Vintage Halloween Screen Instructions

I’ve had several requests from readers who wanted to make the Halloween screen I gave to my sister a couple of years ago, which I copied from an embossed 1920s Halloween decoration that I found online. Since my sister has the screen, I can’t provide detailed photos, but I can give you a pattern, a list of supplies, and some instructions. This is my finished screen.


It is 24″ wide and 20″ high, which is the same size as the original decoration.

One sheet of heavy black poster board (the Walmart/Dollar Store poster board is too thin)
8 24″ strips of 1/2″ x 1/4″ basswood (available at most craft stores)
small amount of black paint
orange flat fold crepe paper
Xacto knife
spray adhesive
white pencil
white glue
black electrical tape

Click this link to download the pdf pattern. In the Adobe print dialog box, select the poster setting. This will tile print the pattern on 9 sheets of paper (3 for each panel). You will need to trim two sides of each sheet of paper before taping or gluing the sheets together.

Paint the strips of basswood black.

Using an Xacto knife or small scissors, cut out the white sections of the paper pattern, then draw the pattern on the back side of your poster board with a white colored pencil  (if you have some white or light-colored carbon paper, you could use it to transfer the pattern, eliminating this step). Once the pattern is transferred to the poster board, cut out all the interior white sections of each panel with an Xacto knife, then cut the outside lines.

Cut three pieces of orange crepe paper slightly smaller than the three panels of the screen (iron the crepe paper if it is wrinkled — you want it very flat). One at a time, place each cut black panel (right sides down) on newspaper and spray adhesive on the back. Carefully place your cut piece of crepe paper on the back of each section, trying to keep them as flat as possible.

Using a razor blade or sharp knife, trim the strips of basswood to fit the sides and bottom of each of the screen panels. Apply a thin layer of white glue to one side of each basswood strip and position the wood strips flush with the outside edges of each panel — let dry.

Position the three panels face down, pushing them as close together as possible. To make the hinges, apply two strips of black electrical tape to the wood strips along both seams, attaching the two outside panels to the center panel.

I hope this makes sense — let me know in a comment if you have any questions.

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