Monday, September 14, 2009

Fading Window Ghost Silhouettes

Here's our simple ghost silhouette idea.

**Update - You can see a short video of our ghost fading in and out in this post.  The video seems temperamental, some times it appears & other times it is MIA.  Try again later if you don't see it.

Sorry, this (blurry) picture is the only I could find of our house with silhouettes.
You can see the ghosts in 3 of our windows.

Close up photo of one of the ghost (& our witch).
Here's a simple how to -
  1. For our original ghost silhouettes, we cut heavy duty poster board to the size of 3 of our windows.
  2. We came up with a simple ghost design &  decided where on the window we wanted to position our ghost heads. This was important for us, since our window is broken into 4 sections by cross bars. Once the position was decided, we cut the outline of the ghost's head in each piece of poster board. Two of our ghost are facing or leaning one direction & the third the other direction. This adds some interest & keeps them from all looking exactly the same.
  3. We then cut cheap white fabric a little larger than each of our cut out ghost heads & glued them securely (if I remember correctly we used a glue gun), making sure the fabric was taut as you glue it down.
  4. I then painted the "C" shaped (or reversed "C" shaped) eyes on each ghost face with dark gray paint. This would be painted on the finished side of the silhouettes. Keep in mind if you have crossbars in your window, as we do, and take this into account when deciding on placement of the eyes.  *Tip - I can't remember exactly where (possibly Martha Stewart?), but I'm pretty sure I read that you should always use dark gray paint for silhouettes, since black paint is too dark. As you can see in our pictures, the dark gray appears black anyways.
  5. We taped the silhouette into our windows, making sure there was no light seeping around the edges.
  6. We used a work light to illuminate each ghost, making sure it was just "aimed" at the silhouette and not directly behind the silhouette. If it is placed behind the silhouette, you will be able to see the light bulb through the fabric & it will distract from your image.
  7. To add to the effect, we used a light faders that we purchased in the Halloween section of our local Menards. You plug your light into the fader & then plug the fader into the wall (or timer). These devices will cause the light to gradually fade in and out & has a speed setting so you can adjust the fading slower or faster. We also have everything on a timer so it all lights automatically at a set time.  It really looks cool with each ghost fading in and out at different times.  Our witch is not on a fader, so it stays lit continuously.
Ghost Fade Adapter

About a year ago, we updated ours ghost because the poster board of our originals was fading with age. Since we use them every year, we made them out of wood instead of poster board, so they would be sturdier.
  1. We just took two very thin piece of wood and sandwiched them together to cut our shape out.
  2. Painted the sides that would be visible with dark gray paint.
  3. Stapled the fabric taut on the unpainted side of our cut out silhouette.
  4. Glued the unpainted sides of the 2 thin pieces of wood together (sandwiching the fabric between), and painted the eyes on the each ghost. Our new ghost look finished on both the inside and outside.

One of our updated ghost.

Regarding the witch - The sky around the moon & the witch was originally painted on a large piece of fabric & hung in our front window on a long piece of trim (like a curtain), but has since been upgraded to wood also.

The old one shown first & the updated one shown second.  The new one has a handle, that you may have noticed near the top.  We use this handle to hold on to this large (just shy of 5 feet across) silhouette, since we have to climb a ladder to install it. 

    Blessings, Tracy

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