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Halloween Windows!

This was my entire weekend/Monday and Tuesday evening project.



I've always liked the silhouettes that Martha Stewart has on her website for Halloween. This year I thought I'd make my own.

Two blank canvases, one facing the street and one facing the 3-car driveway/parking area of our apartment building.

After Cory and I did a rough sketch of how we wanted the windows to look, I started doing a bunch of research online, using Google's image search to find clip art and movie stills that would work well in silhouette. I cleaned them up in Photoshop, taking out anything extra and blackening the figures. Then I gave them to Cory, who put them together in Illustrator.

Next, we tiled our images, rather like the Rasterbator but using Illustrator. After printing them out, I taped the pages together to make patterns, and then taped the patterns to thick black canvas.

Ghosts were cut out of black chiffon, which was not a pain until they actually needed to be attached to the background fabric. More on that later.

I had originally planned on just using white fabric for the background, but realized it was boring and decided on some autumn-y colors. I looked for cotton that would let light through, and cut them to fit the windowpanes.

Then I sewed the canvas onto the cotton. The tree took forever because the branches were skinny. Smaller objects like bats and spiders were done by hand. There was no time to wash my hair - much more important things had to be done. :)


This was the most tedious part of the project. I'd originally just tacked the ghosts onto the background fabric with thread in a few spots here and there, and then put fray check on the particularly scary edges. But when I held it up to the light I realized you could see the long zig-zag threads behind. So I bought some Liquid Stitch at the fabric store, cut out new ghosts that weren't as badly frayed, and used my seam ripper to dab miniscule amounts of glue onto the edges so that it would dry as invisible as possible. It took me about an evening and a half to do - of course by the third ghost I was going really quickly because I learned a good technique. It always happens that way.

And now the finished windows:


The side window, and a scary man with a machete. I believe this was a photograph of Michael Myers, but I can't remember.


A very fuzzy picture of the front window. (The night setting on the camera looked better as far as light goes, but the shutter is open so long that if you don't have a tripod it gets fuzzy. Sorry.)


One panel, made of four different clip art pictures.


The middle panel. The witch and cat are from the Martha Stewart mag this month, and the spider, cauldron and ghosts are from other random clip art pictures.


The other side panel, with flash because it doesn't have enough light behind it yet to make it a good silhouette. (I need to find a lamp or a row of candles to set on the windowsill behind these suckers.)

Phew. Now it'll take a whole evening to clean up all my sewing supplies which are strewn all over the apartment.

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Comments

( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
rini
Oct. 5th, 2005 05:14 am (UTC)
That looks SO COOL. You could definitely sell that- you should start a decorations website, you do such neat work for Christmas and Halloween!
rivulet
Oct. 5th, 2005 12:44 pm (UTC)
If I had ideas more often than once a year, I might be good at it. :D
azucena
Oct. 5th, 2005 10:39 am (UTC)
ditto the above comment.

those look awesome!
rivulet
Oct. 5th, 2005 12:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks!!
bellajellybean
Oct. 5th, 2005 11:41 am (UTC)
Very very cool. I love it!
rivulet
Oct. 5th, 2005 12:45 pm (UTC)
Really, it was pretty easy to make, if you know how to sew. 'Twas fun!
(no subject) - bellajellybean - Oct. 5th, 2005 04:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rivulet - Oct. 5th, 2005 05:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
ela
Oct. 5th, 2005 01:07 pm (UTC)
That looks amazing! It's much better with the Fall colors than just white...you need to try out for the next Martha Stewart Apprentice.
rivulet
Oct. 5th, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC)
Eww. Have you seen that show? It's baaaaad. :D

I'd much rather try out for the Craft Death Match one on the craft channel or somewhere. That one was funnier.
(no subject) - ela - Oct. 5th, 2005 01:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rivulet - Oct. 5th, 2005 01:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ela - Oct. 5th, 2005 01:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rivulet - Oct. 5th, 2005 01:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
rum_holiday
Oct. 5th, 2005 01:56 pm (UTC)
Man, those are terrific!
rivulet
Oct. 5th, 2005 01:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
solteronita
Oct. 5th, 2005 02:16 pm (UTC)
Very cool. I like the witch one the best.
rivulet
Oct. 5th, 2005 02:42 pm (UTC)
I think I like the tree the best, even though I wish I would have put it on lighter background so you can see it a little better. But I do like the witch one a lot too. Have you seen the Martha Stewart magazine that has her on the cover?
(no subject) - solteronita - Oct. 5th, 2005 02:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rivulet - Oct. 5th, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
incognita
Oct. 5th, 2005 04:14 pm (UTC)
Meg that looks AWESOME!!!
rivulet
Oct. 5th, 2005 05:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It'll look even better when I take them down and put binding tape on the edges!
oregongirl
Oct. 6th, 2005 03:24 am (UTC)
Those just look fantastic! You've taken a great idea and executed it well. I must take my daughter over there for a drive by...
I just love this time of year! :-)
rivulet
Oct. 6th, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC)
Well, don't come by yet 'cause they're not completely finished, but give me a couple of days. I'm in the process of putting binding around them so I've gone one down at a time to work on it.
(no subject) - oregongirl - Oct. 6th, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rivulet - Oct. 6th, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oregongirl - Oct. 6th, 2005 03:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rivulet - Oct. 6th, 2005 03:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oregongirl - Oct. 6th, 2005 08:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rivulet - Oct. 6th, 2005 09:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oregongirl - Oct. 6th, 2005 11:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rivulet - Oct. 6th, 2005 11:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oregongirl - Oct. 6th, 2005 11:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
oregongirl
Oct. 9th, 2005 06:07 am (UTC)
We drove by this evening (our first venture into the 'outside world' since our respective illness bouts). You did a fantastic job! It's hard to believe that you did that whole thing out of fabric!

I still want to walk by some evening, when I can be out in the cold. It'll be easier to get a look at the front window- there was a white SUV parked out front that made it a bit tough to see.

Sami LOVED the windows! She's now on a mission on how to decorate our place for the holiday!
rivulet
Oct. 9th, 2005 04:19 pm (UTC)
Aww, you should have stopped by! Though I guess if you're not quite 100% I can understand. :)

Have Sami look at marthastewart.com if she wants some silhouettes. She could do paper ones that would look pretty cool too.
(no subject) - oregongirl - Oct. 10th, 2005 03:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rivulet - Oct. 10th, 2005 04:07 am (UTC) - Expand
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )