Halloween Garage Door Silhouette

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Introduction: Halloween Garage Door Silhouette

I love Halloween, and I've been looking for an excuse to try out the Dremel tool my husband gave me. I thought an eerie Halloween scene covering my garage door would have a lot of impact. Rather than a standard cut-out pasted on, I wanted to add some extra spook factor by lighting it from behind. So a silhouette was a perfect choice.

I'll apologize up front for the photography. These photos just don't do it justice. I wish I knew how to get better Halloween photos at night. Something to work on for the next instructable!

I've no special talents with drawing or tools, just a dogged determination to make something I've envisioned come to life. This took some work, but the result is well worth it. It's a traffic stopper on my street!

Also, our garage door is an old wooden one, and we don't mind screwing things like this into it. I don't think this woul d work with a roll-up panel door. Perhaps it could be mounted on a large wall, or staked into the yard with lights behind it.

You'll need:

drawing materials

roll of paper for a pattern

sharpie

tape

2 4' x 8' sheets of material. I used a 3/16th inch thick plywood I found at Lowe's. Fairly lightweight and easy to cut with the Dremel tool.

Cutting tool such as the Dremel

Sand paper (or use the Dremel again)

Black paint

Several 1" x 2"s and screws for mounting

2 to 3 strings of lights. I used 2 70-bulb strings of orange.

plastic spider

Step 1: Prepare the Pattern and Transfer to Pattern Paper

When drawing my design, I considered the size of my display space (a 2-car garage door), as well as the material I would be using. I used 2 sheets of thin plywood. One sheet runs horizontally, 8 feet wide and 4 feet tall. I had this cut into 2- 4x4 pieces at the store. Each side piece started as a 2 x 6 piece, cut from the other sheet. This gave me some height, and also frames the scene nicely.

I had the cuts made strategically, so that seams would not be too visible. One seam bisects the cauldron, one is between the 2 jack-o-lanterns, and the third is between the cat and the tree.

I drew the design on 8 1/"2 x 11" paper, then used the grid method to enlarge it to the proper size, which I drew on kraft paper, and then cut out. You could, of course, skip the pattern and draw the enlargement (in reverse) straight onto the back of the plywood. Or, if you'll be painting it black, you could draw it right onto the front, as any drawing lines will be covered by black paint.

Using a sharpie, I traced the pattern onto the back of the plywood. The entire design is 12 feet wide and 6 feet tall in the tallest places.

Step 2: Cut Out the Design

Use the Dremel tool to cut out the design. If you have not use this tool before, practice on some scrap. It's not too difficult, but it does take some practice. It can get away from you. Luckily, Halloween designs are very forgiving. A few jagged edges can make it look better! Nothing should be too perfect.

It took me between 1 1/2 and 2 hours to cut out this design. I thought the trees were going to be difficult, but they weren't too bad.

Apparently my cat looks very realistic, at least my dog thought so.

Use coarse sandpaper or the Dremel to sand off the rough edges. Again, no need to be too perfect. People will view this from at least 10 feet away, and probably more.

Step 3: Paint the Cut-outs

Paint the front of the cut-outs. Don't forget the edges, because they will show.

no need to paint the back. Mine were pre-primed. A small roller will make quick work of it.

Step 4: Prepare for Mounting

While the paint is drying, you can add the mounting cleats to the garage door. We ended up screwing in one set of 1" x 2 " boards against the door, and a second set of boards on top of those. We thought this was easier as we could use much shorter screws. Place cleats where two pieces of the cut-out meet. This will help to avoid light seeping through the seams. I also painted these black, in case they show through at all.

Step 5: Add Lights and Install

Put the cut-outs face down on a soft surface, or on something that won't scrape them up. Lay out your light strings, then begin taping them on. I tried to point the bulbs toward the center of the design, to cast the most light that way. I also did not go all the way to the top of the pieces, which put more light toward the bottom where the cauldron is, and gives a look of more heat at the bottom, where a fire would be. Sort of an ombre effect.

Now you're ready to mount the silhouette. You may need help with this step. Line the pieces up with the pre-installed cleats. Make sure cords and bulbs are not in the way. Also check that you will be able to reach the ends of the light strings, so you'll be able to plug them together. Also, the bulbs should not show when looking straight at the piece. Just their glow. Make your adjustments and screw the plywood pieces into the cleats.

As a final touch, I dangled a plastic spider from the witch's hand. It was just too delicate a shape to cut out of wood.

Step 6: Plug It in and Enjoy

Plug in (careful of the cord and the movement of the garage door).

Enjoy the intensifying light effects as daylight fades. I like this design because it's very noticeable in daylight, but it really comes to life in the dark.

It's a traffic-stopper for sure. Can't wait for Halloween!

Make it Glow!

Runner Up in the
Make it Glow!

Halloween Decor Contest

Second Prize in the
Halloween Decor Contest

39 People Made This Project!

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154 Discussions

3
avcope
avcope

2 years ago

I saw in the comments questions about a template. I used Adobe Illustrator to Live Trace the image on this website and then I did a little tweaking. Hopefully this will help some of you. I plan to use a projector to enlarge the image on the plywood to trace it.

halloweengaragedoor.jpg
0
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

Reply 7 hours ago

Thank you for providing the pattern and a suggestion for blowing it up. You're awesome! :D

0
sellejklm
sellejklm

3 years ago

was hoping to download the pattern. Am I missing something?

0
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

Reply 7 hours ago

Check the top comment by avcope! I featured it so it will be easier to find. ^^^

0
mcorbin
mcorbin

Reply 3 years ago

There is no pattern to download, as such. Please read through some of the comments for suggestions.

0
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

Reply 7 hours ago

Check the top comment by avcope! I featured it so it will be easier to find. ^^^

0
mcorbin
mcorbin

Best Answer 1 year ago

I believe someone made a pattern and pisted it in the comment section, a couple of years ago. Take a look through the comments. There is one guy who made the project who made some nice improvements to my design.

0
PaulaS148
PaulaS148

1 year ago on Step 6

Do you have a pattern?

0
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

Reply 7 hours ago

Check the top comment by avcope! I featured it so it will be easier to find. ^^^

0
mcorbin
mcorbin

Best Answer 1 year ago

Someone uploaded a pattern maybe 3 years ago? I don’t have one. You’ll have to sift through the comments to find it.
Joecannon made the project and uploaded pix 3 years ago. His trees are fantastic, much better than mine.

0
Jord201
Jord201

2 years ago on Step 1

Where can i get a pattern

0
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

Best Answer 7 hours ago

Check the top comment by avcope! I featured it so it will be easier to find. ^^^

1
mcorbin
mcorbin

Reply 2 years ago

Look through the comments Somebody posted one.

0
JennyT131313
JennyT131313

Reply 11 months ago

That's not helpful when there's are hundreds of comments to search though

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mcorbin
mcorbin

Reply 11 months ago

JennyT ~ I spent 2 or 3 minutes last week and found it. I don't know what else to tell you. I uploaded the instructable, am I to be tasked with finding and sending this information every time someone asks? Someone was very kind and uploaded a pattern, along with other helpful entries and comments from others who have made the project. Not too demanding if you are truly interested. Good luck.

0
JennyT131313
JennyT131313

Reply 11 months ago

Thanks, it's a shame you didn't include it in the article though,imagine how much time it would have saved you with responding to all the comments. Can you edit the original post at all??

0
addamlowi68
addamlowi68

11 months ago on Step 1

Where to download the pattern?

0
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

Reply 7 hours ago

Check the top comment by avcope ^^^

0
Macinpsl
Macinpsl

Question 12 months ago on Step 4

Where can I get a pattern for this?