Introduction: Make a Cool Hologram Illusion!

Picture of Make a Cool Hologram Illusion!
This instructable will show you how to easily make a convincing floating head hologram.

It's a great addition to your Halloween decorations!

Watch the video for the overview. (The camera can't do this illusion the justice it deserves.)

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

You only need a couple of things for this illusion:

1. A piece of glass.

The size of the glass is relative to the size of the area where the illusion will be viewed.

2. A monitor (and computer, of course).

Either an LCD or CRT monitor will work. CRT monitors tend to give a better reflection, but an LCD monitor can be used in a much smaller spot.

The LCD monitor I used had a removable stand. That made it much easier to hide in the cabinet.

3. Floating head movie.

I recommend Big Scream TV.

Step 2: Location, Location, Location

Picture of Location, Location, Location

This illusion works well, but the monitor must remain out of view of the spectator.

For this instructable, I used a bookshelf/cabinet and the front window of my house for the trick-or-treaters to enjoy.

Projectors are relatively cheap these days. You could easily project the image onto a piece of glass 30 or 40 feet away. The projector would need to be located very close to the path of the intended viewer, however.

A great example of using a projector would be on an eave of your house. The glass could be suspended at an angle towards the front of the house, and then the image would be projected on it from a hidden spot on the roof. As the trick-or-treaters walked up to the house, they would be greeted with a creepy floating head on your roof.

Step 3: Display Setup

Picture of Display Setup

To keep from giving away the source of the image, adjust the brightness to the lowest setting and the contrast to the highest.

The goal is to make the background as dark as possible. Play the movie you want to use full screen, then adjust as needed.

For the cabinet configuration, suspend the LCD monitor above the viewing area. Then create a Halloweenish looking scene inside, and then place the glass over it at an angle that will reflect the image to the viewer.

For the windows configuration, set the monitor on the floor pointing up, create your scary scene, then place a much larger piece of glass over it at an angle that will reflect the image towards the window.

In either setup, the bottom edge of the glass should be as close to the bottom edge of the monitor as possible. That will make the image float in front of your scene, instead of behind it.

Adjust the angle of the glass to control the height of the floating head.

Step 4: Turn It On

Picture of Turn It On

Once it gets dark, turn it on and adjust as needed.

Once again, the camera doesn't do this illusion justice. It looks very good in person.

Watch the video to get an idea of how it looks:


kibukun (author)2011-03-17


scitronboy (author)kibukun2017-10-30


kibukun (author)scitronboy2017-11-03

Wizard of Oz reference.

scitronboy (author)2017-10-30

could you make a different link for the video?

da animal freak (author)2011-09-18

Does it have to be a movie or can it be a picture too?

it could be a picture.

akillys (author)2009-09-07

I may be stupid buy could you apply this to just regular tv or when your playing video games to give you a holographic experience or no?

scitronboy (author)akillys2017-10-30

It probably wouldn't look very "holographic", but youcould try...

shaddoty (author)akillys2013-09-25

It probably wouldn't but you never know til you try

maxkapow (author)2016-07-03


AzaanD1 (author)2016-05-16

Instead of using this as decoration, I wanna project my head like in superman or wizard of oz. how do I do this. Can I do a video call and use a filter to project my head? That would be awesome!

TestSubject1342 (author)2013-01-25

I'm going to make a Miku hologram. :D

I am going to try to make a Miku hologram too. Then Namine Ritsu and Rin and len!!!

tinker234 (author)2012-02-25

could i do a whole body like a wizard but real time witha webcam

DMarketing (author)2011-04-29

This instructable has helped tremendously, I just have a few questions...
My company wants to make this device, i.e. Pepper's Ghost, as a cool sign to our entrance.
1) We seem to have a problem with the piece of glass though.
As can be seen in the above picture there is a "double" image that we need to get rid of.
I was thinking of using either tightened, very thin Plexiglas or Museum glass (Also known as Non-reflective glass/ Anti-glare glass etc)
Obviously, if I go with the latter, the glass can only be coated on the one side, right? Has anyone tried this?
We have a fairly decent budget so cost would not really be an issue.
Any other suggestions?
Really Look forward to hearing back, and please forgive me if I am doing this wrong. I only joined today.

jill jacks (author)2010-10-12

Try Univ. or state auctions.

TheThornZ (author)2009-10-20

If you want really cheap holograms
visit, They have a cheap CG floating head avi with like an alien satan ext. I think it was like .25 cents under there projects section.

They were so cool, I have it set up at my house

skatelong (author)2009-10-17

 The link is broken for the video

BEAST14 (author)2008-10-11

Where would you get a cheap projector? The cheapest one I could find was $120. That one was used too.

musick_08 (author)BEAST142009-09-28

what about a thrift store?

Gamer917 (author)2009-08-18

i wanna make a floating hologram thing like this and make my friends pay 5 bucks to see it

vexxtra (author)2008-10-27

I'm wondering if it's possible to burn a copy of the ghoulish skull onto a CD or DVD-R & play it on a small TV hooked up to a DVD player, instead of using a computer....that would be an easier setup for me. Has anyone tried that?

