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Make Cool Stuff: The Halloween Edition

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories continues their press for world domination with the robotic Dalek pumpkin.

Halloween is the convergence of three things I love: holidays, crafts, and nerds. The internet is jam-packed with Halloween tutorials this time of year, and I’ve rounded up the best of the best to set you up for a weekend full of nerdy, crafty goodness. Prepare yourself for a pumpkin patch sized bucket o’ project links.

The majority of today’s projects come from four of my favorite sites. If you want to do some of your own surfing, I recommend beginning your searches here:

The Instructables Halloween Archive

Make Magazine Halloween Projects

Craft Halloween Projects

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories Halloween Projects


My hand-down favorite costume tutorial I’ve seen this season is the knitting pattern for a Dr. Zoidberg costume by Instructables user Kathara! Get yourself a lab coat and you’re all set. Unfortunately, if you knit as slowly as I do, you won’t be going as Dr. Zoidberg until Halloween 2012 or 2013.

I suspect many of you may be contemplating a zombie costume this year. Good choice! You’re going to need wounds and lots of them. Here are two similar sets of instructions for making zombie wounds (they’re really gross). Both of them use liquid latex and fake blood, available from your local Halloween store or Amazon. Please check for latex sensitivity before slathering on the liquid latex! In addition to flesh wounds, you may wish to place your brains on display. Craft has a clever solution involving a baseball cap and caulk.

If terrifying small children and the weak-of-stomach isn’t your bag, never fear. Round up your friends and go as a flock of Angry Birds! Heather from Twin Dragonfly Designs has a step-by-step tutorial for each bird (these could also be scaled down to make yourself a bunch of Angry Bird pillows). Link via Craft

Instructables is a great place to search for costume ideas, from superhero capes to Animal from the Muppets.


Halloween is the one time of year when you’re rewarded for nasty looking food. I’ve assembled highlights for your party menu:

Meat Head

Edible Things in a Jar (these really gross me out, but may actually be yummy)

Bowl of Worms

Eyeball Panna Cotta

Brains in a Jar Cupcakes (link via Craft)

Presentation is everything, and these are all disgusting.


Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories dominates this category! As a special bonus, many of their projects make an excellent starter electronics project. Use an LED throwie to light up a miniature jack o’lantern. (If you have an interest in LEDs, Windell goes deep into detail on throwies here.)

Because I’m contractually obligated to mention that show at least once each post, I bring you the Dalek pumpkins! There’s the easier (but fantastic) version from Thwan-Condu over at DeviantArt (link via EMSL) and the tricked-out robotic version from Evil Mad Scientist labs that you saw at the beginning of the post.

In addition to the Dalek, EMSL also offers up projects for a Cylon jack o’lantern (using the Larson Scanner I covered in a previous Kits post) to the robotic Snap-o-Lantern.

Finally, if you’re not a fan of scooping pumpkin guts, trying carving from the outside in. I find this time-lapse video fascinating:

Decorating Your House

Craft offers up what I think is the most elegant solution for whole-house decorations: black silhouettes in window.

If you plan on pimping out your pad with black lights, here’s a good trick to make the water glow in your table-top fountain: remove the felt from a couple of yellow highlighters and soak them in the fountain water the night beforehand. (Please don’t drink this water.) For glowing lanterns, crack open some glow sticks.

Finally, a project that fills my little DC Comics-loving heart with joy. Instructables user Jerjod took his love of Batman and parlayed it into an amazing Halloween display. He lays out the projects steps here. While it’s not likely you’re going to rush out and whip this up over the weekend, I bring it to you as an example of what you can make when you let your imagination run wild.

Now get out there and claim your nerd-given right to rock Halloween! As usual, if you make anything cool, I’d love to see a link!

Mindy loves to make cool stuff and loves seeing the cool stuff other people have made. Send her a link to your fabulous projects on Twitter @HolaMindy or check out her blog.

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  3. Mi mi xD says:

    THIS IS EP! (epic) and I really like the darlek pumpkin but i dont think i will be able to EVER make one of thouse! xD

  4. I saw those skulls, aren’t they great? I’m a little too inept at candy making to know if they are doable or not. One time I attempted to make homemade caramel corn and I kept burning the caramel. I got so frustrated I threw the third batch at the wall (which was dumb because then I had to clean it up).

    I ended up bringing Oreos to the party but I made everybody call them caramel corn.

  5. Patti says:

    Wow, some really cool ideas. Being a chocolate lover and creator of nummy chocolate goodies, the skull truffles impressed me, especially since this person crafted his own silicone candy mold!! Psst, next time, use Merckens chocolate for the pink brain coating. Wilton sucks. (I actually use Merckens for all my chocolates). I’ll add a recipe I saw this morning for adorable little mini-pumpkin spice cakes – Very detailed pictures and instructions. Must. make. now. Thanks for posting, Mindy!

  6. Jonathan Yuengling says:

    Awesome as always.

  7. Swag says:

    Epic as always Mindy!!! So many good ideas for Halloween now!