You don’t own a haunted castle but still want that Scottish chic of a “ghost chateau”? Make your own ancestors portray with automatic moving eyes and easily scare away unwanted guests!
We all know that old movies, where the young couple is staying in the haunted castle for the first night and gets scared away by pictures of some beardy ancestors, where the eyes seem to follow the spectators. In the end its just the butler who is spying from behind to get the heritage … but anyway. So you want to build one of these pictures, too. It’s not hard!
Before you start
- Time: 6-8h building time + time for the stuff you order online to arrive (days!)
- Level: Mid. A little programming, soldering and general handcrafting skills required
- You need: standard Tools (cutter, drill, screw driver),
- Arduino Uno,
- Standard Servo Motors from Futuba or Hitec e.g. this
- Hot Glue,
- Frames with old pictures (see below),
First you need a picture of your loved (or hated) one. A good portray in a high resolution (> 2MB in size) is recommended. Some photoshop magic later you have the picture with a custom background you find in the Internet. Put it into an online oil painting generator to create an even more old school look.
Now you need one or two framed pictures from the flee market.
Cut away the original background – maybe you can reuse it if its hard wooden sheet. In other cases cut some fresh wooden sheet of 2-5mm thickness.
Measure the frame and rezise the digital portray accordingly. We printed the photos out on A1, 230g/cm linen structure paper as a digital print (in europe yuo can use flyeralarm).
When the prints come from the printing service you can start making! We reused the background from the original frame picture we got from the flee market, but you can use any type of (wodden) material thats fits in the frame. We recommend a thickness of 2-6mm.
Now its time to cut the shape of the print as well as the eyeballs of your loved or hated on. A wonderful job, plus you have spare eyeballs now!
Now mark on the wooden background where the eyes are sitting. Now you need eyes. Its not so easy to get decent eyeballs in the Internet (we haven’t checked the dark web though), so you are very lucky, because we prepared some for you! You can find a print ready A4-pdf with fitting eyeballs here. Adjust the size when you have a bigger / smaller image and print them out on A4.
Take your background wood and mark where eyes will go. Measure it with the eyeballs you arleady have. Cut out a square as in the picture below.
Glue the eyes to the remaining wood you just cut out (which you made a little smaller on both small sides so it can move!)
We had a 3D-printer so we could print a holder. You can find the STL files in the github repo below. If you don’t have acess to a printer or use another type, we recommend building something similar from wood. The following steps are how we did it with our setup. It will probably differ if you want to rebuild this. Use your imagination and handcrafting skills to replicated the functions.
On the eyes-sqaure we used an holder (the black one) and a terminal thread to hold the acrylic thread and a rubber band.
The moving eye-square is on the one side connected to the moving servo motor. The other side is fixed with a rubber band, so it gets drawn back if the servo releases. Be sure to put some wood over the backside so the eyes can still move, but also don’t fall out to the back!
Now, wire and program the arduino with the code oftware you can find in the Github repository below. A description of how the servo(s) are wired can be found in the code. We used a 12V / 2A wall plug to power the whole thing.
You are done! Ready to get haunted!
- Arduino Code at github
- PDF with eyeballs (pdf)
- online oil painting generator
- 3D Printed Servo holder