Do-It-Yourself: Outdoor Halloween Witch and Cats
My mom first saw this image in 2005 from her Martha Stewart Living magazine subscription. At the time I was twelve so did I care? No. But fast forward twelve years and this witch gave me alll the feels…how could it not??
So when my mom, after begging for years, finally persuaded my dad to make one for their yard you bet I wanted one for mine. At that time, I was a full-time teacher who just found out she was expecting and was sicker than a dog… To say I didn’t have the energy or extra time to make one myself was an understatement. So my sweet parents made an additional one for me. Aren’t they the best? You bet they are!
Once I put the witch and cats out for display I had people offering to purchase a set from me**. Apparently Martha knew what a hit these would be 😉
The Supplies You’ll Need:
- 23/32 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. Fir Sheathing Plywood (One sheet of plywood should make a witch and two cats)
- Witch Template from Martha Stewart
- Cat Templates from Martha Stewart
- Scotch Tape
- Masking Tape
- Black Sharpie
- Jigsaw Blades (approximately three wood blades)
- 5/16 Drillbit
- Orbital Sander
- 80 Grit Ultra Durable Sanding Discs
- Foam Roller with Frame
- Paint Tray
- Black Latex Paint
- 2 in. Flat Chip Paint Brush
- Drop Cloth
- 1-1/2 in. 2-Hole Electrical Metallic Tube (EMT) Straps (2-Pack)
- 3/4 in. Electrical Metallic Tube (EMT) 2-Hole Straps (4-Pack)
- (1) 1-3/4 in. x 3-1/2 in. x 5 ft. Green Steel Fence T-Post
- (2) 1/2 in. x 1 ft. Rebar
- (12) 5/8 in. wood screws
- Witch’s broom
- Halloween Lantern
You will want to print off the templates. These templates use quite a bit of ink so I had them printed off at a local copy shop so that Mr. Farmhouse wouldn’t complain about the lack of ink next time he had to use the printer 😉 .Gathering scissors and scotch tape, you will then cut out each template one at a time.
Using the main grid as your guide, you will cut out a page and then assemble that page using tape to your template. You will not want to cut out all the pieces of each page and then try to assemble them together. Some pages have multiple small parts that are complicated to tape on, so by taking it a page at a time it’s easier to assemble together.
You will want to purchase the supplies you need from your local home improvement center. You will want to make sure that you purchase a high quality piece of plywood. The witch has very fragile parts that will break easily during cutting and handling if low quality plywood is used.
Your next step will be to arrange the templates on your piece of plywood. You should be able to fit the witch and two cats. Using the masking tape, you will tape down the templates using small pieces of tape. Next, you will trace the outline of each template with a sharpie.
Once the outlines of the templates have been traced onto the plywood, you will remove the masking tape and templates carefully while insuring that the outline has been traced.
Your next step will be to cut out the witch and cats.
You can tell from the picture above that I removed some of the excess plywood around the witch. This will make it easier for you to cut and follow the outlines of each figure.
Please make sure that you are wearing appropriate eye protection. Plywood dust will be inevitable and I would hate for you to get those tiny particles in your eyes.
If this is your first time using a jigsaw, please have someone who knows how to use the tool demonstrate to you how to properly use it. I had never used a jigsaw prior to this project so I asked my dad to help me out at first.
Once the cats were cut, I then started cutting out the witch. In order to cut out the fine details around her face, hat and sleeves, my dad and I used a 5/16 drill bit with our screwdriver to allow the jigsaw the ability to move more effectively. You will want someone to hold the plywood while you are cutting the top half of the witch’s figure because you don’t want your plywood to fall and then have the finer cuts break.
After your witch and cats have been cut, you will want to take your orbital sander with 80 grit sanding discs and lightly sand each figure so that your edges are smooth and paint will adhere.
Place a drop cloth down underneath your painting station. You will next take your black latex paint, foam roller with frame, 2 in. chip paint brush, and paint tray to paint the witch and two cats. Poor your paint into the paint tray and with your foam roller roll paint onto front, back and side edges of your witch and two cats. For small crevices dip your 2 in. chip paint brush.
After the paint has dried according to brand instructions, you will choose the orientation that you want the witch to face. Next, you will drive your fence t-post into the ground where you want the witch to be placed. You will lean your witch against the t-post and will attach both 1-1/2 in. 2-Hole Electrical Metallic Tube (EMT) Straps with 5/8 inch wood screws. This just assures that you are aligning the straps at the most effective placements.
Using your 5/8 wood screws and screwdriver you will then attach the straps to your witch.
You will choose the orientation that you want your cats to face. Next, you will drive both rebars into the ground where you want each cat to be placed. Like before, you will lean each cat against the piece of rebar and will attach one 3/4 in. Electrical Metallic Tube (EMT) 2-Hole Strap with 5/8 inch wood screws to each cat. This just assures that you are aligning the straps at the most effective placements.
To ensure that the witch’s arms do not break when attaching the brackets that hold her accessories, you will want to carefully slide up the witch to remove her from the fence post.
You will then attach one 3/4 in. Electrical Metallic Tube (EMT) 2-Hole Strap with 5/8 inch wood screws to each arm.
You’ll want to purchase a broom and lantern to add the finishing touches. I bought my witch’s accessories at Spirit Halloween but there are so many places to purchase them. My mom also added this cute burlap ribbon to the top of her witch’s hat.
Due to the dark fall nights in Utah, both my mom and I showcase our witches by using outdoor spotlights.
I can’t wait to see your finished pieces using this blog post. Make sure to post your finished set on Instagram and tag me @1776FauxFarmhouse so that I can see and comment on your cute witches and cats. If you aren’t following me yet, head on over and click that follow button because there are more project posts headed your way!
Until next time,
**For those who are Utah locals, I am currently selling this set. This set includes a witch and two cats with installed brackets. Green Lawn Fence Post, Rebar and witch’s accessories are not included. This set is $300 with local pickup only, shipping is not an option.
This post is not affiliated or sponsored by Martha Stewart, Home Depot or ANY brands displayed or linked throughout this post. Please note that these are the supplies and brands that I chose to use myself for this project.
The power tools listed above are dangerous and if not used properly can result in fatal injures or death. If you are not comfortable using these power tools please consult someone who does.