It’s Movie Monday again and this month’s challenge was Halloween movies. I chose Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, the 1999 retelling of Washington Irving’s classic tale. Johnny Depp stars as Ichabod Crane a constable from New York City who comes to the village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of gruesome murders. Christina Ricci stars as Katrina Van Tassel.
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As a man of science, Ichabod Crane is skeptical of the stories of a Headless Horseman and, armed with some cool steam punk instruments, he sets out to solve the mystery of the Headless Horseman and finds out that science can not always explain everything.
I enjoyed the movie when it first came out and catch it on occasion on TV. It’s available for purchase or streaming via Amazon. If you haven’t seen it, give the movie a try. Johnny Depp is adorable as Ichabod Crane and the film won an academy award for Best Art Direction.
There’s a scene where Ichabod Crane explains to Katrina the science of optics behind the thaumatrope a popular toy of the time. When you spin a disk with an image on each side, the two images seem to combine due to persistence of vision when images remain on the retina for a short period of time. You can read more about it in this article from Wikipedia.
There are several classic images for thaumatropes, including the bird in the cage. I chose fall and Halloween themes for the ones I made: a spider in a web, falling leaves and a jack o lantern.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own thaumatropes:
- Thick paper or card stock (I used printer paper glued to circles cut from a paper plate)
- 2 inch paper punch
- hole punch
- cord or rubber bands
- pencils and markers to draw with or images from the internet (Pinterest has a good selection)
Use the punch to cut out round disks. For each thaumatrope I cut two circles out of regular printer paper and a third out of heavy stock, like the paper plate I had.
You’ll want to plan your image. For example, for the spider thaumatrope I drew a web on one piece and a spider on the other.
Glue the two images to either side of the paper plate disk. Be careful of the orientation. If you laid the two images side by side one should appear right side up and the other up side down. See the printable image on this website. You can tape the images to check the effect before gluing them down permanently if you like.
Punch a hole on either side of the disk and thread a string or rubber band through the hole. The strings should be long enough to hold comfortably while spinning the disk.
To operate the thaumatrope, hold the ends of the strings in one hand and wind the disk until the strings are tight. Pull on the ends to spin the disk. Alternatively, you can hold one string in each hand and use your thumbs to twirl the strings. It takes a little experimenting to find the right rate of spinning.
Thaumatropes aren’t limited to rounds. They can also be squares or rectangular. You can also make a thaumatrope by attaching the images to a straw or skewer and twirling between your palms. In that case the two images would be oriented in the same direction.
Have fun making your own Halloween thaumatropes!
On the last Monday of each month, a group of bloggers participate in a #MovieMondayChallenge, hosted by C’mon Get Crafty! We decide on a topic, genre, or specific movie to use for inspiration and everyone gets free reign to create something wonderful!