Spooky Silhouettes

August 10, 2012

Mr. Frights

You may have seen an idea picture floating around showing how you can put clothes pins between black cutouts of bats. They give you a couple instruction, so I decided to try it out. I’ll break it down for you, what I learned and what worked for me. It’s not a difficult project by any means.


First thing I did is buy some silhouettes from The Dollar Tree. They have rats, bats, and spiders. It seems each year they have something slightly different, so I’m kind of glad I saved a pack of the bats I had from last year! The ones from this year just seem less cool. But don’t worry, because you can make them cool on your own.

Dollar Tree Silhouettes

Along with the paper bats (or whatever silhouettes you use), you’ll need a glue stick and some wooden clothes pins (the kind with the spring in the middle), and a can of black paint (I used spray paint). I’m sure if you could find some plastic black clothes pins they might work, but I’d bet they wouldn’t work as well as the wooden ones and they wouldn’t look as good.

Wooden clothes pins, .96 cents at Walmart

Silhouettes, glue stick, painted clothes pin

These clothes pins come already pinned to a small piece of cardboard. If you want to do this the way I did, DON’T TAKE THEM OFF! Take the clothes pins and you’ll have to paint them black. I spray painted them, it’s the easiest and fasted way to do this. Plus, you get some cool left overs when you’re done – I’ll explain later.

First pass with the black spray paint

Spray each side, let it dry. I used a fan to get it to dry faster. I should note I was in a hurry because it was storming here when I did this. When one side was almost dry I flipped them over and did the other side. I used an old cardboard box as my place to spray them on in order to protect everything around where I was spraying and I could use it to pick them up without touching them and put them in front of the fan.

When they are all sprayed, you’ll have to let them dry fully and then when dry take them off the little cardboard thing for a little surprise.

The cardboard piece the clothes pins were clipped to. Now looks like teeth! You can use this in other crafts if you like.

Once you take the pins off the piece of cardboard they came on, you’ll have to set them on their sides and give them a good spray of paint on each side. That’s the side of the clips and not the previously sprayed tops and bottoms. You want to make sure you get as much of the clothes pins covered black as you can so they blend in when you’re done.

When I was finished spraying them, I let them dry a little bit (and in between sprays on each side) and then I used the same box I sprayed them on to clip them to the one edge of the box (folded upward). I found by having the box sit open but slightly folded over the way it used to be, created a sort of wind tunnel that allowed them to dry way faster.

Clothes pins clipped to the bottom edge of a box while the box has been folded back over but slightly open creating a tunnel effect when sat in front of a fan.

Let the clothes pins dry in the air, it shouldn’t take long if you’re using a fan and this tunnel thing I did. When you’re done with the clothes pins then you’re pretty much ready to make your bats pins.

You’ll need 2 silhouettes to make one of these clothes pin bat things. They should be exactly the same to help achieve a sort of 3D look. Line them up and then glue two spots on the bat, in this first one it’s the tips of the wings. I tried other kinds of silhouettes and it works with them too, but not as well. Make sure you ONLY GLUE the ENDS and leave the middle wide open.

View from side of two (2) bat silhouettes with end of wings glued together

Once you have them aligned equally then you let them dry a little. I’m a bit impatient so I only let them dry for like thirty seconds before I moved on. That didn’t seem to hurt anything. I wasn’t stingy with the glue either, but I didn’t over do it or have any glue coming out of the edges.

At this point you take one of your painted clothes pins (which should be completely dry at this point), and get ready to put it into the bat. First thing I did was place the clothes pin in there to line it up, see how far to stick the clothes pin in and then I took it back out and glued it where it needed to be attached. For this step I just used the same glue stick because there’s no point in using some other adhesive on this at all. Put a generous amount of the glue on the open end of the clothes pin (NOT THE CLOSED END) and slide the pin between the paper silhouettes. Make sure you press down for a few seconds to make sure the glue attaches.

View of the clothes pin between the paper bats.

Just to give you an idea of how far in I went on the clothes pins, I used the metal piece as a base line and didn’t go past that point.

View of the finished clothes pin bat laying flat on the table

The silhouettes I bought last year had holes that you could just punch out fairly easily. The ones I bought this year didn’t have any holes. You can punch your own holes in to make your own effect. Eyes for sure, anything else is just icing on the cake. I’d recommend punching any holes before you start putting these together, and I’d do two of them together so as they match up when you put them back to back.

Pinned bat

Now that you have this done you can pin them anywhere, and usually without any damage to what you’re pinning them to. I pinned one to a poster I have hanging up and there were no marks left on the poster. I also pinned one to clothing, so that’s an idea. I pinned one to a clip magnet which ended up giving it an angle as though it were flying off of the surface of the door the magnet was on. I pinned a bunch to some curtains to see what they look like. You could also use them to cast shadows by pinning them to something and setting them in front of a light source. The options are almost limitless.

Bat pinned to a clip magnet looks like it’s flying off the door

Different bat shapes work for this

I may try to do the same thing with the rat silhouettes. I wouldn’t recommend doing this with spider silhouettes because they are really too small. You could make your own spider silhouettes that are really big or any shape for that matter and do this project. I’d love to see what anyone comes up with if you do it.

The Dollar Tree silhouettes were a buck for a pack of 15 and it didn’t take any time to cut them out or print them and no ink or anything either. The glue stick works really well but be careful not to overdo it because you could mess up the paper even though they are pretty heavy stock. The spray paint was the best way I could say to paint them and the method I used was simple, fast, and left me with a cool little row of teeth I can use for something else. The drying method I used was pretty great too so I hope you’ll try that one.

Enjoy the Halloween my friends!

– Mr. Frights



One comment

  1. MEAT Clown Approved!

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