Halloween is officially here, and if you’re still scrounging for ideas with precious few hours until the march for candy begins, we’ve got you covered. Entries have been pouring in to our DIY Halloween Instructables contest, and whether you’re fashioning a costume made entirely of pumpkins or wiring up a USB-powered jack-o’-lantern, one thing’s for certain: Halloween really brings out the DIY spirit in everyone.

Check out the photos below for a handful of terrific ideas, ranging from the divine to the disturbing. And if you’ve been too busy in the workshop to share your most elaborate Halloween build with the world, there’s still a week left to enter our contest over at Instructables for fabulous prizes and plenty of All Hallows glory. Happy Halloween!

Fish face

A man in a pink collared shirt wearing a homemade angler fish mask.
Anglerfish mask. thenickboy

Why look, it’s everyone’s favorite bioluminescent predator! Papier mache, Christmas LEDs, and dollar-store flashlights—you’ll be the fiercest fish in the sea.

A gathering storm

A homemade storm-cloud lamp.
Cool cloud lamp. babblin5

Pearlized soap and a lightbulb—how else to make a dirt-cheap lava lamp? Dump in some fake eyeballs, and you’re golden.

Pumpkin pal

A carved pumpkin with a USB LED inside it.
Super easy USB-powered Halloween jack o’ lantern. sniperninja123

Poor pumpkins, left to fend for themselves in the harsh outdoors. How about giving them a break? Embed a USB-powered LED in the little guy, and let it join in that most hallowed of celebrations: Take Your Pumpkin to Work Day.

And, pull

A homemade drawbridge with torches on either side, at night.
Spooky working drawbridge with sounds and light. rjtodd13

What’s a terrifying haunted forest without a working drawbridge entryway? Lame! Raid your friendly local abandoned barns for the appropriate frame, loop in some giant chains and Tiki torches, and laugh maniacally while small children traipse through.


A carved pumpkin blowing a cloud of smoke out of its mouth.
Dry ice pumpkin for Halloween. dave spencer

Puketacular! Thread a hose from a bucket of dry ice through a pumpkin’s mouth, and enjoy. Nothing says “Happy Halloween” quite like a vapor-spewing Jack.

LED ‘shrooms

LED-lit pumpkins that look like Super Mario-style mushrooms.
Super Mario Bros. LED mushroom Halloween pumpkins. Joe426

Phew, just in time! Toggle among three colors of embedded LEDs, and rake in the benefits. 1-Up!

Stone Age speeder

Two children sitting in a homemade Flintstones car, dressed as Pebbles and Bam-Bam.
Toddler Flintstones car. lemaster63

Don’t dress your kid up unless you plan to do it right. This spot-on replica of the Flintstones’ caveman cruiser is made from swim noodles, plywood, Bondo-Glass and a ridiculous amount of grandparently affection. Taking some artistic license, they even put in a pair of seatbelts. Too bad the kids will outgrow it in a month.

Ray, and drop that golden gun

Two homemade steampunk ray guns, one smaller than the other, on a wooden surface.
Ray gun. aintMichael

As we can well attest, mad scientists need ray guns. Some creative caulking of candlesticks and lamps, and you too can go forth and damage.

Kreepy Komputers

Two small orange computers with digital jack o' lantern faces on them, sitting on a wooden stool.
Mac o’ lanterns. Fusebox

Nothing like a little All Hallow’s Eve resurrection. For a geektastic holiday, nothing can beat some bodywork and a well-placed full-screen image (transferred via floppy disc, of course).

Mini monsters

Six plastic pumpkins against a black fabric background.
Beware of the horrible pumpkin bots… frickelkram

Take adorable plastic pumpkins, and slap them on top of potentially lethal spare electronic parts. Dr. Frankenstein himself couldn’t have done better. There’s video, too (strobe warning).

Lightning in a box

A light bulb wrapped in mesh, creating dangerous lightning.
Lightning globe. NK5

Wrap an ordinary bulb with mesh, and then up its wattage by feeding a high-voltage discharge through its base. Creating your own potentially lethal lightning—what could be scarier?

And for the costume…

A man wearing only a pumpkin for a hat and a pumpkin around his waist.
The Great Pumpkin. jesse.hensel

We debated putting this one in, we really did. Bonus points for not requiring any suspenders to keep those pumpkin-pants up.