Introduction: Haunted Bat Moon (Reclaimed)
To enhance the Halloween decorations for the exterior of our house this year, I wanted to re-imagine a Haunted Moon for where we normally hang our Christmas wreath (well not for halloween that really would be scary). But I wanted it to light up too, so came up with the idea to back light it. I used all reclaimed elements from my shed to do this job, with the exception of the Orange string lights.
Tools Used: Band Saw, Utility Knife, Screw Driver, Pliers.
Materials: Plywood, screw, scrap plywood, heavy duty wire, old garden hose, Gorilla glue, string of 100 orange lights, 1 can of old yellow spray paint, 1 can black spray paint, 1 fluorescent yellow spray paint.
Step 1: Step 1: Cut Plywood and Add Hanger
Depending on your area your doing your moon, size may vary. Now fortunately for me I already had a couple circular cut pieces of 1/2” plywood at a couple different sizes. I picked the one I had that was 25” in diameter. I screwed the heavy screw in the back about 1/2” in from the outer edge. I wrapped the heavy duty wire around the screw from both ends, then I twisted into a tight loop which will give it more support for the weight.
Step 2: Step 2: Cut, Size, & Glue Hose
Before I proceeded with my idea, I cut down a length of hose to test my concept. I rolled it around the outer edge of the circular plywood. I then carefully cut a slit with the utility knife all around the circle on the outer edge of the hose allowing it to be a slot for the lights. Then as my practice I started stuffing the string lights in the slot moving around as I went, being sure to keep the lights pointed as level pointing out as possible. The length of the string lights allowed me to string around twice with the wider position.
My final plan is to reposition the hose inward to where the lights tips are right at the edge of the plywood. After a quick measurement I moved the hose inward. Using my compass I found the center of my circle and drew a circle for where the hose will be glued. Using Gorilla Glue for “Everything” I put a generous bead of glue all the way around the along the penciled circle.
Lay the hose down on glue bead (be sure to point the cut edge on the outward). Have some weights handy to clamp or wedge the hose in place. According to the directions on the glue let set for 24 hours for solid setting.
Step 3: Step 2: Draw and Cut Bats.
Using a scrap piece of 1”x4” from my headboard project. I penciled out two bats. One larger than the other. You can be as realistic or comical as you want yours to be. Also try to make them large enough for your moon size. I used my band saw to cut these out. Sure a scroll saw would be much easier (if I only had one, LOL). The trick with doing curved cuts is to do small kurfing (not sure if term or spelling is correct) cuts. Especially if your using a thicker bandsaw blade. This helps allow you cut with out twisting the blade (which you DON’T want to do). Cross cutting to get inner curves (like the bottom of the bat wings). With the bulk of the wood removed you can use just the front edge of the band saw blades to sculpt or smooth out the rough edges. Or if you have a 1” belt sander or spindle sander you can smooth the shapes out.
Step 4: Step 3: Paint Moon and Bats.
If you have some old light colored paint available, give your moon a primer coat. Same goes with the bats only use a darker color like maybe a grey. I had a couple old cans of yellow spray paint and a dark brown I used. Then after these coats have dried. Give each items their final coats. Black for Bats and Fluorescent Yellow for Moon.
Step 5: Step 4: Glue Bats to Front of Moon.
Before gluing the bats I tested my hook and hanger that was installed. I used the same Glue to affix the bats to the front of the moon. I positioned one of the wings of the bigger bat hanging off the outer edge of the circle. The second bat positioned fully on the front. I ended up adding one more bat that was a bit larger than the first two.
Step 6: Step 5: String Lights.
Starting at the bottom with the string lights plug hanging down feed the lights into the hose slit. Keep the lights as flat as possible as you work your way around the hose circle. (When I did my initial test the strand ran around only three times) Since my circle is moved in from my initial trial run the strand ran around 4 times which actually gave the lights more of a bunched effect. I also recommend you power the strand as you work them around. You may have to push / pull the lights as you go to fit them all in.
Step 7: Step 6: Run Your Power Cord and Hang It Up
Using my same power cord we use for the Christmas wreath. Made it much easier. I placed the wire loop over my existing hook on the house. And waited for night fall to see the results. The look of the moon and bats look great during the day. The bats don’t show up all the well at night on the moon but since they are black their noticeable.
I'm still working on a way to illuminate the moon and bats without losing the orange backlight.
I hope you like this project. Just another fun Halloween decoration.
Step 8: Post Note: Enhanced Lighting
I've worked out a way to enhance the lighting for both front and back.
I had an old roll of reflective furnace tape that I cut into long strips. Then short strips, I attached the strips around the outer edge of the board, being sure to position it under the lights. This greatly enhanced the brightness of the back lighting.
For illuminating the front of the moon. I wedged a thin metal plate in the aluminum edge of the siding overhang. It stuck out enough for me to attach a magnetic utility light that angles.
To dull the intensity of the light I created a wrap about the light with the rubylith. I think the results worked great.