Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog, Wool of Bat…

Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog…
Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Macbeth (Act IV, Scene I)
~William Shakespeare

Eeek! It’s like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, The Birds! Only, in this case it’s The Bats!

I’ve had this image saved on my computer for a year or two. I’ve always wanted to duplicate the look on my front porch for Halloween. Isn’t it a riot?! I decided this was the year–time to go for it!

This is actually a super easy project but I made it a bit more complicated than it had to be. I didn’t realize the site where I found the image (Country Living) actually provided a template for the bats so I ended up making my own template by tracing around a bat decal I already had, enlarging it as I went. So, if you decide to make a colony of bats for your front porch, you can save yourself some time by using their template. I’ll link to it at the end of this post.

Halloween Front Porch With Bats Across Door

 

This Halloween project called for something called stiffened felt. I had never used stiffened felt before but I found some at Michaels and bought all they had which was fifteen, 9″ x 12″ pieces. They were .99 cents each so I asked if they had it in rolls. They did not.  I knew I’d only get one bat out of each sheet, based on the template I had made, and I needed around 40-45 bats. Ummm, I wasn’t liking how the numbers were adding up for this project; $45 was more than I really wanted to spend.

Stiffened Black Felt

 

After purchasing the 15 pieces of stiffened felt that Michaels had in stock, I decided to stop by Hancock Fabrics to see if they had stiffened felt in rolls or by the yard. My hope was if they did, it would be less expensive to purchase it that way.

They only had regular felt by the yard and that was going to be way too soft for making bats. While in Hancocks I noticed this black stuff that looked like it might do the job. The black stuff turned out to be “Ultra Firm Stabilizer.” Apparently, it’s used between layers of fabric when sewing to add stiffness. Have you ever used it?

The stabilizer was only $6.27 a yard and I used a coupon to get 50% off. I purchased four yards for around $13. Four yards turned out to be more than enough to make 45 bats. I returned the stiffened felt to Michaels and got busy tracing and cutting out my bats.

While cutting them out, I found it was possible to cut them out two at the time, but I ended up cutting them out one at the time…just found that a bit easier.

 

I noticed the directions on the Country Living template recommended attaching the bats with black duct tape. I tried that and this is what happened…bats on the porch floor. I quickly discovered that the duct tape stuck to the house and the door but it did not stick that well to the stabilizer. I’m not sure if it would have stuck better to the stiffened felt, but I kind of doubt it.

Halloween Front Porch With Bats Across Door 01

 

Here’s what I found worked great: I placed a couple of drops of hot glue on the back of each bat body and then stuck a rolled up piece of duct tape to the hot glue. Once the glue was dry, I just pressed the bats wherever I wanted them on the door and surrounding molding. Worked great and no more bats on the porch floor! So basically I just hot-glued the duct tape onto the bats and then the duct tape easily held the bats to the door and molding.

Update: I found if I pull off a bat to reposition it to a different spot, it usually won’t stay stuck. It will appear to stick but then eventually falls off. The duct tape tends to not work if you pull it up and then try to stick it down again. So, just keep that in mind. You may need to redo the tape on the back of your bats if you start moving them around.

Halloween Front Porch With Bats Across Door

 

My bats turned out a bit fatter so though I only used around 40 bats, it looks like I used a lot more than in the inspiration picture. I think I may take a few down today and trim them up to make them a bit skinnier.

Halloween Front Porch With Bats Across Door

 

All the porch needs now is a few more pumpkins and big, fat chrysanthemum and it will be ready for the trick-or-treaters.

Halloween Front Porch With Bats Across Door

 

If you decide to make these, be sure and take a coupon with you to whatever store you go to. You can usually find them at the store website and it will save you a good bit. I bet most fabric stores will have stabilizer. You may even be able to find it at Hobby Lobby and they almost always have a 40% off coupon online.

Halloween Front Porch With Bats Across Door

 

Just hangin’ out! 😉

Halloween Front Porch With Bats Across Door

 

A few nighttime views….

Halloween Front Porch With Bats Across Door

 

Do you think the kids will like it when they come calling?

Halloween Front Porch With Bats Across Door

 

As I’m typing this, the owls are back and they are hooting up a storm in my backyard. I love hearing them so much!

Happy Halloween, dear Friends!

Halloween Front Porch With Bats Across Door

 

If you would like to make your bats using the template from Country Living, you’ll find it here: Bat Template

Update: I had a request to post the template I made for my bats. I more or less followed the design of a silhouette/decal I already had and just drew my bat a fair amount bigger so it would be visible from the road. For variety, make your bats different sizes. I wasn’t overly precise when I made mine so they varied in size. Just right click on the image below and save it to your computer, then print it out.

 

Bat




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Comments

  1. Cool bats, Naps! I love that you used Macbeth (I teach British Lit.) because it’s always good to add a little Shakespeare to someone’s day.

  2. Carolyn Price says:

    Boo-tiful!! I think the trick-or-treaters are going to love them!’

