Rotating Light Projects With Witches for Halloween

Written by jyoti jennings
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Rotating Light Projects With Witches for Halloween
A rotating lantern is perfect for Halloween ambience. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Old-fashioned rotating lanterns have long been mysterious and mesmerising, projecting spinning shapes on the wall as if by magic. Quite simply, the lantern uses the rising heat coming off of the light source, such as a candle or light bulb, to turn the lantern cylinder. A rotating lantern can instantly transform a room, and it is perfect for creating an eerie Halloween atmosphere.

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Large tin cans or some kind of metal cylinder can be used for the lantern itself. Use nails and wire for suspending the spinning portion of the lantern over the heat source. It is best to use inflammable materials, such as metal. Be very careful if you are using paper, and set the paper well away from the heat source. If you are using paper, the fan turning above the heat source must still be made of metal. Also if you are using paper instead of metal, only use light bulbs; never use candles. The advantage of paper is that it is easy to cut. You must select materials that you can easily cut or bend because you will need to cut out the shapes for the light to shine through. If using metal, you will need some kind of metal cutting tool, such as tin snips.

Design the Witch Shapes

Make the witch shapes (or other chosen design shapes) simple because this will make them easier to cut out of the lantern walls. Remember they will be projected as silhouettes only, and so the shapes' outline must clearly convey what the image is supposed to be. One technique is to draw the shapes on a piece of paper, tape the piece of paper to the lantern, punch out the outline of the design with a sharp nail, remove the paper, and cut out the shape according to the nail holes. Another method is to simply draw the design onto the lantern and cut accordingly.

Light Source

There are two basic options -- candles or a light bulb. A light bulb requires electricity and it does not look as good inside the lantern. You might end up putting heat-safe gels over the cut-out shapes on the inside of the lantern so as to hide the light bulb inside. Candles look much more authentic and their flickering light certainly adds to the atmosphere. However, candles can be messy, and the light produced will often be weaker than a light bulb. It is also more likely for nearby material to catch fire from a candle than a light bulb. Once again, if you are using paper to create the lantern sides, do not use candles.


Place the lantern in the centre of a room. The walls should ideally be relatively clear, and there should be no furniture or other objects blocking the light projections from the lantern. You should probably place the lantern on a heat safe surface because some lanterns can get hot at the base. If you are using candles as a light, be aware that wax might drip out.

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