If there’s a holiday that inspires makers to go the extra mile, it’s Halloween. After all, you get only one chance a year to scare the bejesus out of neighborhood kids with impunity.
While creative types have traditionally done quite a lot with humble materials—cardboard, twine, and spray paint come to mind—they now have 3D printing and precision machining to elevate their Halloween-projects game.
These makers have shared their Halloween project plans, from creepily realistic skull candy to jaw-dropping superhero costumes, so you can make this All Hallows’ Eve truly nightmarish. So put on a Cramps record, fire up the 3D printer, and get ghoulish.
1. Instructables: Let’s Make Halloween
Not sure where to start? Instructables features a huge selection of projects, including mock bloody brains, talking skeletons, and a creepy replica of the face hugger from Alien (John Hurt stand-in not included). Just be sure to take down your eyeball wreath before Christmas—that is, unless you want to be known as that neighbor. Get the instructions.
2. Precision-Machined Pumpkin
There was a time—a simpler time, to be sure—when the height of pumpkin carving meant transforming the gourd into someone who’s had a bit too much to drink. But one gentleman has raised the bar, using a CNC machine and Autodesk Fusion 360 to turn a humble pumpkin into a work of art. This video includes links to download the plans, but be forewarned: You’ll be cleaning up soggy bits of pumpkin for quite a while.
3. 3D-Printed Halloween Costumes
It’s Halloween, so of course you need a costume. Sure, you could drive over to that Halloween pop-up store housed in the defunct Blockbuster at the strip mall, but chances are, you’ll walk out of there with a cheap approximation of Iron Man that leaves you frighteningly itchy after wearing it for 20 minutes. But if you have a 3D printer, you can build yourself Iron Man’s suit complete with LEDs and moving parts. If villainy is more your style, print Bane’s creepy mask or Thanos’s oversize gauntlet. Either way, you’ll blow the minds of trick-or-treaters and comic-book nerds alike. Read the article.
4. Halloween Skull Truffles
Take a little food-grade silicone, add a penchant for the macabre, and you have Marc Brownlow’s Halloween Skull Truffles, complete with creepy brain folds. As Brownlow points out, spooky bakers will need to fork over a bit up front to make the molds, but they’re durable and will provide disturbing treats for years to come. And if you observe Mexico’s El Día de los Muertos, you’ll have the perfect candies for honoring and remembering the dearly departed. Read the article.
5. 3D-Printable Halloween Decorations for Your Home
Why adorn your home with any old Halloween decorations when you can 3D print your own? With these easy plans, you’ll create custom tombstones, intricate skeletons, and a host of realistic spiders guaranteed to freak out the arachnophobes on your block. But the real star of the show is the lifelike crow with glowing eyes. Get the instructions.
6. 3D-Printed Candy Corn Launcher
Ah, candy corn: the ancient Halloween confection that a few troubled souls love but everyone else loathes. If you’re in the latter group, chances are, the very sight of those triangular candies triggers terrible memories of Halloweens past, when your stingy neighbors handed out bags of the disgusting sweets instead of proper mini candy bars. (The monsters!) However, thanks to British Columbia’s Dragonfly Fabrication, you can now 3D print a double-barrel candy-corn launcher that attaches to your wrist—and after Halloween, you’ll undoubtedly have unlimited ammo. Get the instructions.