Make Cool Stuff: The Halloween Edition
By Mindy Holahan on October 21, 2011
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories continues their press for world domination with the robotic Dalek pumpkin.
Halloween is the convergence of three things I love: holidays, crafts, and nerds. The internet is jam-packed with Halloween tutorials this time of year, and I’ve rounded up the best of the best to set you up for a weekend full of nerdy, crafty goodness. Prepare yourself for a pumpkin patch sized bucket o’ project links.
The majority of today’s projects come from four of my favorite sites. If you want to do some of your own surfing, I recommend beginning your searches here:
My hand-down favorite costume tutorial I’ve seen this season is the knitting pattern for a Dr. Zoidberg costume by Instructables user Kathara! Get yourself a lab coat and you’re all set. Unfortunately, if you knit as slowly as I do, you won’t be going as Dr. Zoidberg until Halloween 2012 or 2013.
I suspect many of you may be contemplating a zombie costume this year. Good choice! You’re going to need wounds and lots of them. Here are two similar sets of instructions for making zombie wounds (they’re really gross). Both of them use liquid latex and fake blood, available from your local Halloween store or Amazon. Please check for latex sensitivity before slathering on the liquid latex! In addition to flesh wounds, you may wish to place your brains on display. Craft has a clever solution involving a baseball cap and caulk.
If terrifying small children and the weak-of-stomach isn’t your bag, never fear. Round up your friends and go as a flock of Angry Birds! Heather from Twin Dragonfly Designs has a step-by-step tutorial for each bird (these could also be scaled down to make yourself a bunch of Angry Bird pillows). Link via Craft
Instructables is a great place to search for costume ideas, from superhero capes to Animal from the Muppets.
Halloween is the one time of year when you’re rewarded for nasty looking food. I’ve assembled highlights for your party menu:
Edible Things in a Jar (these really gross me out, but may actually be yummy)
Brains in a Jar Cupcakes (link via Craft)
Presentation is everything, and these are all disgusting.
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories dominates this category! As a special bonus, many of their projects make an excellent starter electronics project. Use an LED throwie to light up a miniature jack o’lantern. (If you have an interest in LEDs, Windell goes deep into detail on throwies here.)
Because I’m contractually obligated to mention that show at least once each post, I bring you the Dalek pumpkins! There’s the easier (but fantastic) version from Thwan-Condu over at DeviantArt (link via EMSL) and the tricked-out robotic version from Evil Mad Scientist labs that you saw at the beginning of the post.
Finally, if you’re not a fan of scooping pumpkin guts, trying carving from the outside in. I find this time-lapse video fascinating:
Decorating Your House
Craft offers up what I think is the most elegant solution for whole-house decorations: black silhouettes in window.
If you plan on pimping out your pad with black lights, here’s a good trick to make the water glow in your table-top fountain: remove the felt from a couple of yellow highlighters and soak them in the fountain water the night beforehand. (Please don’t drink this water.) For glowing lanterns, crack open some glow sticks.
Finally, a project that fills my little DC Comics-loving heart with joy. Instructables user Jerjod took his love of Batman and parlayed it into an amazing Halloween display. He lays out the projects steps here. While it’s not likely you’re going to rush out and whip this up over the weekend, I bring it to you as an example of what you can make when you let your imagination run wild.
Now get out there and claim your nerd-given right to rock Halloween! As usual, if you make anything cool, I’d love to see a link!