Introduction: Cheap Motorized Halloween Flying Ghost

About: I'm a 14 year's old electronic's, RC enthousiast that likes to share his ideas and make projects that aren't only fun to make but also fun to have.

Hi everybody,

So Halloween is coming and you wan't to decorate your home to scare the trick or treaters without braking the bank and still have an amazing effect? Well this instructable is the one you need! In this instructable I will show you how to make a flying ghost for under 10 dollars whorth of electronics and a few dollars for the wood, I just used some scrap wood I've had laying around so I was free for me. Normally this kind of prop is made with and expensive whiper motor, wich can cost up to 30 dollars, I made mine basiccaly for for free because the motor and power supply where salvaged from and old disco ball.

Step 1: Gather the Materials

Here's what you need to make this project

A 1 meter long piece of wood that's at least 8 centimeters deep and 1 centimeter high

A 12vac synchronous motor, you can salvage one from a rotating disco ball or buy one from amazon:

A 12vac power supply capable of at least dellivering 1amp you will probably have one laying around but if you don't already have one you can buy one for 15 dollars here:

A white sheet to make your ghost with.

Optional: a blacklight, this will make your ghost light up blue without lighting other things that aren't white.

Step 2: How It Works

I made this very simple drawing to explain how it works, when the crank rotates the distances between the crank shaft and the eye-hooks will get bigger and smaller. In the drawing I only show 2 strings to keep it simple but we will use 3 one to attach to the "head" of our ghost and one for each "arm".

Step 3: Starting the Build

So first take your at least one meter long piece of wood and mark the center of the wood

Step 4: Mounting the Motor

Draw a circle around the base of the motor and drill out the hole.

Now insert the motor in the hole and screw it in place.

Step 5: Mounting the Eye-hooks

Saw of 3 pieces of a 5*5 cm bar of wood each 5 cm high, now mark 2 points 50 cm's away from the motor's center, one to the left and one to the right.

Step 6: Drilling the Holes

Now you can drill three holes around the marks that are 50cm's away from the motor, the distance should be something like one cm, it doesn't have to be very precise.

Step 7: Mounting the Blocks of Wood on the Bar

Place the bar on top of the wooden blocks with the blocks under the 3 holes and insert a screw in each hole.

Step 8: Inserting the Eye Hooks

Find a drill bit that is a little bit smaller then the threads on the eye-hook then drill a hole in each block as shown in the picture the hole has to be one cm away from the side of the block that's facing towards the motor. When you have drilled both holes you can insert the eye-hook just by screwing it in with your hand, the holes have to face to the center.

Step 9: Attaching the Second Arm

Take a 40cm long piece of wood and drill 3 holes about 1.5cm apart on both sides, at this point you can take the thirth block of wood you made earlier and screw it to one of the sides with 3 screws through the holes you drilled.

Next we are going to attach the second arm to the bar, place it right next to the motor in a way that the eye-hook is straight in front of the motor.

Step 10: Insert the Eye-hook

Again, just screw it in by hand so the hole faces towards the motor.

Step 11: Connecting the Electronics

Strip the wires of the power supply and the whires from the motor, and twist them together(the polarity doesn't matter because we're working with ac. When you twisted the wires together put electrical tape over the connections.

Step 12: Making the Crank

I found a 1cm*1cm*20cm bar that was perfect for this job, you have to drill a hole in it a little bit bigger then the motor's shaft then drill a sideways hole trough the other hole on a 90degrees angle. Don't drill the hole like shown in the second picture, you don't wan't to poke a hole in your hand.

Step 13: Drill Your Hole Like This

Step 14: Mounting the Washer on the Crank

Measure a 20 cm long disance from the hole you drilled earlier (in this hole we will insert the shaft of the motor) mark that spot, here you can drill a hole about 2mm's in diameter. Now we can fabricate the washer, clamp it down on a wooden surface and drill 3 holes in it in a triangular shape. Screw the washer in place in the hole 20cm away from the hole where the motor's shaft goes. Now insert the motor shaft in the first hole with the 90degrees hole facing to the hole in the shaft( pic.2 ). And put a nail trough the sideways hole, this will also go trough the hole in the motor shaft and prevent any kind of slip.

Step 15: Add the Strings and Your Ghost

Now that the mechanical build is done, you can finally add the three strings each attached to a hole in the washer and through an eye-hook as shown in the drawing, attach the head of your ghost on the middle string and the arms each to one of the remaining strings. I haven't been very creative with my ghost yet but it was just to test the concept.

Step 16: Done!

Congratulions if you've made it till here, now the only thing you have to do is hang it somewhere where it's dark shine a light on it, and scare some people!

Happy Halloween! :-)

Halloween Decor Contest 2016

Participated in the
Halloween Decor Contest 2016