Halloween seems a long way off as we’re writing this post, but if you’re using laser cutters and 3D printers to create products that you’re going to be selling through September and October, chances are you’re going to want to start planning ahead. Even if you’re creating each piece for your customers as each order is placed, you’ll need to have your range created and live on your website and your other sales channels as soon as September, so those people who are huge fans of Halloween can find them.
If you’re a big fan of Halloween yourself, and you have spooky ideas that don’t seem to have been done anywhere else, then you’re likely to want to create your own designs. But if your business is busy with other work, and you’re just adding Halloween designs to make add-on sales, then you probably don’t want to – or even have the resources to – spend time on those designs. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t list Halloween products and miss out on those sales. Luckily, there are some absolutely brilliant designs that have already been created and are available on the internet for anyone to download and use, free of charge, or at minimal cost. In this post, we’re taking a look at some of the best Halloween makes that you can create and add to your inventory to make those extra sales.
Where to find laser cutter and 3D printer files
Creating your own files is amazing when you want to make something really bespoke. But when you’re making to be able to add extra sales seasonally – such as Halloween, Christmas, and Easter – and you want to do this without spending stacks of time designing, then finding files that are ready to be used is likely to be the way forward. Here are some of our favourite places to find free (or super low cost) laser cutter and 3D printer files.
Thingiverse is all about the 3D printing, and it is where thousands of 3D printer enthusiasts head to share their love for it – and where they share their designs. MakerBot (the owners of Thingiverse) are keen to encourage people to share, and so the designs you’ll find on Thingiverse should all be available under the Creative Commons license terms, which allows you to use and adapt the designs freely.
If you’re into laser cutting, then Thingiverse can be a great place to look for files too. You won’t find quite as many projects for laser cutters as for 3D printers, but then that makes sense, given that the focus of the company is on 3D printing. But you will definitely find inspiration here, and some great files that you can use straight away, or by adapting them.
See Thingiverse and MakerBot both on Instagram.
If you’re looking for really high quality designs and you don’t mind paying to get that quality, then PinShape might be the place for you to find exactly what you’re looking for. Most designs that are available on PinShape tend to have information such as printer settings included in the file, which makes getting them completed a lot quicker and simpler. There are categories to be explored, and the filters are handy, allowing you to browse only paid designs, or by a certain price range.
See PinShape and PinShape owners Formlabs on Instagram.
The MyMiniFactory website and community is now 10 years old, and it is only growing stronger as it ages! With so many designs and advice available from 3D printing enthusiasts, it is a great resource for finding both design files, and advice. There’s a huge number of categories that you can choose from, including “Fan Art”, which we’re certain will contain prints of scary movie characters.
See MyMiniFactory on Instagram.
Our favourite laser cutter designs for Halloween
Laser cutters are awesome tools for creating all kinds of things, but when you’re looking to increase the spooky factor, they’re even better. Think about it; you can use your laser cutter for engraving haunting messages, partially removing material for lights to sit behind, and more. There really is no end to the number of products you could produce for Halloween with your laser cutter – but these are some of the best that we’ve found.
Laser cut Halloween coffin
This little Halloween coffin box is an ideal spooky decoration to have around during October, and it can be used to hide those little treats that come out – or to trick someone, of course!
Laser cut Halloween drinks coasters
With the exception perhaps of carving the pumpkin, Halloween decorations should be easy to add to the home. For those of us that don’t want the hassle of pumpkin carving, adding drinks coasters is an easy way to bring a spot of seasonal orange into our spaces. There is no end to the number of laser cut drinks coaster projects to be found online – and really, they’re pretty simple to design yourself – but this one is a great place to get you started.
Laser cut Halloween box (monster treasure chest)
We absolutely love this laser cut Halloween box from Maker Design Lab. With the teeth and single eye in place of the opening, it is just scary – yet fun – enough in character to have on display year round. Designed for 3mm thick material, and with plenty of detail in the design notes, this is definitely a great Halloween design – and if you make it from wood, as the designer has, you’ll be able to have fun using paints and other wood finishes to create even spookier effects.
Laser cut Halloween skull layered design
The beauty of this design is that it has the potential to be placed anywhere in the home – up to, and including on the front door in place of a door wreath, depending on the material it is made from. It can be made from a range of materials, including plywood, MDF, acrylic, Plexiglas, metal, cardboard, and paper, and you could even give your customers the ability to choose which material they prefer.
