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Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Witch How To

Secret of the Witch
Last week I invited all into the Witch's Cottage. 
I got several emails asking me about the witch. 
What was she?
Where did she come from?
Was she just an image photoshopped in?

No...she's real...she really is in my living room.
Here is her secret.
I did photoshop her a skirt in some of last weeks photos.
I made her about four years ago. 
I found a vintage photo of a prim and proper victorian woman online.
I added a witch's hat to her using illustrator and photoshop.
I then enlarged her to life size and sent the file to what was then, Kinko's,
which is now FedEx Office.

I had her printed on their large format black and white banner printer.
They also have a large format color printer which I could have used
but I was trying to keep cost down. 
The black and white paper print of her cost me no more than $15 if that. 
I then had them mount her to foam core, another service they offer.
I then brought her home and cut her out using an exacto knife.
Total cost was probably about $65.
I can't remember exactly because it's been awhile.
The black and white banner printer prints 3 feet wide and really as long as you want. 
I've done as long as 12 feet.
Her nasty little secret...she's very shallow or thin depending on how you look at it.
My plan was to do a different witch every year till I had a group of them to sit around a table.
But I haven't gotten around to making others.
Now, there are digital printers and sign companies that you can send your file to 
and they will print to a heavy plastic board and they will cut it out for you.
Cost would be $100 - $150.
Not really in my budget this year.
But that printing is nearly indestructible. 
I've done several large projects for work using the process and it's really fantastic.
But for the money, you can't beat the black and white banner printer at FedEx Office.
You could easily and cheaply create a wall similar to this using the black and white banner printer.
Find a spooky old photo and blow it up.
It's best to use the largest photo you can find....but actually even if the image is pretty pixellated, 
it still looks good from a distance. Same way billboards look bad close up but good from a distance.
That witch photo was actually only about 12 inches at 72 ppi and yes upclose she's a little rough 
but from a distance she looks just fine.
On Halloween night my witch will be sitting at the window looking out with a 
strobe light flashing on her. She always scares the little kids...they think she's a real witch. 
They always jump and scream when they see her.

If I had the budget I'd make lots of ghosts and monsters to haunt my house in this manner. 
Maybe next year. 

sharing at


La said...

Amazing! Aren't you crafty. La

Paris Hotel Boutique said...

Nita, I LOVE that witch!! I don't have the time to do it or I would make one. I swear, you could sell tons of these! Please make some. I'll be the first in line to buy one. BRILLIANT!

. said...


But seriously, she would scare me to death in the middle of the night!! ;)

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

AMAZING Nita!!! I wondered about her when I saw her in your room too- can't believe you made that!! You did an AMAZING job! WOW!!! :)

Marie said...

You clever girly you! That's a cool secret you've shared with us. I'm slowly building up my Halloween decor thanks to you. But I don't have nearly half of your fantastic decor.

Anonymous said...

I love it all! Your home is simply fabulous! xoxoxo www.1942charm.blogspot.com

Unknown said...

what a clever idea, but she scares me and I would never get to sleep knowing she was sitting in my parlor.

E. Charlotte said...

This is a wonderful idea!! You just got my brain working and now I'm thinking of all the ways I can use that type of art for the holidays! Awesome!! Kinkos is gonna start seeing a lot of me!

Teresa said...

Fabulous! How do you feel about me using some of your Halloween images over at Blissful....Let me know.

Melanie {The Tiny Tudor} said...

I think the vintage witch is frightfully fabulous.
Also, just noticed your beautiful blue ceiling. Love coved ceilings.

Lisa ~Suburban Retreat~ said...

All I can say is Wow ... your witch is really amazing and I must add ~ very scary! What a very cool idea, she photographs well.

Meadowsweet Cottage said...

Your whole house looks frightfully eerie--but your witch just takes it over the top! Love it, Nita!


Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage said...

She looks like a very be"witch"ing lady, Nita! Great idea for the enlargement. I can see that concept being implemented for all kinds of holiday decorations.

Thanks for sharing the how-to. ;)

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

★Carol★ said...

I am so in awe! She's fabulous, and although I'd love to have one too, I know I'd make a puddle every time I saw her!

WhisperWood Cottage said...

Super creepy and creative! Thanks for linking up to The "Autumn Décor" Talent Scouting Party at WhisperWood Cottage!

Keeping My Cents said...

Staples engineer prints are much cheaper....if you were going to do it again:)

Looks great!