Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Real Bat-Mobile

I'm sure that when I say "Bat-mobile" people picture something more like this:

...and I let them, because I think it's clever.  Especially since, in reality, I mean this:

Homemade "Bat Mobile"
Okay.  So it isn't the cool car driven around by Batman.  But it is a mobile of bats, thus, a bat mobile, and a pretty cool one at that.  So I persist in telling people I made a bat mobile, and smiling when people wonder why I'd make a model comic car.  :)  

I got this idea from something similar done by Martha Stewart, but I used my Silhouette to size and cut out the bats for me, which made it easier.  Martha didn't have a Silhouette. Poor Martha.  So here's how to make this simple project for your home Halloween decor!  
Fortunately, most of the things you'll need for this project are probably already lying around your house or yard!  Winner-winner!

Also, stay tuned next week for a few more simple, last minute things you can do to "Halloween-ify" your home before the big night.

Materials Needed:
* Long branch
* Black cardstock or paper
* Light colored thread (such as light gray--you want it to disappear when hanging)
* Scizzors
* Glue
* Black spray paint (optional)
* Two small flat headed thumb tacks

First, I found a branch that was about the length I wanted.  I found this branch near the gutter on a run around my neighborhood, and you can likely find something similar just in debris or in your own backyard. I spray painted it black, though that is optional. Break off any unwanted pieces until you get the shaping of the branch and it's off-shoots to your liking.  I happen to prefer some of the smaller branching off pieces--adds to the "spooky"ness of it.

Next, the bats. I found the bat images that I wanted on the silhouette online store.  They come with 3 bats--small, medium and large--and are just titled "bats" (by Loni Stevens).  You could likely also find a good image online for free to just download.  Just try a few different shapes and sizes, as it really adds a lot.

I resized my bats so that the largest was about six inches across, and then made my medium and smaller bats a little larger than they would have been if I had just resized the image all together without ungrouping.  I used 9 bats for this mobile, so 3 sets of this image.  It doesn't matter if the sizing is all the same--the differences make them interesting. You just don't want your bats to be too small (when I first resized my grouped shape, the small bat was still only an inch across, and I wanted it bigger) or too large. Cut out your bats using your Silhouette on black cardstock or paper.

Resize the bat images so that they are appropriate for your branch size (not too small or too big)
Next, Martha suggests using a push pin or tack to create a hole in the bat so that you can put the thread through it to then knot and attach the string to the bat.  I tried this, and then tried knotting the thread as she says (to hang it from) but found that my sewing thread was so thin that even when knotted it would slide out of the hole.  Thus, I ended up using glue to attach the thread to each bat.  Glue or attach the thread at different places on the bat to achieve different positions for your bats to hang from (i.e. upside down, flying to the left or right, etc.)  Cut the threads at varying lengths and tie them securely to the branch.

Attach bats to string from various positions on their body, and hang from varying lengths of string
Finally, tie a long piece of thread to each end of the branch to hang your branch from the ceiling.  Use a flat thumb tack to hold it in place.  I wrapped my thread a few times around the base of the tack to secure it before pushing it into place in the ceiling. 

Now, stand back and enjoy your handy-work!  These bats may be the only type you'll ever want flying in your home.  But really, for such a simple project with such readily had items, I just loved this project I could make with my Silhouette.  My very own "Batmobile." :)

You betcha, Bat boy. ;)  

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