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.