Halloween is almost here. But you still have time to put together some really spooky decorations. One great kind of decoration is the window silhouette. To make these, all you have to do set up a monster cutout in your window. This blocks some of the light behind it and casts a spooky shadow. You can even add eyes that follow a person as they walk by.
Step 1: Watch the Video
Here is a video walkthrough of the project.
Step 2: Materials
Here are the materials and tools that you will need for this project.
Ping Pong Balls (optional)
Hot Glue Gun
Step 3: Find or Create Some Spooky Silhouette Images
If you are or know an artist, then you can quickly put together a variety of spooky silhouette images. You can also find a lot of examples online. Just search for "Halloween window silhouettes".
Step 4: Measure the Dimensions of Your Windows
Before you can print out the images, you need to know how big to scale them. So start by measuring the dimensions of your windows. Mine where about 32 inches wide and 57 inches tall.
Step 5: Print Out the Images to Scale
Now you need to print out the images to scale. In most cases this will involve printing the image on multiple sheets of paper. There are a lot of programs that you can use to do this. Probably the most basic way to print an image on multiple sheets is with a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel.
Just insert once of your pictures. Then scale it to the size that you want. Adjust the margins to be as small as possible. If the picture is a solid black image, adjust the brightness so that it is a very light gray. This will help save ink. Then print out the spread sheet.
Step 6: Tape the Pages Together to Reconstruct the Image
Now you need to reconstruct the image. First, take a pair of scissors and cut off the margins around the image. You only need to do this for every other page. Line up the pages so that original image is visible. Then attach the pages together with scotch tape.
Step 7: Trim the Paper and Attach It to a Cardboard Backing
Using a pair of scissors, trim off the excess paper. Keep about one inch of paper around your outline. Then attach the image to a sheet of cardboard.
If you do not have a sheet of cardboard that is large enough, you can tape multiple pieces of cardboard together.
Step 8: Cut Along the Outline
Now you need to transfer the image to the cardboard. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut through the paper along the outline. Start with the inner details such as the eyes and mouth. Then cut the outer edges. If the paper starts to move, hold it down with your free hand as you cut.
When you are done, remove the paper and you should see an outline of your creature.
Step 9: Cut Out the Shape From the Cardboard
Next we need to cut out the shape from the sheet of cardboard. So take you knife and go back over the outline. This time press hard enough so that the knife cuts all the way through the cardboard. I recommend doing this on top of a scrap piece of cardboard so that you don't scratch up your work surface.
There is a good chance that there will still be some small pieces of cardboard that are connected. So turn the cardboard over and cut any remaining tabs of cardboard. The silhouette shape should then pop out freely.
Step 10: Paint the Silhouette Cuttout
Next you need to paint the cutouts black. You can use any paint for this. I used cheap spray paint. Be sure to get all the edges. But don't worry if you don't get perfect coverage. When it is dark outside and the cutout is back lit, no one will notice.
Step 11: Add Follow-Me Eyes (optional)
To make your silhouettes extra spooky, you can add eyes that follow someone as they walk by. This optical illusion is called "follow-me" eyes. To make it all you need to do is have the pupil of the eye recessed behind the outline of the eye.
One easy way to do this is with a ping pong ball. Try to get ball that either doesn't have a logo or has the logo on only one side. Use your knife to carefully cut the ping pong ball in half along the seam. Then take the half without a logo and use a black marker to color in a circle that will act as a pupil.
Position this behind the eye with the pupil centered. To hold it in place, I applied hot glue around the edges.
Step 12: Mount the Silhouettes in the Windows of Your House
You are now ready to mount the cutouts in your window. In most cases you can just set them on the window sill. Alternatively, you can also tape them to the window.
Draw the curtains behind the cutout and turn on the light in the room. This will provide some back lighting or the silhouette. If your curtains do not let enough light through, you may need to add an additional light underneath the curtain.
These silhouettes make great Halloween decorations, especially after dark. Now just sit back and wait for the trick-or-treaters.