Halloween Mini Bat Garland

…a cardstock & HTV project
                   …with a peek into my design process.

Mini bat garland for Halloween. Perfect size for the front door or window. Free Silhouette cut file with instructions. | Whatchaworkinon.comGettin’ into Halloween gear around here just in time for the monthly Silhouette Challenge, the theme for which is GARLANDS with the bonus theme of HALLOWEEN. Bazinga! Hit ’em both this month. Be sure to check the end of this post for links to the garlandy Halloweeny fun my fellow challengers have been up to on their Silhouettes.

Since my kidlets are older, I don’t do a lot of decorating for Halloween anymore, but I wanted a little somethin’ for the front door this year. A mini garland of flying bats fit the bill. Some cardstock, a dash of glitter vinyl, and a couple score of little bats cut on the Silhouette machine (free cut file below) and I soon had a garland the perfect scale for the door.

Mini bat garland for Halloween. Perfect size for the front door or window. Free Silhouette cut file with instructions. | Whatchaworkinon.comDownload
Silhouette .studio3 Mini Bat Garland file HERE
Silhouette Legacy v.2 Mini Bat Garland file HERE
SVG Mini Bat Garland file HERE
Personal use only.

I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I used. Read my full disclosure here.

What you need…

Cutting the bats…

The bats in the file are arranged to fill an 8½x11″ sheet of cardstock, but if you have a bin full of black cardstock scraps you’re dying to use up, this is the perfect project for that. The blacks don’t need to match—in fact, the more shades, the better. Arrange the scraps on the mat and drag the bats to fit.

Cut as many bats as you need to swag your door or window. On my standard size door, I used 8-10 bats per swag allowing about an inch between bats. Mini bat garland for Halloween. Perfect size for the front door or window. Free Silhouette cut file with instructions. | Whatchaworkinon.comAs you can see, some of my bats are sparkly. I happened to have some scraps of black glitter HTV, so I applied them to scrap cardstock and cut some of my bats from that. I leave a little cardstock around the edges in case the HTV spreads a little. Applying HTV to cardstock is the same as applying it to fabric except the pressing time is reduced to less than half and you can ease up on the pressure (remember to cover with a Teflon sheet or parchment paper before pressing). If you can’t lift the HTV from the cardstock with your fingernail, the HTV is on there.Mini bat garland for Halloween. Perfect size for the front door or window. Free Silhouette cut file with instructions. | Whatchaworkinon.comOnce applied, I trim the cardstock to the HTV and place the glittered cardstock on the mat to cut. As far as settings go, I used the chipboard setting with blade 7, speed 1, thickness 25, and double cut checked. Your machine may vary.

Assembling the garland…

One by one, thread the bats together by poking the needle down one wing and up the other.Mini bat garland for Halloween. Perfect size for the front door or window. Free Silhouette cut file with instructions. | Whatchaworkinon.comMini bat garland for Halloween. Perfect size for the front door or window. Free Silhouette cut file with instructions. | Whatchaworkinon.comI left about an inch between bats (I eye-balled it), and scattered the glittery bats randomly, with one, two, or three plain cardstock bats between glitter bats.Mini bat garland for Halloween. Perfect size for the front door or window. Free Silhouette cut file with instructions. | Whatchaworkinon.com

To keep the thread from getting tangled, I found it easier to work on a large flat surface with a long straight thread along which I could slide the bats into position.

Hanging the garland…

There are a number of ways to attach the garland to a door or window. Rather than use tape or sticky tack, which aren’t terribly elegant and I thought might be obtrusive, I used Command brand clear mini decorating hooks. I’m not affiliated with the company; I just love their products.Mini bat garland for Halloween. Perfect size for the front door or window. Free Silhouette cut file with instructions. | Whatchaworkinon.com These particular hooks are only a half-inch tall and because they’re clear they blend in with the wall…you hardly notice them. And the best part? They’re easy to remove and don’t damage the wall. You can’t tell they were ever there.

For the start of the garland, I just knotted a loop in the thread and slipped it over the hook.Mini bat garland for Halloween. Perfect size for the front door or window. Free Silhouette cut file with instructions. | Whatchaworkinon.comFor the “corners”, where the garland changes direction to swag back the other way, the thread just sits on the hook, held in place by the weight of the garland. Mini bat garland for Halloween. Perfect size for the front door or window. Free Silhouette cut file with instructions. | Whatchaworkinon.com Once I’d swagged my way to the bottom, I ended with another knotted loop hung on a hook.

