Friday, October 11, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Halloween: Window Silhouettes

When I was a kid, I ALWAYS remember decorating for Halloween. We lived on the second floor of a "big ol' spooky house" (my dad dubbed it "The Adams Family House), so of course we felt that we were obligated to deck it out for Halloween. We never really went too spooky….maybe we were too afraid of scaring ourselves...but my mom would by paper Halloween decorations and we'd make some of our own and we'd line the long windy stairway with them. I looked forward to doing it every year.

Unfortunately, as I got older, that was one holiday I sort of grew out of. I did still like putting out a pumpkin and hanging some fall leaves, but I never really went too crazy….But then I had KIDS!

Last year my youngest (who was 4 at the time) got REALLY into Halloween decorations. He kept requesting a "spooky house." We didn't have much in the way of decorations and I really didn't want to spend to much money on them, so I decided to see what I could do with what I had around the house.

We had just moved into our current house earlier in the year, so each holiday was a new adventure in decorating as we discovered what we could do with the new set up. One of the nicest features of the house was a BIG picture window. At our old apartment a neighbor of ours had put up some really cool "spooky" silhouettes in their windows. I loved the look and decided to give it a try on our big window.

Soooo off to Pinterest I went to research some ideas (FYI - I LOOOOVE Pinterest. One of the best inventions EVER!!! Has made my "creative life" so much more productive. I'll probably be referencing Pinterest quite often in this blog.

Part of my Holiday Board

I found all sorts of Halloween silhouettes and examples of what other people did.

I found myself really drawn to the images of "spooky trees". I thought that would really look great in the window, but of course, they can be pretty detailed. I wanted something "spooky" but also "cartoony". I happened to be at Target around that time and saw this cool store decor they had….

Target's 2012 Halloween Store Decor - What do they do with this stuff after the season is over anyway?

 ....and wished I could just take that tree. It would fit perfectly in my window. But I didn't think that would be possible…at least not BEFORE Halloween. So I just kept searching the web.

I eventually came across this image

It was PERFECT!!! Though maybe a tad to many owls, but I could just edit some out.

I brought the image into Illustrator, did a fairly quick outline to "vectorize" it and simplify it a bit.

My simplified version of the illustration I found

From there I could blow up the image to the size I needed. To print it out, I "tile printed" it on some black construction paper I happen to have around the house. Once all the pieces are printed out I taped them together like a big puzzle. Then came the really time consuming part: cutting it out.

I laid out the taped together sheets on the kitchen floor, slipped a large piece of cardboard under it and then got down on my hands and knees and cut the whole thing out with an X-Acto knife. I really don't know how long it took me. It's something I do in the weeeeee hours of the morning (I'm a late-night creator), but I find it easier to cut things out like this with an X-Acto rather than just scissors.

Once it was all cut out, I just taped the whole silhouette to the window. It's easier to do with a helper, as there lots of parts flip-flopping around. I just used a clear scotch tape. From far away (cars and people who pass by along the street) you can't see the tape.

When it was all done, it was EXACTLY as I had hoped! AND my 4-year old was happy with the "spooky" result.

My finished window graphics

So that is how I did it!


A few months after Halloween I came across this blog via Pinterest: Heartland Paper

This post shows you how to do it with black vinyl and even has templates to download. Definitely a great resource.

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