Halloween skeletons

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Project by Jack_T posted 10-26-2010 06:51 PM 2729 views 7 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project started out with a childhood memory of a cardboard skeleton that my Mom used to put up every Halloween. The limbs could be moved to make different positions. It was simple but it was there every Halloween. I could not find anything like it so decided to recreate it.

The first photograph shows the four pages of plans that I drew. The scale is full size. The graph paper is quarter inch boxes. I decided that if I was going to make one on the scroll saw I might as well make 12. One to hang in each front window.

Each skeleton is made from 3/8” hardboard with a white coating, It is sold in the big box stores in 4’x8’ sheets. I cut blanks and stacked the blanks in groups of 12 held together with painters tape. I then glued the patterns to the blanks. Prior to cutting the parts on my scroll saw I drilled a 3/16” hole for the joint hinge. (Photos two and three show the ganged blanks at various stages of cutting.) I glued the patterns to the top of the blocks using a glue stick that permits peeling and repositioning. I used an “Elmer’s Repositionable PICTURE AND POSTER” glue stick to attach the patterns. It made it very easy to remove the patterns after cutting. I cleaned the parts by wiping them with Isopropyl alcohol to remove any residual adhesive. Photographs four and five show the “bones” awaiting assembly and the skeletons partially assembles.

The individual parts are held together with 3/16” rivets with a washer on the back. The washer is necessary because the hardboard is to soft to hold the rivet. The rivet will simply pull through the hardboard without the rivet. Fully assembled the parts are all movable to allow multiple positions. Its overall height is approximately 23”. Photo six shows the finished skeleton.

I had a great time working on this project which utilized my tablesaw, bandsaw, drill press, and scroll saw. In part because I learned alot about using my scroll saw (this was my first project on the scroll saw) but more importantly because I relived many memories from my childhood and hopefully set the wheels in motion to create many happy memories for my daughter to relive when she is grown.

My daughter loves the skeletons. So does our neighbors’ daughter. She asked me to make her one. So its back to the workshop. I have to make it before Halloween.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

6 comments so far

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2831 days

#1 posted 10-26-2010 06:55 PM

Very cute- and far more durable that the old cardboard ones!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3188 days

#2 posted 10-26-2010 07:08 PM

Yours are much nicer than the paper ones I remember as a kid. I bet they hold a pose better than the cheap paper ones too. Nice job.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18265 posts in 3669 days

#3 posted 10-27-2010 01:13 AM

KOOL!! I should make some for LOML. She decorates to the max for haloween and Christmas.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Paul2274's profile


330 posts in 3105 days

#4 posted 10-27-2010 02:27 AM

Great idea and a detail of the design…. going into the favorites!

Thank you


View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3928 days

#5 posted 10-27-2010 02:30 AM

Awesome. I have one of the paper ones but would so like to replace it with a few of these. The best part is they will hold up a lot longer then the paper ones and your daughter might be able to relive her childhood memories with the same skeleton.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 3024 days

#6 posted 10-28-2010 02:31 PM

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. If you are able to convert the photo of the plans to actual templates and want to make copies for your personal use feel free to do so. The best part about Lumberjocks is being able to share.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

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