Tag Archives: Halloween

This photo booth snaps zombie selfies and tweets them

This selfie booth is like something straight out of The Walking Dead.

What can we say? We’re a sucker for innovative photo booth projects. And although we’ve seen some pretty cool ones in the past, none may be as spooktacular and gruesome as this one from Donnie Plumly.


This Halloween, the Maker decided to transform his cubicle into a scene like something straight out of The Walking Dead. The aptly named Zombie Selfie is comprised of a molded silicone arm, which is clipped onto his office partition via a custom steel mount, and a vibration sensor that’s hooked up to an Arduino Uno (ATmega328).

The Arduino detects when one of his colleagues touches (or slaps) the zombie hand, thereby triggering the picture-taking sequence. An IR LED helps snap the photo, which is then sent along to an Eye-Fi card in his Canon camera. From there, the selfie is put into a Dropbox folder and an IFTTT recipe tweets the image to the Twitter handle @ZombieSelfie.


And similar to our good pal Quin Etynre’s B&W Instant Selfie project, Plumly connected the camera to a monitor so that users could preview their photo. What’s more, he turned the sleep functions off on the camera and the monitor so the last image taken would always be displayed.

Intrigued? You can ghoul check out the entire project on Instructables here.

Play a game of Tetris on a pumpkin

Tetris + Pumpkin = Pumpktris!

What do you get when you combine a pumpkin with Tetris? Pumpktris, of course! Three years ago, Nathan Pryor built a fully-playable version of the classic game right into the Halloween doorstep decoration with LEDs for the display and the stem serving as its controller.


Instead of the glow of a candle, this particular pumpkin got his illumination courtesy of 128 LEDs embedded inside. The Maker had originally planned to use an LoL Shield for the LED matrix, but logistically decided that it wouldn’t work. And so, he created his own LED matrix and programmed it. Set to a Halloween-themed version of the ever infectious Tetris soundtrack, Pryor’s project has certainly left all the nerds talking for years.


Pumpktris’ face is comprised of a grid of square and holes, which were made using a drill to ensure consistent size and spacing. Pryor then wired each LED bulb externally so that he could space them apart, filling in each hole of the grid. The entire gadget is driven by an Arduino Duemilanove.


Meanwhile, a short-handled joystick was attached to the stem, which was cut off and reattached to ensure easy mobility when playing. The joystem toggles the internal joystick, enabling players to move the Tetris pieces which light up on the LED grid.

And just when you thought your jack-o’-lantern was awesome… Watch Pumpktris in action below and be amazed!

These two parents just built a ‘Mad Max’ Power Wheels

These kids’ Halloween costumes are sooooooo much cooler than yours. 

If you think kids are the only ones that can have a blast on Halloween, you’ve clearly never seen Maker parents Cory and Jeremy Newton-Smith, who’ve become well-known for devising some pretty remarkable costumes throughout the past few years. Most recently, the retrofitted a couple of old Power Wheels Jeeps and transformed them itnto a Mad Max trick-or-treating vehicle for their two children.


The Newton-Smiths, both software engineers by trade and Makers by night, are no strangers to creating elaborate Halloween ensembles. Their past three getups have included Elliot on his bike with E.T., the Ghostbusters complete with an Ecto-1, and Marty McFly with a time-traveling DeLorean. And this year, they pulled out all the stops once again by dressing up their four-year-old son as Mad Max and their 11-month old daughter as Imperator Furiosa.


The Power Wheels-based War Rig replica boasts four motors, a smooth starting throttle, power steering, keyed ignition, sounds effects with pull cord truck air-horn and LEDs embedded into the dash, as well as the ability for 11-month-old Furiosa to drive via an overriding remote-controlled iPhone app that communicates with the car over Bluetooth Low Energy. Aside from all that, a heartbeat signal was also added to remote override mode to ensure the car stops when losing connection or goes out of range, which is probably best when you’ve got young ones behind the wheel!


Intrigued? Head over to the Newton-Smith’s page to see all the photos, along with their famous projects from previous years as well.

Maker dad creates an El Niño Halloween costume with lightning and rain effects

Another Halloween, another incredible Glowy Zoey costume! 

We’re not sure what we get more excited about every Halloween: the endless supply of candy or GlowyZoey’s costumes which have become an annual tradition in the Hutain household. Royce Hutain, the Maker dad behind digital LED suit projects like last year’s Minnie Mouse stick figure getup, has done it again. This time, he has pulled out all the stops to create a slick cloud costume, complete with special lightning and rain effects.

GR2KwA7 - Imgur

Inspired by El Niño (the band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific), Zoey’s outfit consists of 98 LEDs and an Arduino Nano (ATmega328) to control the lightning. There’s also a hidden, handheld switch that triggers a rain system above her head, comprised of a washer fluid pump that sucks water up from a bottle in her backpack.

The cloud hat “turned out to be a little bit too big for her little neck to support and her head wobbled a bit,” Hutain explains. “But she loves making the rain turn on.” As cool as the project may be, Zoey has decided she wants to go as Elsa for Halloween this year instead. LOL! You can see it in action below!

Creating the ultimate Arduino-lovers Halloween costume

Happy Halloween Hallowuino!

Two years ago, mechanical engineer and cartoonist Angela Melick (who goes by the nickname Jam) developed a pretty neat Halloween costume based on her favorite prototype development board: the Arduino. And that’s not all. Not only does it look like an Uno, it’s actually powered by one as well.