Coliflower (author)vexxtra2009-05-27

i haven't, but they did that on a show called mystery hunters and it worked. The show also gave the instruction to just sit with a scary mask in front of a black curtain and use a video camera, but i think a pre-recording is bettter. Not sure about a flat screen or LCD though.

coleslaw3 (author)2009-03-21

they did this on youtube but your instructables where a little easier to follow

sebberdreng (author)2009-03-10

Hello can you tell me where i can get the movie your showing? Becous is really nice and wanna make it for halloween. P.S Very nice video love it.

TrIAd21991 (author)2008-10-22

one word : Youtube

gschoppe (author)2007-10-29


My actions here may adversely effect my chances in the Halloween contest, but its ok. really, its ok.

That said, I'm making a very similar peppers ghost set up as part of my ultimate Halloween display instructable. I also needed a video, and to be frank, I don't think the stuff done by "Big Scream TV" is very good. It all looks fake, they're all just disembodies heads, and they're all designed for REALLY terrible dialogue.

So, in the interests of a good display for all who attempt this, Here's the video I made, based on a short clip of Disney's Haunted Mansion, taken during a walkthrough.

its only 13 seconds of ghost padded with 13 seconds of black, and the resolution is terrible, but in my display, at least, it looks AMAZING.

I call her Pepper's Bride.

Enjoy, and be sure to read my instructable when it appears, slightly after Halloween... I swear I'm gonna regret doing this later.

Amphithere96 (author)gschoppe2008-10-10

That is not remotely spooky.

damasta (author)2008-10-06

they sell a dvd with animations for this purpose including a rapping skull, it's kinda cool

comodore (author)2008-10-04

WoW!!! Didn't see this before! Great job, really love the Instructable! rate:***** +I added it to my mythbusters group

buck_2007 (author)2007-10-18

Will plexi-glass work? If not, how expensive is it for a sheet of glass?

rbneville (author)buck_20072008-08-09

i have a frame shop and i get a door sized piece of glass for five dollars

NK5 (author)buck_20072007-10-18

The smaller piece of "glass" in the video is actually acrylic, which is a cheaper version of Plexiglas. At Home Depot, the plastic sheets were only a couple of dollars cheaper than the glass of the same size. You are better off with the glass, especially with bigger projects.

ichipoodle (author)NK52007-12-14

Acrylic is awesome! And now, kipkay has some rival DIYer's (insert climactic opera music here) you and babblin5 both are extremely smart, and both *gasp* have black cats!!! the show is on....
cool project too !!(-_-)!!

if your doing something small can you use the glass from a photo frame

do you know how to make smaller holograms? i whant to make a hologram of writing to scare my sis. lol ;)

thinguy (author)2008-02-13

Really Nice Video Just keep inventing

Tom Trottier (author)2008-01-26

Who needs a monitor or CRT? Put the glass so it reflects sideways and stand near with a flashlite under your face making faces & uttering crazy stuff. Or ditch the glass.

SessiZ (author)2007-10-29

Thanks dude
Saç BakımıSaç Bakımı

quail (author)2007-10-27

Drat. Someone else posted the link for "The Magic Mirror". It's here by the way:

All of their products are here:

Would love to see someone's instructable set-up of it. Here's a youtube of what someone did with it.

bennett want big boom (author)2007-10-15

where do you get a movie like that for your computer???

You could always make one yourself with your handy-cam, dress in all black, with a scary mask and light it from the side all creepy and then play it back!

Surprisingly, there aren't very many out there. This one is called X-Ray and I found it at Party City. The best one is called Big Scream TV, but it impossible to find these days in brick and mortar stores. You can get it online from their web site now, though.

SevereFlame (author)2007-10-21

This should win the DIY Halloween Contest

how could this NOT?????this is genius.dead simple but effective.

altered_tome (author)2007-10-21

I love Instructables that even I can do...thank you so much, for simply explaining and showing how to do this.

jdlink (author)2007-10-19

Wonder if plexi-glass will work?

T3Hprogrammer (author)jdlink2007-10-19

It should, as long as it's very straight and clear.

DrFreemanstein (author)2007-10-19

Some of you thinking about doing this project may also be interested in this project (that I was reminded of by this instructible) that appeared in Popular Electronics some years ago...

It uses a similar effect (minus computer screen, but use your imagination for this) but on a larger scale to create a ghostly figure waiting at the door, and enhances it with sounds...v v cool...

Helenism (author)2007-10-19

I took a hologram class at school and know the painstaking process behind it... so I was very curious to see this instructable. It's definitely a an easier alternative for achieving that particular illusion, but it also seems fun, effective, cheap, and everyone can do it!!! I liked it. Thanks for the instructable. :o) Perfect for Halloween... muhahahaha... >:o)

About This Instructable




More by NK5:Confetti Bomb Prank!Make a cool hologram illusion!Make your own Lightning Globe!
Add instructable to: