With some jobs, when you’re burned out it’s best to take a break, to get away from the office and focus on something else. With creativity, however, I’ve found the opposite helps: for me the only cure for burnout is more challenges rather than fewer.

One such challenge came my way a few years ago, when I had an opportunity to decorate an entire house for Halloween. The homeowner had a strict $100 budget and insisted that nothing be attached to the house in a manner that would damage the exterior shingles. The place was newly purchased, and the homeowner had yet to install any window treatments beyond inexpensive paper “contractor blinds” on all of the windows.

The challenge was at first daunting, not least because I was doing the project pro-bono, the materials budget was tiny, and the restrictions seemed stifling.

The solution arrived when I realized that the paper blinds on all of the windows provided me the chance to turn the entire house into one oversized luminary by creating very large paper silhouettes on all of the windows.

And, as for the pleasantly unexpected result, not only was the project great fun to create, but Sterling Publishing also took an interest in it and has just published Spooky Halloween Silhouettes (see the CRAFT review), my book based on this original project. The book consists of twenty eight black-paper punch-out silhouettes that can be affixed to windows or photocopied and enlarged, thus allowing others to put together a spooky house-sized luminary of their own.

Project originally posted on CRAFT.