  3. The nighttime view of your front porch is beautiful. Thanks for sharing this. It’s a great idea. Pinned.

  4. Jennifer H says:

    It turned out great! Keep up the good work!

  5. when I saw the shape on your recent post, I guessed you’d be doing something batty! The result is whacky fun.

  6. Oh how cute- that was a lot of work! I should think the trick or treaters will be excited to come to your home! You did a great job with the layout- they look like they’re in motion!

  7. Gloria in Pgh says:

    Love your bats Susan!! I saw this last year on Pinterest and I pinned it for future reference. I just love the movement that the bat swarm creates. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on putting these guys together and getting them to stay put. This is definitely on the list for a future Halloween porch!

  8. I love how that looks! I’m sure the kids (and parents) will love it.

  9. Awww… Susan,
    such a funny decorating idea!
    Actually, I’ve always thought bats were ugly flying “rats” but yours are cute, especially the one that’s “just hangin’ out” lol and sooo much better than spiders! Sheesh!
    I’m sure, the kids will love it, especially those who will be wearing a Batman costume themselves! 😉
    ~Hugs to you~
    Cecilia

  10. The bats turned out great. You are so clever. The trick r treaters will love them.

  11. Love this idea-might have to steal it!

  12. Love your blog and the way you share so many ideas and details! The blog is always so informative showing your home, old estate homes, movie homes, cottages, landscaping and even your favorite books. Your lovely porch and tablescapes are beautiful and I look forward to each day’s post.

    Now for the bats idea, it is neat and not too spooky. Your “Trick or Treaters” (and adults) will love it too!!!

  13. Peggy Thal says:

    Susan- I am batty for your bats! Really fun and so great for Halloween.

  14. Jeanie Neikirk says:

    Love your bats! You are very creative!!!!! The trick or treater’s will love them!

  15. Love the “flock” of bats you have visiting your front porch! I’m not a fan of most Halloween décor but this is unique and fun. I bet your neighbors really enjoy seeing your seasonal decorations. I’m sure the trick or treaters will be smiling when they approach your house. Vikki in VA.

  16. The bats look great! Spooky for Halloween. I like how you put them on the wreath too, so it looks like the bats invaded your porch.

  17. Cherry Goodson says:

    I love that you are always thinking of new things. You have a gift for decorating and entertaining. Always anxious to see what you have done next. Thanks Cherry in TX

  18. This is fabulous, Susan! You’ve inspired me to try something similar. As always, thanks for your beautiful and creative web site.

  19. Your neighbors must be thinking you’ve gone batty. 😉 Love this project, and I love the alternative you found to the felt and yes, I’ve used it. It looks awesome at night. Bet you can’t wait for Halloween!

  20. Hi, Susan,
    You continue to inspire with your wonderful eye for design and your energy to create projects that you make look easy, but really must take patience and great attention to detail. Your front porch at night will really make your trick-o’-treaters squeal with delight. It honestly looks like a flock of bats are swarming around your door!! Well done, Susan, and thanks for always being willing to share your ideas and embrace us “copy-catters”!
    Rosie

  21. Love it! Your door looks so much better than the other one. The bats show up better too. I wouldn’t trim them down, they are perfect! Got my template
    printed off. Thank you!

  22. So amazingly cute & with just the right amount of Halloween fright! I’m sure your front porch will be the most enjoyed by Trick or Treaters on your street!

  23. Hi Susan,
    Love your bats! The kids will too! And, yes, I have used stiffened stabilizer in my machine embroidering/appliquing projects.

  24. Luv it and know your Trick or Treaters will go batty over this!! 🙂

  25. What a scream! I love the bats. They look really eerie, especially in the evening pictures.

  26. OMG…..that is the best!!!

  27. I think your a very ambitious person to cut those all out.

    They do look very Halloweenie

    • lol It took one full day to cut them all out but it was actually kind of fun to do while watching old Martha Stewart videos on You Tube from when she was filming from Turkey Hill. I wish she still had a show like that one! Her Halloween videos are great! Makes me want to throw a party!

  28. Linda Page says:

    Your front porch has just the right amount of SPOOKY for your trick or treaters! They will love it. You did a wonderful job with your decorations. My hat is off to you!!!

  29. EEEK! So realistic looking…the bats really do like they are flying. Beautiful mosaic planter too. I want to Trick Or Treat at your house!

  30. Well Susan, this is the one instance where “going batty”is a great thing. Looks really spooky and with the Owls in the backyard, you are ready for Halloween Eve.

  31. Susan, it looks great! I love how you find a picture and then recreate the look for yourself…and then show the rest of us how to do it!

    On a side note…where did you purchase your lanterns? They look great. I’d like to get something for my porch but not at pttery brn prices!

    • Thanks, Beth! I found those in Old Time Pottery a couple of years back…there prices on lanterns are always about 1/3 what PB charges. Unfortunately, they don’t have that many locations. You may want to check Hobby Lobby or Garden Ridge…if you don’t have an Old Time Pottery near you.

