Illuminated Moon?

I want to make a Moon for my wall behind a coyote I have. ( Taxadermied-- sorry animal lovers-- I didnt kill or stuff it-- I rescued it from an antique mall).  
I want it to be fairly large... at least 36 inchs diameter. Bigger even,  would look soo awesome !    I want it to look as realistic as possible.  I want to control on /off.   It would be really cool if I could dim it up or down-- depending on my mood... or use it like a glowing nite light,  whoa,  that would be so cool.    I can't figure out what type of material to use for that size... or the material I thought of,  doesnt come in the size I need  ( to get at least 36 in.diameter.) And I'd like to keep the depth of it fairly shallow . ( I know ... I want alot here )
I thought about a drum head thing that they make drums with or to replace drum heads,  but I can't find them big enough.   I thought about that kind of plastic that looks whitesh, opaque... but I can't find it wide enough.  I want my moon to glow... not look like I got a piece of plastic or paper that's been cut round and stuck some small christmas lights behind it --- actually,  I did do a small version of that and it looked stupid.  I thought about using a hula hoop  for the circular part... but then, what can I use to cover that? --- paper maybe?  thin paper?  where can I get thin paper that wide?  I figured I can dab some paint on it here and there to give it craters, dimension..etc..  I'm pretty creative in that department.   And,  I thought about getting a bed sheet... but then there's the lighting dilemma.   I don't know.. I'm stumped.
All you creative and smart people on Instructables.... can you help me give my coyote the moon he needs to howl at?    I'm depressed and frustrated that my creative idea can't come to frution.  Oh, did I mention I'm on a small budget?    Thanks ya'll from this Florda Girl.   

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rickharris5 years ago
From my experience with kids making similar projects at school illuminating the back of the box is the way forward, a low wattage bulb is as good as anything.

As long as the back is well illuminated you shouldn't have any issues with dark spots. You could make the frame a bit wider and put a bulb behind the edge of the frame at top bottom and sides to ensure even illumination.

LEDs can be used but the same issues apply. Lower voltage mind.

logcabinlife (author)  rickharris5 years ago
Thanks Rick. I'm going to take your suggestion(s) and play with it on a small scale... while I look for a picture and materials to make my box on a bigger scale. If you have any photos of past projects, I'd like to see 'em. But, I think I got the plan ( your plan :-) ) . Thanks so much for your input. I hadnt thought of using an actual picture of moon !
No pictures sorry I am retired now. But experimentation is worth a 1000 bits of advice.
iceng5 years ago
rickharris5 years ago
1. You need a high definition picture of the moon - I suggest you try Google and or the NASA/Hubble telescope site

2. print out the picture as large as you can (generally A4

3. Pay to get it enlarged as big as you need - This can be black and white as the moon only appears B/W to us anyway.

4. Get the picture framed or make a plastic frame and DIY.

5. Place the frame over a box, about 2 or 3 inches deep and paint the inside white.

6. In the box place a small light bulb, i suggest the type used for cookers/fridges as they aren't too bright white and you can dim them as you require. the bulb should illuminate the back of the box and you may need to shield it from the actual picture to prevent a bright spot.

logcabinlife (author)  rickharris5 years ago
Ok. :-) I'm listening to ya. ( 'er.. reading ya) High def pic... frame.. light. check check check uh-huh hmmm... this might work...
I'm thinking ..."ok, the light will probably have to be shielded as you said ( to prevent a bright spot)."
If I use ... say a piece of aluminum tin.. like the disposable foil stuff you bake with, that's pretty thin and cheap. That would probably make a dark spot on the moon... agree? or ??? Hmmm, what else could I use to throw the light to the back of the box without putting a spot where it is..? using the bulb idea.
Is there some other light source I could use out there? I know there's rope light.... but that may be too much..right? I don't know. Tiny rice lights? LED lights? that string flexible light stuff... can be really expensive.. but if I could use a small amount to get the effect.. its doable. I'm also thinking ( probably uncreatively) that the light source other than a bulb, would have to be attached to the outter (inside ) rim of the box. Agree? The depth would probably work. So far, I'm with ya Rick... anyone else got some ideas? Me and Rick are ' this close '... thanks