A little seasonal “Welcome” sign added to the glass and it’s Happy Halloween, Y’all!Mini bat garland for Halloween. Perfect size for the front door or window. Free Silhouette cut file with instructions. | Whatchaworkinon.com

Peeking at the design process…

I’m always curious about other people’s design process. In case you are, too, here’s a quick peek into mine on this project.

I couldn’t find a public domain bat silhouette that I liked. I know, right? There should be scads of them, but none were popping up for me. So I’m sitting there looking at a page of bats, and I realized the bat shape I was after was basically a bunch of arcs—big ones for the tops of the wings, a smaller one for the head, and a variety of sizes under the wing—with a couple of triangle ears thrown in. Where there’s an arc, there’s a circle in the making, so I opened Silhouette Studio and started drawing circles and triangles until I came up with this:Mini bat garland for Halloween. Perfect size for the front door or window. Free Silhouette cut file with instructions. | Whatchaworkinon.comI’ve already started to weld and delete, but can you see the bat in there?Mini bat garland for Halloween. Perfect size for the front door or window. Free Silhouette cut file with instructions. | Whatchaworkinon.comThere he is. And I’ve left him a bit askew so you can see the lines.


Looking for More Silhouette Projects?

A bunch of us Silhouette folks are sharing projects on our blogs today as part of a monthly Silhouette Challenge. Check out the projects below for some garlandy, possibly Halloweeny, Silhouette fun!

Spooky Ravens Halloween Book Page Banner Spooky Halloween Bunting Halloween Banner Halloween Mini Bat Garland Fun Fall Candy Corn Garland Halloween Spider Wall Garland Felt Fall Leaf Garland "Happy Everyday" Garland Star Wars Halloween Garland

1. Two Purple Couches // 2. DIYJustCuz {Brittany} // 3. Create & Babble // 4. Whatcha Workin’ On? // 5. A Time For Seasons // 6. Get Silvered // 7. Cutesy Crafts // 8. The Small Stuff Counts // 9. Cupcakes&Crowbars

effCheers!

–Eff

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14 thoughts on “Halloween Mini Bat Garland

  1. Every year, my boyfriend and I throw a huge Halloween party for all of our friends, and I’m sad to say that up until this week, I’ve never DIY’d my own decor for them…but I love this! We have a giant French door that opens up into our living room and your little bats are darling! Thank you so much for the cut file! I love being able to see the design process that people go through, so thanks for sharing that as well! You did a great job! :) Pinning.

    1. What a great idea, Brittany! This mini garland would be perfect on interior French doors. I hope you do one (if you do, send me a pic!). :^) Glad you liked the peek into my design process. I figured if I wanted to see what other folks were doing behind the scenes, then I’d better walk the walk. LOL. Thanks for your kind words!

    1. Thanks, Pam! Mixing up the shades and texture is a leftover from my previous life as a quilter. I love the extra pizzazz a little bit of glitter adds. The plain background isn’t usually there—I added it so I could snap a good picture. :^) The banner looks properly creepy at night with the interior lights behind it. Wish I could have captured that in a photo.

  2. These are adorable, Eff! I am so impressed that you designed the bat shape yourself! It looks fantastic! I need to spend more time learning how to do that sort of thing in Silhouette Studio. I had no idea that you can use HTV on card stock – thanks for sharing this tip! Definitely pinning and bookmarking :)

    1. Glad you like them, Emily. I can’t draw worth beans, but I really enjoy using the software shapes to design. I stumbled across the HTV on cardstock thing while making glitzy photo booth props. The HTV was the only glitter I had on hand. I wondered if it would work, took a ‘what the heck, I’ll give it a try’ approach and was very pleased with the results. In addition to infusing glitter on projects like this, I use HTV scraps to add glittery letters & elements to birthday cards. Love the look.

    1. Thanks, Jessica! I was very pleased with how this garland turned out. I enjoy the design process…for me, it was just diving in and playing with the tools to see what they could do…then looking at everyday objects as a collection of simple shapes to recreate. Those two things alone took me a long way. :^)

  3. Wow! I’m in awe of you! I would have probably just traced. I love how your bats turned out. And putting them BEHIND the window just makes them look amazing! Thanks SO much for sharing this!

    1. LOL… I wanted to trace, and sure would have had I been able to find a bat the right shape in the public domain. Surprisingly, it didn’t take long to turn circles and triangles into a bat. Thanks for your kind words, Steph!

  4. I love your little bats, but I especially love you sharing your design process! I will definitely be looking at shapes with different eyes and seeing if I can make my own.

    1. So glad you liked that peek into my design process. I’m fascinated by how others come up with their designs, so I thought I’d share a little of my own. I’ve had such good feedback about it, I’ll definitely do it more often. Making your own designs? Go for it, Valerie!

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