8 Best DIY Halloween Projects for Makers

With October comes the usual slew of pumpkin-flavored coffee, popcorn, cereal, and virtually anything mildly food-related. What better way to celebrate than with a fun, seasonal maker project? Whether you're looking for a seasonal creation for adults, a family-friendly endeavor, or something in between, there's an option for you. Check out the best DIY Halloween projects for makers!

1. Halloween 3D Printing and Laser Cutting Projects

If you've got a 3D printer on hand, these 3D printed and laser cutting designs are perfect for transforming any room into a holiday-themed haunt. You'll need a few goodies such as a yellow flickering battery-powered LED candle, BBC micro:bit board, and of course a laser cutter as well as 3D printer. You'll find designs for a pumpkin replete with yellow flickering candle LED, Halloween flicker boxes, a bat with flapping wings, and a waving skeleton. 

2. 3D Zoetrope: Ghost and Pumpkin Animation

Before the days of film, the zoetrope offered a form of animation. Essentially, zoetropes created optical illusions of motion through depicting a sequence of illustrations conveying motion. This 3D zoetrope animates ghosts and pumpkins for a Halloween twist. You will need a 3D printer, as well as an Arduino Uno, Arduino motor shield, bipolar stepper motor, and a few other components. It's pretty easy to build, and creates a spooky atmosphere.

3. Flame-throwing IoT Pumpkin

Because of its pyrotechnics, the flame-throwing IoT pumpkin is, quite literally, one of the hottest DIY Halloween projects for makers. At its core, this Internet of Things pyrotechnic pumpkin uses Particle Photon and Servo. Since it shoots actual fire, I suggest this as a project for responsible adults, so probably not me. 

For the fire-breathing element, the flame-throwing IoT pumpkin employs hairspray. Spraying is controlled with Servo. It's not a terribly difficult project, but don't underestimate the volatility of a fire-breathing pumpkin. This could actually blow up in your face, so if you choose to replicate it, please proceed with caution. 

4. Micro:bit-powered Halo-ween Fancy Dress

Get your "Hocus Pocus" on and win that best Halloween costume contest with a BBC micro:bit-powered Halo-ween fancy dress. You've got the opportunity to get creative, as which Halloween costume you select dictates the end result. You'll need the Kitronik ZIP Halo for the BBC micro:bit, a means to add color to a BBC micro:bit project with ZIP LEDs. 

5. Magic Wand Project for Halloween Delights

Spice up trick-or-treating with a magic wand project! Outfit a classic pumpkin bucket with infrared LEDs and motion sensors to create a trick-or-treating Jack 'O Lantern with a lid that opens when you wave a wand at it. Since the magic wand Jack 'O Lantern is designed for trick-or-treating, this is one of the best Halloween maker projects for families. Use this as an opportunity to get your kids interested in DIY projects!

6. Candy Tosser

Although it's not specifically a do-it-yourself Halloween creation, this candy tosser is really neat. By default, it uses the word Alexa to trigger an Adafruit soundboard which states, "If you want candy, smile NOW!" If the user smiles, candy is tossed in that direction. But if they're not smiling, the soundboard replies "No smile, no candy."

It's powered by Adafruit, Arduino, and the Google AIY vision kit. This could be a fun gadget to leave on your doorstep on Halloween, but you'll probably need to include a sign with basic instructions. And be prepared for potentially confused youngsters knocking to request candy the analog way. Alternately, try this candy tosser as a means of forcing leftover Halloween candy on guests.

7. Iron Man Costume: Pi-ron Man and micro:bit Ironman Arc Reactor

Now, you can be Iron Man with the Pi-ron Man mask and a replica of the Arc Reactor made with a BBC micro:bit. The Pi-ron Man mask features holographic information similar to that of the interface Tony Stark uses. It's based on a Raspberry Pi Zero W. Then, then the BBC micro:bit Iron Man Arc Reactor further completes your Iron Man cosplay. You'll need to complete a bit of 3D printing, but overall this is a simple creation. For more Marvel costume ideas, try going as Wolverine with a set of Wolverino fully automatic DIY X-Men Wolverine claws.

8. Star Wars Costumes: DIY Lightsabers

With the continued popularity of Star Wars, as evidenced by "The Last Jedi" an "Solo," Star Wars costumes remain perfect for Halloween. One year, I actually dressed up as Dart Vader for Halloween, but there definitely aren't any surviving pictures of that, right mom? Move along, move along nothing to see here. Maker Bitluni offers an awesome persistence of vision Star Wars lightsaber that you can create with LEDs, Arduino, and an ESP32. Or, you can whip up an Arduino lightsaber with Arduino, NeoPixel, and Adafruit. 

Best DIY Halloween Projects for Makers: Final Thoughts

There are loads of spooky and silly Halloween projects you can make yourself. Raspberry Pi owners may create these seven awesome Halloween props including the Pumpkin Pi, a creepy face tracker, and a spooky portrait. One creative maker even whipped up a Raspberry Pi-powered version of the Billy puppet from "Saw." 

While the Raspberry Pi is a popular maker device, Arduino boasts its share of spooktacular DIY projects. There's the monster in a box, Arduino MP3 player and distance sensor for haunting fun, an animatronic LEGO Frankenstein game, and animated pumpkin. Whatever you're looking for, there's a seasonal project you can make. 

What DIY Halloween maker projects are you working on?

Moe Long

Moe Long is an editor, writer, and tech buff with a particular appreciation for Linux, Raspberry Pis, and retro gaming. When he's not hammering away at his keyboard, he enjoys running, reading, watching cinema, and listening to vinyl. You can read his writings on film and pop culture at CupOfMoe.com and check out his thoughts on movies on the Celluloid Fiends podcast.


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