Gotcha! 9 DIY Pranks to Play on Anyone


Whether you’re doing it to get back at them because they’ve pranked you in the past, or simply because getting under people’s skin is your specialty, here are nine DIY pranks to play on anyone.

1. Ghost Hologram

Want to win the best Halloween prank of the year in your neighborhood? Then this DIY ghost hologram prank should be at the top of your list. All you need for this project is an invisible screen (you can use a transparent fabric) and your laptop, which will be the source of the ghost illusions and screams.

Set the invisible screen on your window, connect a projector to your laptop, and position it to project towards the window. Wait for the perfect time, click the play button, and watch your target’s face turn grey in fear at the sight of a floating ghost.

To make it even more interesting, do this prank after watching a horror movie or in the middle of a Halloween dinner.

Note that you can set up the invisible screen anywhere you find fit: it doesn’t need to be beside a window. For the ghost illusions, you can play YouTube videos or use specialized software.

2. Electromagnetic Mjölnir Prank (Thor’s Hammer)

Trick your Thor-loving friends into thinking you finally have the bravery of a hammer-wielding god by making this DIY electromagnetic Thor hammer.

At its core, it’s a toy Thor hammer with a fingerprint scanner registered to your thumbprint, so the hammer only lifts off the ground when you hold it.

It runs on Arduino, is powered by four 12V batteries, and has electromagnetic properties thanks to a microwave transformer. You’ll also equip it with a capacitive touch sensor to make it light up when the handle is held.

Place the hammer on a magnetic metal surface, with its electromagnet turned on, and watch as friends take turns and hopelessly try to lift it off the ground.

Once they’re done, turn off the electromagnet by putting your thumb on the fingerprint scanner, lift the hammer, and enjoy the look on their faces as you play Chris Hemsworth for a minute.

3. Spooky Scream on Alexa

No Halloween is complete without creepy sounds, and this simple prank happens to have all the spookiness you need to complete your set of tricks.

It’s pretty easy, too, because all you need to do is prompt Alexa to play a continuous loop of blood-curdling sounds after a few minutes, wait for the right time to turn up the volume, and watch in amusement as your victim falls for it.

You can either play it when they’re not in the room, so they come running, or wait until they are in the room and play it when they least expect it.

4. Ghost Drone

For an even more effortless take on DIY pranks, the ghost drone is an excellent prank. And you can try on almost everyone.

Dress up your drone in any ghost costume you think will work best and fly it towards the target when they least expect it. For an even better and genuine reaction, try this DIY prank at night.

5. Use Sphero Mini to Create Moving Parts

A Sphero Mini is a tiny programmable robot almost the same size as a ping-pong ball. You can use it for various functions, including a fun, scary, and techy DIY prank on anyone.

Paint it up as an eyeball and have it rolling towards the victim during dinner. Stash it in an orange and move it every time someone tries to grab it, or in your little brother’s or sister’s favorite stuffed animal for a scary but friendly prank.

Note: thanks to the Sphero mini’s tiny size, you can stash it in nearly anything to create moving parts and prank your friends and family.

6. Air-horn Your Coworker’s Chair

For a quick and fun prank (the fun is for you) at the office, try to air-horn your coworker’s chair and watch them jump off in a panic and turn red in anger when they realize you’re the culprit.

Like other pranks on our list, this is easy to set up. Attach an air horn to the pneumatic lever of their office chair using packing tape and watch the victim jump in panic when they set it off.

Quick disclaimer: everyone in your office else will probably be angry with you because of the interruption. On the bright side, it’s harmless, so you probably won’t be fired.

7. Freeze Your Partner’s Home Screen in Their Phone

iPhone homescreen

Although it probably won’t take them that long to figure it out, this DIY prank will get under your victim’s skin. Take a screenshot of their home screen, move all apps from the main screen, and set the screenshot as their home screen so when they try to open an app, nothing happens.

For an advanced take on this prank, you can lock one app on the home screen so they’re unable to access anything else on their phone. To do this, go to their accessibility menu and activate guided access.

Next, go to the app you wish to lock them into, triple-click the home button to activate guided access, and input a passcode so only you can have the power to free your friend from the app jail you’ve just locked them into!

You can be sure you’re not touching their phone ever again after this prank.

8. Cover the Remote Sensors With Tape

Remote control for TV

Now this one is super easy. Cover the remote sensor using clear tape, and watch the target struggle to turn the TV on. If lucky, they might even try to change the batteries.

9. Convert Their TV Into a “Haunted Mirror”

In the spirit of spookiness, this DIY prank is a must-do for all pranksters. You’ll need a photo frame that fits around your TV’s frame to create a mirror-like impression when the TV is off.

Next, find a spooky image or video, load it into your TV, and hit the play button when someone checks themselves out. The sudden spooky image or footage will undoubtedly have them feeling weak at the knees.

Have Fun!

Scaring and pranking people is no rocket science. The nine DIY pranks above are easy to execute and will sure get you the blood-curdling screams you’re hoping for when you try. Get your camera or phone ready, and be sure to capture those fun moments as you make your loved ones’ blood run cold. They will be fun moments to laugh at for days to come.


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