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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made some of these last year on a whim, and it turned out to be the best activity at the party. I figured I would share for those of you involved with kids parties, or even for those of you with young kids. Cut these out and let them paint!

These are fast and easy to make. I make my designs with no inside corners for simplicity and to make with quickness. Last year I made about 30 tombstones and ghosts. This year I made 9 pumpkins, 9 bats, 3 more ghosts and two more tombstones. (I have some leftover from last year).
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I use 1/4" mdf since its cheap. All of my blanks are cut to 4"x6". Sorry I don't have a picture of this, but its straight forward. I'm doing this after they're already made as well.

Find your pattern. I found clipart that I liked online and then freehanded the drawing onto my blank.

I took my pattern bit bearing off and used it as a template to make sure my corners would come out clean. That's what the grease mark is on the bat. The only sharp inside corner i've ran into is on the bat. I can accept that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Next up is cutting out your template. Last year I used my bandsaw. This year I had a scrollsaw which made this easier. Once cut out do some sanding to smooth things out, and trim up anything that looks off. Everything else will be made from these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Trace the template to you're blanks and rough cut the waste off. Its not really necessary, but it's a lot safer once at the router. Plus you'll have less dust at the router. Cut as close as you can without going over your line. 1/16-1/8" works well.

Here are all of my blanks rough cut and my templates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now you simply double face tape your template to your workpiece. Install a pattern bit into your router. Then trim away.

Last year I used the same tape for several pieces in a row. This year I tried it and my pieces slipped. It's up to you, but I recommend using new tape each time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Once I got to the pumpkins I realized how much faster it is at the table to just stack the pieces up instead of pulling each one apart every time. This added a benefit of more mass. With just one piece it tended to chatter some. With a few together it's smooth sailing.

I don't think I would recommend doing this with the bats though. you don't have a lot of tape with the bats and they may separate on you which would be very dangerous. My pumpkins had a lot of tape between each piece and was very secure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Now separate your pieces, do some light corner sanding since mdf edges are very sharp. We don't want the kids to bleed here! And you're basically done.

My wife hot gun glued ribbon to the ghosts for a hanger. She'll probably do the same this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just need to make a couple of bases for my two new tombstones. Mine from last year are 1.5" deep made from 3/4" poplar. I cut a 45 on the front to soften it, and cut a groove for my tombstone.

All of that took me about 3 hours today. Minus the sanding and tombstone bases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
An update.. I hand sanded everything except the bats and thought to myself, "those are gonna be a b****". So instead I used a 45 degree bit in my router table and barely nibbled the corners off. I should have done this from the start. Done with the bats in 5 minutes compared to probably an hour of sanding all of the curves. The pumpkins took me half an hour.

If jigs and tools were chairs and stools, we'd always have a place to sit.
~Stumpy Nubs
 

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I'm sure they're great looking Halloween decors, clean cuts on the patterns. Better to be early to be able to make more and the kids will be very excited on the fun occasion. Looking forward to the finished products.
 
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