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Halloween Skel-itten Yard Decorations

One of my favorite CNC projects to date has been the Skel-itten Halloween decorations I've been making for the last couple years. Credit for the idea where it's due, I ran into Witch City Custom Metal at one of the flea markets in Salem, Massachusetts last year around Halloween. He was cutting a similar design out of steel plate on his CNC plasma cutter. I was totally impressed with his work but had an idea that might make them more affordable and resolve some of the downsides of 2D cutting.

Plasma Cut Kittens by Witch City Custom Metals in Salem, MA

On our long drive home from Salem, I stewed on how I would go about it improving the design. I settled on PVC panel wrapped in Black Orcal 651 vinyl for my first attempt. I've made signs with those materials in the past that have held up extremely well, so we swung into the big blue junk lumber shop on our way back home to New York and grabbed a sheet of PVC.  While the first run looked great, for some reason the vinyl had some minor curling around the carves and edges. Good enough for my own yard but not a result I wanted to put my name behind and make a bunch of.


After sitting on the idea for another year and thinking through some fixes, I decided to take another run at this design. On the second go-round, I managed to find 3/8 inch PVC panel and painted on the black, which brought down the cost even more, despite the massive increase in building materials since last year. This time the results were much better and it was much easier to clean up the carved and cut edges using the paint method.


These were fun to make and get a lot of attention when people see them. I've done a few sets as gifts this spooky season, but I haven't been able to find a break in the schedule to get a few extra sets knocked out to put on marketplace.

The skeleton kitten graphic I used can be found on Etsy, file by ArtiStock here, for a very low price. The file comes with license for limited sales and has an additional commercial license available for a very reasonable price. If you are looking to reproduce these or just want to save yourself the effort and buy a set, reach out to me by email or on Facebook, I can point you in the right direction for materials and files or we can talk about pricing and time to fulfilment for small orders.