Decided to make a new Instructable and hopefully win a contest!
Step 1: Planning Stages
After seeing the wonderful instructable by Mcorbin here:Halloween Garage Door Silloutte, I was inspired to do my own. Be sure to view all the other wonderful photos of others who made their own, too in the comments section of Mrcorbin's Instructable.
My goal was to build one that could freely move, as our garage is used almost daily. I planned to make the pieces move individually, as my woman is the one who would have to move them on a semi-daily basis, so I made sure to look specifically for light sets that were only about 50 bulbs or less, so I could attach one string to each piece.
My goal here is the same as all my other Instructables. Try to accomplish what I plan, and to share all the triumphs as well as frustrations that come from the work involved. If I can get off my butt to make something, then everyone can. :-D
Step 2: Gather Supplies
My small stockpile of wood scraps got a lot smaller! A quick trip to the dollar store and local hardware store was needed, but I decided to go after I cut out the shapes first, as I was motivated to get building. I bought some more screws, a quart of black paint, and a mini roller kit from the hardware store and lights and props from the dollar store.
I didn't use my table saw, but relied heavily upon my jigsaw for all the cutting. Spare blades are a must as I went through 3 of them. A drill and a drill bit are needed to make pilot holes for the jigsaw. I don't recall the wood bit size I used, I just found one that was big enough to allow the jigsaw blade to enter and turn freely.
What else? Pencils, a marker, some black tape, and an active imagination.
Oh, the most important supply is a good pair of safety glasses or goggles. I cannot stress this enough.
Step 3: Draw, Drill, and Cut. the Kettle First.
I decided to start with the kettle, as it seemed to be the easiest to cut out. I put a large barrel on the wood, and drew the circular edges. Since I wanted the kettle to look wider than round, I moved the barrel down 2 inches after first drawing the curves of the bottom edge. Then I marked the curves of the top part of the kettle. I wish I had taken pictures of this part, but I forgot. I then imagined how the shape of the rim would be and just drew it. After that I just cut it out. No need to be perfect, as a wavy line looked like a dent in the kettle to me.
Step 4: Draw, Drill, and Cut. Witches Time!
After drawing the outline of the first witch a couple of times in pencil, I switched to a marker to draw the final outline. I drilled pilot holes at all the sharp angles to allow the jigsaw blade to turn freely. At the finish, I had a witch that looked fairly hideous and would work nicely. I added a scrap piece to her hand as the scrap piece I started with wasn't quite wide enough for me. This allowed her hand to hover more over the rim. I forgot this when I drew her; to allow her hand to stretch out over the kettle.
Step 5: Witch Number 2
When I went to draw the second witch, I made sure the paddle she was holding would go into the kettle by first putting the cutout kettle on top of the scrap that was to be the 2nd witch, and drew her that way. Again, several times with a pencil , once with a marker, drill pilot holes (about 50) and then cut!.
Step 6: Individually Free Standing??
Adding some scrap 2"x4" pieces to the back of each cutout and mounting them on scrap pieces of 2"x10" allows each piece to stand on their own! Adding (rarely used) weights would insure they would stay in place outside.
After this step, I went to the stores for more screws, the paint, and look for individual strands of lights for each one. I was able to buy the small strands, but alas, the amount of light they emitted was so poor, I had to reconsider using a long solid string. So much for individual easy-to-move pieces! I wanted to use red lights only, but the smallest strands I found were 18 feet with 120 bulbs on them.
Step 7: Painting Time!
using the handy dandy mini roller with tray and the black paint, I decided to paint two coats on the pieces. I also needed to paint another 2"x4" so I could attach all three pieces together. I will probably still use two of the weights just for additional support once I get the parts assembled.
Step 8: Individual Kettle Light? Hmmm...
I liked how some of the other cutouts had a different color light for the kettle (if you looked at the comments part of the other Instructable I referred to earlier), so I thought of adding a blacklight bulb. I added a wire to a socket and temporarily taped it to the post. After seeing how pathetic the light from a blacklight bulb was, I sprayed a regular bulb with some green spray paint. After it dried I tried using the bulb. A wonderful amount of light emitted, but so did smoke, too! No sense in starting a fire, so scrap this step and move on. I'll live with the look I'll get with just the strand of red lights. Besides the possibility of starting a fire, I knew I would need to somehow protect the light bulb socket from the elements, and I wasn't about to go exploring alternatives. I might see what the green strand I bought might look like after I go set this up.
Step 9: Stop and Go Assemble
After bringing all the stuff to the garage I stopped to start writing this Instructable. Since the garage was being used currently, I had time before final setup. I only put the string of lights on the first witch, as I wanted to make sure I had laid out the lights so that the end that plugged into the outlet was on the first witch and the other end stopped at the bottom of the second witch. I wanted to make sure the lights were evenly distributed across all three shapes, as the individual strand idea was out. The time it takes to stop to publish an Instructable all depends on the level of detail you wish to provide. I like to try to make things simple so another person can easily see what I've done, so they may take some of the best bits and publish an Instructable of their own!
Step 10: Finished!?....for Now
I don't like all the free space around the top and sides, so I might add trees (with EYES) and maybe a cloudy sky with all the scraps and cutoffs I have left. I am happy with the way they turned out. I gave the one witch a huge wart on the end of her chin. lol. I have something that can stand in front of the door, but can be easily moved when the garage needs to be accessed. I might invest in a slightly longer string and redo the lights, as I want to light all the edges. Adding a spider web is also something I'm now looking into adding. Maybe another trip to another dollar store? lol. Overall, I think I only spent about $30, and about 8 hours of labor, not including drying time for the layers of paint. I will need to add some paint to the backside of the cutouts as the kettle is made from pressboard and will swell up with the first rainfall.