Halloween has grown to be a pretty big non-holiday for both kids and adults. It's really a fun time where everyone can be little bit silly. One of the great things about Halloween is all the costumes and decorating that happens, and it's a perfect time to introduce non-woodworking people to the craft.
One of the safest woodworking tools and one that has LOADS of potential is the scroll saw, and when it comes to making Halloween ornaments, like window and lawn figurines, the scroll saw is the perfect tool. Finding scroll saw patterns is pretty easy, but when it comes to Halloween, there's an even easier source. For the cost of little more than a dollar, you can go to your closest dollar store and find all sorts of Halloween items that can be used as patterns. In most cases, you can't buy scroll saw patterns anywhere for that great price, and they have a pretty extensive selection, at least the ones I was into.
Now that you have a source for scroll saw patterns, you will need wood. Scrollers often use thin plywood for making figurines like the Halloween ones, so if you have any scraps of thin 1/4" or even 1/8" plywood around, that is perfect for scrolling.
If it turns out you need to buy a bit of plywood, many stores sell cut sheets, BUT, many of them also sell Door Skin plywood. This is very thin plywood ...
... that is used for making interior doors and for scrolling, especially for starting out, it is one source that might be a little bit cheaper source, but do yourself one favor, when you go out looking for wood, ASK. Often a hardware of wood supply store will have, or offer you discount plywood that may be slightly damaged on the corners, water damaged or otherwise ... this is where you can get some great deals for scroll sawing woods.
And - there is more to making these Halloween decoration items because at some point they will need to be painted, or decorated in some sort of fashion and again, your local dollar or discount store might have some inexpensive supplies that will be fun and safe for kids to use. One of the items we used in decorating our figurines was the Rolladryer, not exactly designed for what we used it for, but we always seem to be adapting new tools for other kinds of duties, and this one worked very well for helping us decorate our scroll sawn Halloween items. For more into on the Rolladryer, check out their website http://www.rolladryer.com/ .
If you are one of those lucky people who have grand children, nephews or nieces, cousins or even just friendly neighbors, you will also have a source for willing participants, because everybody would love to make Halloween decorations, especially ones that will last for years and years.
There are so many great projects for scroll saws it's hard not to get excited about scrolling. Just look up scroll sawing on the internet or on Pintrest and you will be overwhelmed with all the ideas and great things that people have made.
What is even more compelling about scroll saw work, especially for getting children involved, it helps to teach more than just woodworking and scrolling, it teaches them things like patience, and craftsmanship and of course the reward for them is to have people making positive comments about the scolling projects they make.
If you don't have a scroll saw, there are often some available on many of the used internet sites, and often at very attractive pricing. As will many things, you get what you pay for so if you pay around $100 you will get an OK scroll saw, if you pay $300 you stand the chance of getting one that is much better. If you can, talk to other scrollers, or go online to the forums to see what others recommend for brands and models. Starting off with a really good machine is not a bad thing, it just means you may dodge the frustrations of starter-machines.
So take the Halloween advantage and get others involved in woodworking through scroll saw use, who knows, you might even get hooked yourself.
Copyright - Colin Knecht