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How to Make a Halloween Window Display

How to Make a Halloween Window Display main article image
Posted on October 20, 2021 by Carrie Christenson
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Hello!!  I’m going to show you today how easy it is to add some fun colorful vinyl to add some holiday magic to your home.  The longest part will be waiting for the machine to cut it all out!  Sometimes a simple craft is best!  But seriously, the cutting, weeding, and installing will take a bit of time so plan for a few hours.

I will have to say the best part of this project was watching my kid’s reactions as we pulled into the driveway after school.  I love making each holiday another magical memory for them to (hopefully) fondly look back on as they get older. 

Let’s dive in!

Supplies Needed:

  • Multiple Colors of Removable Vinyl (the colors I used are shown below)
  • Skeleton Graphic Files
  • Transfer Tape
  • Scraper Tool
  • Weeding Tool
  • Electronic Cutting Machine – I’m using a Silhouette Cameo for this tutorial

Vinyl colors

Design the Cut Files

Open your Silhouette Studio software and then open the graphics design folder and select your first item.  I’m using these fun skeleton graphics to create a scene that looks like they are dancing across the windows. These are included in a full Halloween bundle if you’re looking for lots of great designs ready to go.

Silhouette Studio SS1

It’s going to open extremely large at first so next, you’ll need to resize it to fit the 12” x 12” mat size.  You can simply drag it to scale by clicking on a corner or you can head to the transform panel and then use the scale tool to resize it to fit your cutting mat.

Silhouette Studio SS2

Now click on the “file” drop-down menu that’s in the top left-hand corner of the screen and select “merge” so you can add a second graphic to the same sheet.  This is the best way to add multiple files to the same project sheet, otherwise, when you go to open a new file it will open in a new window.  You would need to copy and paste that file into this sheet if you mistakenly open the file instead of using the merge feature.

Silhouette Studio SS5

Repeat this process for all of the other designs.  Here’s a screengrab of each sheet so you can see how to lay them out to fit 2 on each 12” x 12” sheet.  You’ll just need to play around with the sizes and rotating the images around kinda like a puzzle.  I did the hard work for you of seeing which 2 fit best together!  

Silhouette Studio SS6

Silhouette Studio SS7

Silhouette Studio SS8

Silhouette Studio SS9

Silhouette Studio SS10

Silhouette Studio SS11

Once you’re ready, you can send the files to be cut.  I am using the standard vinyl cut settings for the vinyl I’m using and they cut perfectly.  If you’re using a design that has a “right way” to face, please make sure to mirror it before cutting. 

cutting vinyl photo

Design the Word File

I wanted to add a word phrase to the top of the window display so using the font called Night Mare I wrote out “trick or treat”. I used all lower case letters because I wanted them to be the same height.

Silhouette Studio SS12

Now you’ll need to scale it larger so it’s easy to read.  I went as large as I could when angled across the 12” x 12” mat.  You can also use the larger 12″ x 24″ cutting mat or cut without using a mat at all if you have a roll of vinyl you’re working with.  I only had 12″ x 12″ sized sheets of vinyl for this project which is why I chose to angle it.  

Silhouette Studio SS13

Don’t forget to mirror the image before sending it to be cut!  I almost forgot myself but remembered at the very last second.  Phew!!!

Silhouette Studio SS14

Weed and Prep the Vinyl

After all of the sheets of vinyl are cut you can use your scissors to cut the 2 designs apart.  Next, weed the excess vinyl away leaving only the adorable dancing skeletons on the backer paper.

Weeding the vinyl

weeded vinyl skeletons

Finally, add some transfer tape over the top of the skeletons so you can attach them to your windows.

add transfer tape to vinyl

I was able to reuse the same piece of transfer tape for about 4-5 skeletons so you’re able to save some material.  

peeling the backing off the vinyl

Attach the Vinyl

Now you can have fun positioning the dancing skeletons all around the window!  I tried to place them in ways that made sense with their various motions.

attaching vinyl to the window

Sometimes they don’t want to stick to the window perfectly so work slowly and pulling it away at about a 45-degree angle will help.  Or simply rolling the transfer tape down while basically still having it pressed up again the window is another method so you’re not physically pulling away from the glass.

removing vinyl at an angle

Repeat this for every design and the words.  I did decide to use extra transfer tape for attaching the words so I could make sure they were spaced out properly before actually attaching them to the window.

showing the trick or treat on the window

I’m loving this fun window display to bring some holiday fun to our home.  I might cut some glow-in-the-dark vinyl for the upstairs windows to keep the scene going!

full window display

I loved watching my kids explore the new window vinyl!  The skeleton holding his head was their favorite.

my kids admiring the vinyl

Design Tombstones (extra details!)

I decided that this needed a little something added after attaching everything else.  We need to know where those skeletons came from!  Let’s design our own tombstone shapes and add those in.

Start by clicking on the shape options on the left-hand side of the screen.  You’ll want to select the half-circle shape.  Simply draw it on the screen, you can change it to any size you want later.

tombstone ss1

Now, let’s add the bottom part of the tombstones.  You’ll want to draw a rectangle shape this time.  You can resize it to be the same width as the half-circle so they match up perfectly.  Did you know you could resize them in the top tool bar?

tombstone ss3

I like to use the align tools to make sure they are truly centered with each other before moving on to the next step.

tombstone ss2

To create one shape out of these two combined you’ll want to overlap the edges just a bit and then use the modify panel.  You’ll want to make sure both items are selected and then click weld to turn them into one solid shape.

tombstone ss5

tombstone ss5

Let’s add the word RIP to them to really send home the tombstone idea.  Just type the letters out and center them near the top.  

tombstone ss7

Don’t forget to mirror it so that it reads correctly for the people walking by.

tombstone ss8

Finally, group everything together and then replicate the design across the top of the page.  I’m only making 4 tombstones total because I have a scrap of grey vinyl I’m working with.  

tombstone ss9

tombstone ss10

Send them to be cut and add them to your window like the other items.

tombstone ss11

The new completed look with the added tombstones!

the new full window display

Here’s how it looks from the front exterior of the house for all of the neighbors to view, they can see more without the pillows being in the way!

exterior shot of the window display 1

exterior shot of the window display 2

Photographing windows with lots of glare is tough!!  LOL, I’m sorry I can’t get a better photo with my camera.

Happy Crafting!!

Carrie Christenson


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