By Mark Frauenfelder at 5:55 pm Thu, Oct 6, 2011
This project from CRAFT shows how to make paper silhouettes for a terrifically spooky Halloween effect.
The author has a book of silhouettes you can punch out. It's reviewed (by my wife Carla) here.
How To: Haunted House Silhouettes
How to… really?
Step 1: Cut shape of scary subject to backlight in window.
Step 2: Umm…
The article includes cool PDFs you can print out and use as templates.
I saw that and it’s cool and all I suppose although for a similar project (a flock of pterodactyls bobbing on wires) I utilized this fascinating analog technology; magic marker and scissors. Kind of stimulating to the creative juices, the whole make-it-yourself thing.
But, to each his own.
Yes, I know!!!! Like… all these recipes and stuff… so totally destroying any creativity! Just take some flour and eggs and… things like that… and you have cake!
I have to agree with irksome, it’s not a difficult project to make (which, I hope, is part of what makes if fun and doable). As with a lot of DIY, it’s often not about who CAN do it, but rather about who took the time TO do it (and share it with others). One of the reasons for putting things like this online is to see what others in the Maker Community will do with it. Someone out there is going to take this idea and go crazy with it and turn it into something amazing. I can’t wait to see it.
It reminds me a lot to my favorite ipad game Light Keeper (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/light-keeper/id439062853?mt=8)
It helps if you have a creepy-ass house to put them in.
It’s hard to tell but I think the house in the photo is a cookie-cutter suburban mcmansion-style house. You can even see the next house over (on the left in the photo) is the same color and has the same spire (as cool as the spire is, it’s not as cool if every house on the block has one). Hardly qualifies as a creepy-ass house :)
I am of course assuming that it isn’t one huge house, with two spires, which would certainly be rather awesome :)
If you check the article, you can see that at some point after Mark grabbed the image (which could be an iphone photo), someone touched it up – the black level was raised, making it darker and more contrasty, and the color altered a bit to make it more Halloween-y.
I’ve been doing a GIS for things like ‘haunted house’ and ‘creepy mansion’. There are all kinds of pictures of big, gothic houses with full moons and graveyards, but the farmhouses with deferred maintenance problems are much scarier.
You mean like this kind of thing?
This seems much scarier to me than the Addams Family house.
Agreed! Great find.
I thought that might be the Clutter place at first glance. Nope–yours is scarier.
What about a haunted house that is “themed” to be an abandoned building that hipsters like to take pictures of. And then populate that house with zombie hipsters with cameras and have them walk around saying stuff like “That is so cool!” “Wow, look at it!” “Hey, who lived here?” but in a zombie tone?
I think that you just described half the bars in Manhattan.
But in my version one could charge admission to kids to visit—if they dare—the “Abandoned Hipster House of Horror.” Could even have a “spooky” skeleton fall down from the ceiling wearing “skinny” jeans. “Do you think these look GHOUL on me!” The witch-like character could be someone just walking around with a plate of horrific food saying “It’s vegan! Eyes of vegans! Hair of vegans! Good for you! It’s vegan!”
In Southern California, we’d have a funhouse with mirrors that make you look like you did pre-plastic surgery.
Here’s a thought… Motion detector hooked up to some basic audio so as to make the creeper noise whenever anyone gets close to your door.
It just so happens that we have a creepy-ass house, so we’re in luck. Working on these tomorrow.
It’s only creepy if you are suitably CREEPY and MAKERISH and if you’re not then you’re just LAME and maybe trapped a glass house with walls inscribed with esoteric spells in which case you are FUCKED in several ways. That is all.
“100-yard roll of inexpensive black paper My roll was 36″ x 3600″ and cost $74.”
YIKES. scariest part of the article. Sneaking in the word “inexpensive” does not make it so.
This should be a “do it yourself for free” project. found cardboard and black spraypaint, maybe, $5?
ooosuperhitopsoo brings up a good point, $74 doesn’t make it “inexpensive” unless you consider that this decorated 33 windows, which comes to $2.24 per window. Maybe that’s sort of low-cost, after all.
The cardboard and black spray paint is a great alternative idea. It wouldn’t have worked here (since the homeowner wanted to be able to open and close windows — cardboard would have been too thick to allow this to occur — he wanted it non-damaging (this was all adhered using Scotch tape — and the thin black paper was light enough that it stayed in place for the whole month: cardboard would have required something more robust to keep it in place) — and because there were children in the house, the homeowner wanted it to be non-toxic and non messy (no fumes or paint smudges anywhere).
My suggestion, if you want a “free” alternative, is to use cut-up brown paper grocery bags. They are opaque enough, they are lightweight enough, and it’s a good reuse of something that might otherwise end up in a landfill.
Ooooo I am going to make a silhouette of a turban headed man holding a bunch of wires and see if I can flush out the Homeland Security spooks lurking in my neighborhood.
The bottom right window is a NYPD officer clearly beating a protester.
I used to do majorly spooky Halloween decorating – but there are no little kids on my street anymore.
Here’s my family’s take on this idea:
Eachean Edmundson. Way to go. Totally fantastic silhouettes (both creepy AND charming). Love your work.
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