teacher and can get your hands on an old time school projector, no need for a paper pattern. just need a transparency sheet to lay on the projector. I am so excited to try this project!</p>
<p>Success! It was a hit.</p>
Does anyone have sketches that they used to create their design that they would care to share. I am doing an 8 foot wide garage door. My email address is kent.newman@pacificorp.com
<p>I had to rearrange it to a single car garage, but it worked great and was a big hit! Thanks!!</p>
This is a great adaptation. You captured the witches perfectly. I love your trees with the eyes peeking out, and I especially like how you cut the jack-o-lantern into the tree.<br>Thanks for posting the photo.<br><br>One note for you: I cover the inside of my garage door windows with white paper. Gives the background a more uniform look.
<p>Thanks for the encouragement :) and oh you are right - I never noticed you covered up your windows with white paper - great idea! I'll definitely do that next year! Thanks for the tip!!</p>
<p>Great Job! I wanted to let you know of some modifications we made to your great idea!</p><p>It was hard for us to cut the wood, so we used Styrofoam! It is not as sturdy but it held up fine for us. Another thing we did was to use individually addressable LEDs for the background! This allowed us to write some code and use a microcontroller to have the different parts of the picture be different colors and change over time. </p>
those are some tricky cuts for styrofoam. I considered it, but thought it would not hold up. Good for you.
<p>Thank you so, so much mccorbin for the idea and fantastic instructions! I assure you pictures do not do this justice. It is gorgeous! I could not be more proud of having this display in my new neighborhood.</p>
<p>So cool! I love your use of lights. Makes the cauldron the 'hot spot.'</p>
<p>I actually used green and purple lights behind the trees but they are showing up pink and purple through the camera. Looks really great in person! Thanks again!</p>
<p>Thanks for posting a picture</p>
<p>won't let me down load</p>
<p>not sure what you're experiencing, or what the 'go pro' is. Is it the website asking if you want a Pro membership?</p>
<p>what is this go pro that keeps popping up?</p>
<p>Love this design! Could you email design it won't open from the pics for me. midcitiesmassagecentre@yahoo.com</p>
<p>Love this design! Could you email design it won't open from the pics for me. midcitiesmassagecentre@yahoo.com</p>
<p>Love this design! Could you email design it won't open from the pics for me. midcitiesmassagecentre@yahoo.com</p>
I love your creativity and dogged determination! Sounds like me lol. Magnificent! I would love to make but renting now, and so closeto Hallowen, hopefully next year. Thank you so much for sharing one of your ideal dreams.
Hi there, I loved, loved this project! I wonder if it's possible for you to trace the original shapes on a paper and mail it to me. I will be happy to reimburse you for all your expenses.<br>Thank you! Suki
I'm sorry that I just don't have the time to do that for you. I think if you click on the photos in other sections of the comments, you may be able to print out the photo of the finished project that is nearly black and white, and enlarge it using the grid method. Draw it directly onto the back of the material you will be cutting out. <br><br>Good luck!
Thank you!
I made this and it turned out fabulous thanks so much for the idea!! It was really easy!! I put feet on the bottom of mine instead so it would stand and my husband mounted it to the siding so wouldn't blow over...Thanks again!! Happy Halloween!!!
<p>Looks great! Could you upload a daylight picture of your feet so that others can see how you did it? I think that would be helpful.</p><p>A couple of weeks ago our garage door ripped itself out of the frame. We had a discussion about finally going to a new roll-up door, but the idea was vetoed, because I like to screw things into my old wood door. </p>
<p>We made it. The pic doesn't do it justice. We went 3D on one of the pumpkins, and used a half pumpkin painted black and lit from the inside. Also added a couple of crows. This was very labor intensive and involved many trips to the hardware store. The clerk at the hardware store knew us by name by the time we finished. To cut out the silhouette, we used a scroll/jig saw. Because the fence behind it was cinderblock, we ended up using 3/8 plywood painted semi gloss white for the background (one full sheet, then another half sheet cut longways.) mounted to 2 x 4 that were bolted/screwed into the cinderblock. Also, I highly recommend at least 6-8 sets of lights. The more lights, the better it looks. The total dimensions is 12 ft across and 6 ft high. Yes, it is a traffic stopper. No doubt about it. </p>
<p>I forgot, one thing we did differently is that the cat's eyes are lit by a green bulb, and we have the stuff to add a glowing moon, but haven't had time, will probably add next year. To make the cat's eyes glow green, use a C7 socket with a plug already installed, available at Hobby Lobby, and a clear green C7 bulb. After drilling out the cat's eyes, Get a 2 inch or 1.5 inch piece of PVC, cut into a circle, and you can go redneck with it and duct tape it (what we did), or use &quot;L&quot; brackets to hold the piece of PVC in place. Place the bulb and socket inside the PVC circle.Close off the back of the circle. </p>