  32. Susan, from bats in your attic to bats on your door!! This is so cool and loved the little guy hanging from his feet above the door.
    Great job and thank you, thank you, for not using the spiders!! 🙂

    • I was thinking about the bat that was hanging just outside my attic gable window this past summer, when I was hanging these. lol You have a good memory!

  33. Your bats look great. I love Halloween and always love your Halloween decorations. You actually got me hooked on mercury glass pumpkins and crows! By the way, I used thin black foam sheets (usually found in Michael’s with the kids craft items) to make my Martha Stewart Owls and glow-in-the-dark paint for their eyes. She recommended construction paper and cutting out the eyes but since my area is unprotected, I thought the foam sheets would hold up better in case of rain…and they have. I have used them off and on for years. They still look new!

    • Ohhh, glow in the dark paint…that sounds cool! Linda, that was a smart idea using the foam! I think you could teach Martha a few tricks!

  34. WOW! I don’t care for spooky, but I can enjoy all of your effort and how wonderful it looks. Never seen something so extra special. Great Idea!

  35. Hi Susan!
    I am so making these! tomorrow I’m heading out for supplies and Stabilizer is on my list!
    Now, come clean – where did you get those wonderful lanterns? LOL!

    Lois

  36. Love your “fat” bats–they will be seen better from the street. The night view of your porch is beautiful.
    You have the best ideas!

  37. Linda S. in NE says:

    I admit to being scared to death of live bats, (as I confessed in your keeping bats out of the attic post). Having said that, I will say this is such a cute idea, and you executed it very well. On first glance, I thought all the bats were suspended using some kind of thin wire, or thread. You did a great job of placing them so that they look alive and are just swarming in for a treat if you would only open that door!! Nice work. I kind of liked the look of a couple of bats down on the porch and tucked behind the hay bale.

    • Ha! If I would just open the door! That made me laugh, Linda! 🙂 If that many bats flew in my front door, I would vacate the house immediately and let them have it! It would be all there’s right then and there! lol

  38. cheryl s. says:

    The hanging bat-so cute!

  39. Susan, you are my favorite blogger by far. Love the upside down bat at the top of the door, as others have already said. Also, I like the fat bats, and agree that you don’t need to trim them. However, if I have learned anything about you from reading your blogs, it’s this: If Susan wants to change something, she will.

  40. I love the bats! You did a great job creating the look you were after. I love your idea for the fabric instead of the stiffened felt. I am ready to move out of my condominium and into a house so I can use some of your great ideas!

  41. I love what you did! Bountiful Bats!

  42. Simply amazing!
    It looks 3D like they are in a swarm at your front door.
    I thought maybe they were hanging by fishing line or something because in the pictures from a distance they don’t look like they’re stuck to the house, door etc.
    They really look like they are at totally different distances… very cool!
    I’m sure the kids will LOVE it! 🙂

  43. This door is a show-stopper! How frightfully fun! 🙂

  44. This is great! Love this idea! It’s very “Halloween” and “Spooky” but not gruesome, if that makes sense. Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Thanks, Jewel…yeah, I don’t like gruesome either. Jewel, I added the template I made for the bats to this post. Just wanted to mention that in case you need it.

  45. Rachel laughton says:

    Thank you again!!! I have been to lots of blogs but yours is my favorite.

  46. LOVE IT! You are something else, Susan. Now, what are you going to use for fake guano? Ya know, if you got bats, ya got bat poop. You could really scare the heck outta some tricker treaters. HA!!!

    Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed this.

  47. Tricker treaters??? Uh, let’s make that trick-or-treaters.

    Should have had some caffeine before posting.

  48. Susan, your bats are calling my name! How fun is this, just the perfect atmosphere for Halloween fun.

  49. Love the bats, Susan! And I like yours better than the inspiration photo… they have ‘substance’! If you do trim them, I think you should only do a few, just to vary their size, but it looks great as is!! Why not offer YOUR template? Can’t wait to hear how your trick-or-treaters react!

  50. Love it great post I love fall although more Thanksgiving than Halloween Lol Thanks for sharing Great post Else ,
    elsabell.com

  51. My owls are back, too!! WHOever heard of bats on a diet…you read it here first! Happy Haunting!! franki

  52. LOVE the bats! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  53. Linda Mazzei says:

    I hope your neighbors don’t think you have gone batty! I like your bats they look like Batman! Very cute idea!

  54. bobbi duncan says:

    I’m starting to feel v-e-r-r-r-y weak…too much blood sucked out. What a great and different idea. Can’t wait to try it! Love the upside down bat…you’re so talented.

  55. Rita W Capps says:

    Do you remember where you purchased your large black lanterns on your front porch steps?

    Beautiful as usual.

    Thank you.

    • Thanks, Rita! I’m pretty sure I found those in a local store called Old Time Pottery. They used to have two locations here in the Atlanta area, but I think one closed. I believe they have other locations, just not sure where. Their prices on their lanterns are always so good, so much cheaper than most other stores. Here’s their website showing where they have locations: http://oldtimepottery.com/locations

  56. I’m gonna try doing this.. Wish there was a template for that bat hanging upside down… It’s super cute.

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