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Project

Witch and Cat Lawn Ornaments

This sinister sorceress and her trio of menacing felines are in a black humor -- all the better to give guests a start when they arrive at your home for the festivities.

Introduction

The figures are easy to make from hardware-store supplies, and they can be brought out year after year.

Materials

  • 4-by-8-foot piece of 3/4-inch plywood for witch (available at home centers)
  • 4-by-4-foot piece for 3 cats (available at home centers)
  • Repositionable spray adhesive (57691772), by Krylon, from Create for Less
  • Jigsaw (available at home centers)
  • 1 quart of black latex paint (available at home centers)
  • Paintbrush
  • Hammer and screwdriver
  • 6-foot piece of heavy-wall conduit for witch; 3-foot piece for each cat (available at home centers)
  • Four 2-hole conduit straps and 8 wood screws for witch (available at home centers)
  • Two 2-hole straps and 4 screws per cat (available at home centers)
  • Similar broom (RU71), from halloweencostumes.com
  • Cup hook (504517), from Abuchon Hardware
  • Similar lantern (38469), from gardendecorgalore.com
  • Witch template
  • Cat templates

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Get the full-size (72 inches for witch, 25 to 30 inches for cats) templates, which you can print in sections and tape together. Cut out and affix to plywood with repositionable spray adhesive. With a jigsaw, cut out design; peel off template, and paint plywood black. Let dry for 30 minutes.  

  2. Step 2

    Hammer conduits into ground, sinking 12 inches for witch and 8 inches for cats. Attach figures to conduits using 3 conduit straps and 6 screws for the witch and 2 conduit straps and 4 screws for each cat.

  3. Step 3

    Fasten a broom to the witch's raised arm with remaining conduit strap and screws. Attach a cup hook to her other hand, and hang a lantern from it.

Reviews (11)

  • tll58 19 Oct, 2014

    My daughter and I made this over Labor Day Weekend. It was my first wood working project (I'm 55). We love how the project turned out! It was not that difficult. We are having our big Halloween Party next week and can't wait for everyone to see our handy work. The only issue we are having is figuring out the back lighting. I don't have power up on our hill, so I put a solar spot light but it isn't bright enough. I will go buy another one this week and hopefully this will solve our problem.

  • Velvete 5 Oct, 2014

    We made this several years ago as well and continue to use it every year! It is so impressive! It can be touched up with fresh paint as needed.
    As with one of the other comments our hemline is also straight but could be easily altered. Yes, many people comment on these. The broom and the lantern (especially when lit) give it great dimension it might otherwise lack.
    The Martha site and the Halloween issue of the magazine are the ultimate go to for creative genius at Halloween. Thanks again!

  • bbgrimes 22 Sep, 2014

    I just finished making these today. If you are making these yourself, here's a few extra tips:
    I made the witch and all 3 cats from 1 4x8 piece of plywood. With some careful placement, you can get them all on one. Also, it doesn't specify what size conduit to use. I had to order the materials and guessed. 3/4" or 1" conduit is plenty large. Last, I needed to sink more than 8 inches of conduit in the ground for the cats, especially the one that is sitting. Those pieces could be shorter (2'4").

  • eric-Oregon 31 Oct, 2013

    I made this several years ago when my niece and nephew were coming for a visit before Halloween. I put it out by the pond every year and it's a great hit. It was fun and easy to make, and has endured all kinds of harsh weather. Thanks for keeping creativity alive!

  • mrsben1 21 Oct, 2013

    Just completed making these lawn ornaments. Cannot recall if I got the pattern off Martha's website (think I did) but just noticed that the hemline for mine is a straight cut unlike that in the photo so it may have printed off incorrectly. Therefore in event you are printing it off, ensure all pattern pieces are included. FYI my finished witch measures 46" wide (from tip to tip of hands) and 71" high (from tip of her hat to lower hemline) but .... regardless it is still delightful. ☺

  • lagainer 17 Oct, 2013

    My husband and I made these a few years ago and put them out every Halloween. They look fantastic. With the template they were really easy to make. Halloween is my favorite time of year, and this is my favorite decoration!

  • sunshineat20 4 Oct, 2013

    My first woodworking project and I was surprised at how easy it was. I printed off the patterns one day and cut it them out and painted the next. Today I am all smiles at how wonderful they look. Thank you Martha !!!

  • ToniPittman 30 Sep, 2013

    I didn't have the tools (or know how) to do this on wood - so instead I painted them on sheer curtains and hang them on my porch and one window. It took a bit of time - but totally worth it. They look really great.

  • Gramma95 16 Aug, 2013

    I made the witch and the three cats the year they came out on Martha's magazine cover.I'm a freak @halloween so I couldn't resist. I light the shrubs, add hay bails, pumpkins and bats and stand back and smile.I get complements every year .

  • nvsuzi 27 Sep, 2012

    These are really great in the yard. I did the same thing with headstones last year. This year I will make the witch and cats. When you paint the plywood, use a primer on them first so the raw wood doesn't suck up all your paint. They will hold up to the elements better too.

  • hollyhock70 3 Sep, 2012

    I saw this project in the Halloween mag. and just had to look into it.
    You make it so easy to do, and it's FREE!!
    All I had to do was download the pattern, put it together, trace onto plywood and cut out. This was my first time using a jigsaw and I was surprised at how easy it was! As long as you have the right tools, it's a piece of cake.
    Now, all I have to do is paint them, and I may even consider painting actual faces for daytime, and revert to night time up lighting for drama! Thank you!