I originally saw this in Martha Stewart. It consists of a Witch and three cats. The first piece I made was the witch. It's made out of a piece of 3/4 inch plywood, originally 4X6 feet. I used regular plywood for this but if you have the chance to use exterior grade (marine) plywood I would opt to use that.
I used an old Dietz kerosene lantern (railroad lantern) for the light and an old broom from a dust broom set.
In the instructable, I take you thru the process of making a cat shadow ornament. It's really easier than you might think and the effect is great, especially in the right lighting. All the pieces are made similarly.
Step 1: Download the Patterns
You can access the patterns above. Each pattern is printed out using standard 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper. You assemble them in a grid and each page is labeled as A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, etc. for the matrix.
Step 2: Use Adhesive Spray to Fix the Templates.
It saves wood to first experiment with how close to the edge you can put each template. But once you find a good spacing, spray the back sparingly with adjustable adhesive and begin to lay them on the plywood. Each template has a t and you should make sure that you superimpose one t on top of another. You will see the cutting lines line up.
Step 3: Cut the Template Out With a Jigsaw
Wear appropriate safety equipment. You are going to have splinters and dust flying around. Carefully begin to cut along the cut lines on the template. A trick is to make sure that when you have to come in from another direction that you start again from the edge and make the cut. Once you have the rough shape cut out then use the jigsaw to clean up the details. It only takes me about 40 minutes to cut out each cat. More time is taken with set up really.
Step 4: Sand Both Sides of the Plywood
Sand both sides with 100 grit paper. It doesn't need to be overly smooth but you want to remove the splinters and get rid of any lingering adhesive.
Step 5: Spray Paint Both Sides of the Cut Out.
Use black spray paint, preferably flat black. You will see that I used some discarded scraps to raise the cut out above the newspaper and that makes it easier to paint the sides of the plywood and not have it stick to the newspaper. Between coats use some mineral spirits to clean the spray nozzle. Do this before putting the can away too. Allow at least 30 minutes between coats and use two more more coats. When dry, flip it over and do the opposite side. By the way, the paint thinner rack you see in one of the pictures is from another of my Instructables https://www.instructables.com/id/Paint-Thinner-Jar-Rack/
Step 6: Use a Metal Garden Stake to Hold the Witch Up
Originally I cut a stake from a long piece of pine and drove it into the ground. I've taken to using the metal garden stakes used for fencing that have wings on the outside. They are much more secure. I drive the stake about 2 feet into the ground and then attach the figure using screws. I paint the stake flat black.
Step 7: Attach the Cut Out to the Stake.
Make sure that the cutout is oriented the way you want and then screw it to the stake. For the witch, I also screwed on an old broom and spray painted that. Additionally, I use an old kerosene lamp, also black hung by two cup hooks. I fill it with Kerosene and light it at dusk. I usually only put enough kerosene to last 3 hours.