<p>I can't tell you how gratifying it is to see others making this project for themselves. Thank you for uploading your picture. It really is a do-able project for reasonably handy people. (I'm not very good with power tools, so I have many 'redneck moments' to make it work) This year I may add a long skinny container behind the upper edge of the cauldron and put some dry ice in it. If you use my drawing, you'll see that the jack-o-lanterns are the least creative part of the thing - they were the last thing I cut, and I think by that time I was 'done.'</p><p>Great job! Love the idea of the green glowing cats eyes. Not sure if I agree about the lights. I love how mine looks at dusk, and in the complete dark. Has a spooky glow to it. I have thought of cutting another set of trees to mount a foot or two in front of the whole thing to give it more dimension, but maybe I should leave well enough alone!</p>
I don't have a finished pattern any more, but I will send the original sketch I used to enlarge the design. You'll see that in the finished project I simplified the trees to fit in the 2 x 6 pieces of plywood. I am also attaching the clearest photo of the finished project in case that helps. <br>Have fun!<br>It's not letting me upload pictures.<br><br>I will try again tomorrow. Or you could send an email address where I could send it.<br>~Marilyn
Please send to me
here you go
Can u email me the pic so i can hook up my front yard seanbell157@gmail.com
<p>I'm having trouble again uploading to the comment section, but the images are already here, for example in the reply to Sobriety 1212, above. Click on them, and you should have a printable version.</p>
Hi Marilyn, this is fantastic! Hubby and I are Halloween fanatics, will usually start planning our outdoor decorations the first of September. We're throwing a wizards witches and warlocks Halloween party this year and we want to do this! Would you mind sending me the sketch? My email address is pinkdaisies@gmail.com I will be happy to share photos afterwards! This is so truly excellent!!!! -StaceyC
<p>I am looking forward to seeing your finished project!</p><p>I will put mine up again this year, I've been thinking if I might do anything differently - different color lights, some dry ice behind the top of the cauldron (high maintenance!), etc.</p>
<p>Hi can any of you who made this project show me a picture of the spiral cutting tip you have used? <br>Regards Jeanne, Denmark :)</p>
<p>Oops, I don't know if my image will be useful. I used a Dremel #561 cutting tip.</p><p>Recently I was in a woodworking store, and I asked for some new tips, and they were surprised that I used a dremel to cut this out. I don't really know why. Maybe a scroll saw would be better, but I have a Dremel, so that's what I used.</p>
<p>Does paying for the pro feature allow you to download the pattern? Is that what the download is?</p>
<p>I don't know anything about that. There isn't a pattern to download, not from me anyway. If you read recent posts I have emailed a sketch to a few people. It's a rather rough sketch and will need some work before enlarging. But if it would be helpful and if you can't get it from the comment section below, I will be happy to send it to you as well. Just give me an email address.</p>
<p>This was added today to <a href="http://www.thegiftsguy.com" rel="nofollow">http://www.thegiftsguy.com</a> as a fun DIY project for Halloween. Great job!!</p>
What would you charge to draw the patterns out on paper for s double garage door?
unfortunately, I never kept the pattern I used for the project. I did find this sketch, which I've attached. It shows the original sketch (you'll notice the trees changed in the finished project.) I am also including the clearest photo I have of the finished project. Perhaps you can print it out to enlarge. Notice that the trees are different - I made them fit the 2-foot by 6-foot plywood pieces in the finished version. I am hoping you will be able to use the grid method and enlarge the design to the size you need.<br>I don't consider myself much of an artist. I find something I can sort of copy and work at it till I have something I like. If you don't feel confident in doing it yourself, then maybe someone can help you. I always used to get my mom to help with my projects. And she helped me with this one, but I did most of it myself, and then enlarged it.<br>I just don't have time to go back and redraw it and then enlarge it, so I'm sorry I can't do that for you. Thanks for asking.
Let me get back to you next wek. I'm on vacation.
<p>Okay, thanks.</p>
Wanna try this awesome idea
<p>Love this project! I've been trying to think of some sort of silhouette to put on our privacy fence and this is perfect! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity! </p>
<p>thanks. I think this type of project is doable for intermediate crafters, as long as you have the right cutting tools. Very adaptable to fit the size, shape, theme, color, etc.</p><p>There is so much art available online now to help with design, even those of us a little challenged in the drawing department can make a go of it.</p>
<p>This turned out really well. I like the backlighting for it. Thanks for sharing.</p>

About This Instructable



More by mcorbin:Pumpkin People of Southern California Halloween Garage Door Silhouette Driftwood Christmas Tree 
Add instructable to: