DIY Halloween Dragon

It’s that time of year again. Our thoughts go all things spooky and spectacular. At the DeGrace house, we are big into a handmade Halloween. Simple, tactile and unique, it makes the experience of the day that much more special. Each of our boys has a connection to their chosen disguise through their own efforts to craft and create it. It is a time to rally the collective creative energy of the family, ultimately everyone teaching and learning from one another. It seems it offers the unique vision that anything is possible. Powerful indeed. Imagine it, and create it.

One of our most memorable recent projects was a Chinese Dragon. It began with the imagination of our youngest son. Like all projects it presented a myriad of design challenges and problems to solve. How to create a structure light enough to carry? Can I see where I am going? And perhaps most importantly, how do I still get to the door for candy? Paper Mache was the medium of choice, over an aluminum wire frame.

The Dragon has been used multiple years, by the boys together, as well as groups individually, with groups of their friends. The head hangs proudly in their bedrooms now. Like most creative adventures, there were benefits and outcomes we couldn’t have anticipated. Three young brothers learning to work together to walk in unison was priceless. Each taking a turn at the head to lead the charge. All equally invested, and valued. The gifts of collaboration and design. Happy Halloween!

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Double double toil and trouble; 
fire burn and cauldron bubble

These Haunted House Silhouettes are grand ghoulish Halloween fun. You can almost hear the cackling witch and her bubbling brew. A spooky treat for the tricksters at your door.  These creepy silhouettes were designed by Jeffery Rudell, and he has created a simple system for duplicating and decorating your Halloween windows.

Draw any spooky creature you can imagine, or copy one of Jeffrey’s templates. Let’s use our zombie friend here as an example. All I need to do is print out the image, and take it to my neighborhood copy center to have it enlarged. To figure out the enlargement percentage, I simply take the size of the silhouette I want, and divide it by the size of the silhouette I have. Then I cut it out and tape it up in my window using transparent tape. That’s it. Don’t worry about making it perfect. Jeffrey reminds us that these silhouettes are meant to appear as shadows and as such are expected to be a little abstract and distorted. Lit from behind, these cutouts are a spooky sight.

“This is just a sampling of the more than 38 windows and five doors that John created sinister shapes for. The final project made for an eye-catching sight in an otherwise dark and sleepy little hamlet. With a few inexpensive supplies and a dark imagination, you can turn your own house into the creepiest manse in town”. For anyone unable or unwilling to sketch out images on their own, I’ve included 3 of John’s PDFs that you can print out:

Looking for more?  Check out John’s new book for more clever and creepy Halloween images. Wishing you a haunting Halloween.

All excerpts and images found over at Make.

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Caught up in a web of wonderful

Every spider web begins with a single thread.  This seemingly delicate structure of silken strands looks like it would burst apart in the faintest breeze, when in actuality the threads are stronger than steel.  This is hard to believe, when one comes upon a web glistening with morning dew as if daintily covered with crystals by garden pixies.  A web hypnotizes with an impressive mix of strength and beauty; a desirable combination in just about any design.

Here is a collection of spider web and arachnid influenced design–from a teacup to modern furniture to a human-sized web installation.  It's an ode to the arachnid and the magic she unknowingly weaves into our world.



Baita Design Studio in Brazil created a tea set inspired by spiders–and how could it not be?  It's clean, crisp, geometric glamour would have Ms. Muffet coveting an invitation.

Okay, so it has twelve legs and the real thing has only eight.  But this Henry Snider spider wall clock is spot-on retro sleek–although I feel as if I'm being watched. Get more Snider spider clock info here.


It's the Spiderpodium from Breffo.  Use eight bendable legs to hang almost any portable handheld device almost anywhere on anything.  Very handy, er leggy.

This laptop stand was designed by Duncan Fitsimmons of Vitamins Design, London.  It's edgy, yet fun.  A little unexpected whimsy at the office never hurts.  Find out more.

This multi-faceted room divider was designed by Jean-Marie Massaud.  It's a breezy, beautiful and organically brilliant tumble of threads that move through space with elegant purpose–much like our eight-legged friends.  Add it to your home.


It's called the Bantam chair and was designed by Ryan Dart.  The legs imitate animal legs.  The modern attitude imitates a bold and strong arachnid confidence.  It's a perfect perch to sit, wait and contemplate all the angles–of both chair and life, or simply what to eat for lunch…perhaps that fly in the corner.  Feed your info fix.


DMY Berlin 2010:  Designers at FOR Use/Numen wove a web around scaffolding in a former airport using almost 700 rolls of conventional transparent self-adhesive tape.  Amazing.  And apparently, not as sticky as a real spider web.  More photos and details.


*Spider web image courtesy of  Spiderpodium image courtesy of Craziest

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