“It’s hard to tell in the first photo but the outfit is covered in puff-paint traces — all up and down the arms and over the back. It was a lot of work but it looks really cool,” Jam explained in her blog post.

The costume is equipped with a series of LEDs that go down her side and blink to a preprogrammed pattern, handled by an Arduino around her neck. Aside from that, a few glow stocks were used in place of “wires,” which as Maker jokingly notes, “represent the tangled mess that any Arduino project is in its first stages.” And we can’t help but notice the ATmega328 at the heart of this ensemble, which appears to be made of styrofoam.


However, Jam’s favorite part of the entire costume? The matching fascinator which features a second Arduino and a few more flashing lights, of course!

“This was my first time soldering ‘free’ wires and 8/8 of the LEDs worked, which I’m very proud of because the wires go all the way down the side and alllll the way back up the shirt,” the Maker added.


Feeling inspired to go make your own costume? Better hurry up, as we’re just days away from Halloween! In the meantime, you can check out Jam’s entire build here.

Arduino controls the Pumpkin King and his scarecrow minions

While carving pumpkins, hanging up a skeleton or two, and affixing a few stickers on windows is plenty of decoration for most families, there are always those Maker-filled households throughout a neighborhood that go above and beyond. Having already become quite the ‘ween must-see in his town, a Maker by the name of Ryan Hughes recently decided to up his creative game by devising a display of scarecrow minions lorded over by Pumpkin King, powered by Atmel based Arduino boards.


Hughes is no stranger to the DIY scene; in fact, the Maker’s flickering LED Funkin heads have even been featured on MAKE Magazine in recent years. At the time, the props were simply wired and hooked to a central timer and power source. However, this year, the Maker has customized the lights himself using Arduino-controlled LED circuit boards embedded within each pumpkin, which are synced to a variety of music and color sequences.

XMEGA powers this spook-tacular haunted house

Die-hard Halloweenie Shelby Merrick recently transformed his home into one of the most spook-tacular haunted houses we’ve ever seen. The home’s exterior is embellished with a full-out audio/visual installation powered by what the Maker calls FloodBrain — a custom-built lighting system entailing 12 10W RGB floodlights driven by an ATxmega8E5 — providing neighbors with an impressive display of multi-colored effects in coordination with a Walking Dead mix sound sequence.


You can get the full experience by watching the video below!


ATmega328 powers this geeky jack-o’-lantern

There is just something magical about a flame or electric candle flickering inside a pumpkin on All Hallows’ Eve. While it may be common to see jack-o’-lanterns on nearly every doorstep, it is a bit less common to come across one as geeky as this. That’s because Maker Michal Janyst has employed a pair of 8×8 LED modules and an Arduino Nano (ATmega328) to give his pumpkin a pair of animated eyes.

Now that’s what we call a hack-o’-lantern! In the ‘ween spirit? Check out some of our favorite Atmel powered projects!

Automate your props with the ATmega2560 based Hauntbox

With All Hallows’ Eve just a few days away, what better time to take a closer look at the Atmel powered Hauntbox?

In essence, the Hauntbox is a prop controller that is both browser-configured and open-source, thereby allowing Makers to easily automate inputs and outputs without the need for complex programming.

“It is a system of parts. Sensors and outputs plug into your Hauntbox and it plugs into your network. You tell it what do by using your browser on your computer, iPad or smartphone on your home network with our simple visual interface,” the Hauntbox crew explained during its Kickstarter campaign last year. “The Hauntbox supports up to 6 inputs and 6 outputs. You can name them, set what voltage they run on and their minimum retrigger time.”

Aside from its onboard ATmega2560 MCU, key Hauntbox specs include:

  • 256 KB of flash
  • 8 KB SRAM (~4.8 KB free with firmware)
  • 7-12V input voltage
  • 5/12/24V output options depending on power supply
  • Supplies up to 300mA per output (open collector)
  • W5100 Ethernet controller (works seamlessly with official Arduino libraries)
  • microSD card slot
  • FTDI header pins for firmware hacking/updating
  • Easy to use screw terminals accepting up to 18 gauge wire
  • Unused header pins for easy expansion via Arduino shields or proto-boards
  • LEDs indicating I/O status
  • Motion sensor (additional/optional)
  • Audio module (additional/optional)

Other than helping create some of the best Halloween props in town, the versatile Hauntbox can be used to power a number of different projects including:

  • Any 120V AC device up to 15A via a PowerTail
  • Relays (allowing much higher power items such as pumps, wiper motors, etc)
  • Sound effects
  • Solenoids
  • LEDs
  • Lighting
  • Strobes
  • Black lights
  • Air blasters
  • Linear actuators

Interested in learning more about the Atmel based Hauntbox? You can check out its already-funded Kickstarter page or head on over to its official website here. Warning: It looks like the company has sold out of its latest batch of devices.

Video: Crafting an Arduino-powered Halloween UFO

If you’re not a fan of Halloween and are frightened by the mere thought of aliens, we recommend that you don’t visit the house of Maker Andrew Wyatt this October 31st. The Maker has crafted a pretty impressive DIY UFO project using cardboard, tape, tinfoil, 8mm of diffused Adafruit NeoPixels and an Arduino Micro (ATmega32u4).

And wait, there’s more!