Our favourite 3D printer designs for Halloween
3D printing Halloween decorations means that you can create completely unique designs – whether you’re trying to create something that is traditional in style, or you’ve made an entirely new nightmarish monster. Let’s take a look at some of the designs you can use to inspire your makes.
3D printed flexible skeleton
Is it even Halloween without a skeleton or two? No, we didn’t think so either! We love this little 3D printed skeleton that doesn’t require any supports. The design download is just £2.29, and would make for a great little dancing skeleton to hang from the rear view mirror in your car. If you’re planning to sell these, you’ll need to contact the original designer for consent.
3D printed sugar cat
How great is this little sugar skull inspired Halloween cat? While they are small, they are perfect decorations for the spooky season, and we would almost certainly keep them out much longer than just October. With a free download, there’s no reason not to add this little guy to your Halloween lineup!
3D printed Jack Skellington head
While there is much debate on the internet about whether The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween move or a Christmas movie, there is also much love for the character Jack Skellington. This free design is pretty cool, and can be made from glow in the dark material for extra spooky factor. It would also be pretty easy to make this design with a laser cutter – and creating the design file wouldn’t be too tricky either. Think about adapting the design to incorporate a loop for a keyring, or for hanging alongside other Halloween decorations.
3D printed ghost with hidden legs
A ghost made from a sheet is one of the most basic of Halloween décor, and this sweet little 3D ghost has hidden legs, meaning that it can stand up to look like a trick or treater, or to just be showing the cloak off. There are full instructions, including a demonstration video and how to insert LED lights to illuminate the eyes, here.
Prepping your product range for peak Halloween sales
Even though you’ll be saving time on the design stage, you’ll still need to create at least one of each design so that you can photograph it for your product listings, and of course, to check that the design file is actually working as you expect it to. Doing this in advance will mean that there’s less chance of the print or cut not working when you receive orders, which can cost you time to fix, or mean that you need to cancel and refund orders. You definitely don’t want to have to do this, since it can cause customers to leave poor reviews – and if this is on a sales channel such as Amazon or eBay, could lead to other customers being discouraged from buying your products.
Once you’ve created one of each, make sure you’ve taken some great product photos, and create your listings with the right combinations of keywords well ahead of time, so you don’t have to rush them. Then, decide on the date you’re going to make your listings on your sales channels live, and if you can, get them on the system ahead of that date.
After you’ve created your product listings, make sure that you’ve created social media posts – both with great product images, and with interesting captions – to show off your Halloween range. If the social media platform allows you to, make the post shoppable, so that anyone casually scrolling that sees your post doesn’t have to leave the platform to buy the item. This is a great step to making those extra one-off sales. Of course, you’ll also need to leave links to your full range in the captions for your social media posts, your bio, and wherever else you can do, so that it is as easy as possible to find those products.
Review your sales and plan ahead
Once November 1st arrives, demand for Halloween decorations drops to pretty much zero until September the following year. So, once we’re into November, pull the sales figures for your Halloween range from each of your sales channels, look at your best selling items, and make careful notes about which ones worked best for you. This way, when it comes to July or August the following year, you’ll be able to plan what you’re going to sell over Halloween more efficiently.
Of course, once Halloween is over, we’re straight into selling Christmas products. We’ve already written about that, and what is likely to sell will change from year to year, so of course, you’ll need to choose your products based on what movies and TV shows are popular, as well as anything else that has been popular throughout the year.
Our final thoughts
Seasonal makes using your laser cutter and 3D printer may be the sole focus of your business, or they may be just a way to make additional profit. Whichever type of product you decide to create, be sure to follow our advice about planning ahead. You don’t want to be left scrambling as you’re trying to get a file to cut or print, in amongst all your other orders and work. Also, be certain that you have enough raw materials in your stash to be able to print or cut your orders. We carry a wide range of laser materials, as well as 3D printing filament, and for UK customers, most of our products are shipped on a next day service by DHL.
Once you’ve created your designs that have been inspired by our post – and especially if you’re using our materials, or one of our laser cutters – don’t forget to tag us in your Instagram posts! We love to see your designs, and we’ll share them with our followers, so they can show your post some love too. You’ll find us @hobartslasers.