In this article I will show you a cheap and easy way to make Industrial themed lights for a haunted house or Halloween decoration. The lights are made from parts you probably already have in your garage and use the addition of LED lighting to complete the effect. The entire prop should cost you about $2 - $10 dollars depending on the type of LEDs you use.
Step 1: Needed Parts
These are the items you'll need to complete the project:
- Plastic bowls (Dollar Store)
- Great Stuff caps or spray paint caps
- 90 degree PVC elbows 3/4" inch
- Scrap PVC pipe 3/4" inch
- LED light or LEDs
- Glue sticks & hot-glue gun
- Black primer spray paint
- Metallic spray paint
- A drill or box cutter
- Rust paint
- (Optional: Zip Ties)
Step 2: Glue Your Parts Together
Start by drilling a hole in the bottom of the plastic bowl that you can run wiring through for your LED light. In my project I used LED lights specifically for Halloween decorating called GhostLights so I needed to make sure my the hole I drilled was large enough to fit the barrel plug.
Next drill a hole in the plastic cap from your spray paint or Great Stuff. I like the Great Stuff caps because they have a little lip that fits perfectly around the plastic ridge on those cheap plastic bowls from the dollar store. If yours are a little different don't worry, the hot glue will hold it all together.
The hole in the plastic cap needs to be large enough to fit the PVC 90 degree elbow piece. I placed mine on the cap and traced around it and then use my drill and a box cutter to make the hole large enough and clean up the edges.
You also need to make a little notch on the backside of the hole to run your wire through as seen in the picture.
Once all your pieces are ready go ahead and glue them together so they look similar to the image in Step 2.
Step 3: Prime & Paint Your Light and Add LED
I went ahead and primed my pieces right after I glued them together. Then I painted the inside of the bowl metallic so I could add my LED light and not worry about getting paint on it.
Since I was using LEDs specifically for Halloween decorating and haunted houses they came with little mounting clips. I used this mounting clip to secure the light inside the bowl by drilling a small hole in the front of the bowl and adding 1 bolt and a nut.
If you are using you own LEDs or wiring them up yourself I would recommend simply using the hot glue to mount them and trying to get the angle right for the best effect in your haunted house.
The GhostLights also have a little thumb screw that allowed me to re-position the angle of the light once it is mounted in the bowl. So I can adjust where the light falls in the room from the light fixture.
Step 4: Add PVC Pipe and Secure the Wiring
I cut two 8" inch 3/4" pieces of PVC for the straight pieces on the lights and inserted them into the elbow pieces. I added a little bit of glue on the inside of the elbow pieces to ensure everything fit good and tight.
Next I secured the wire from my LEDs using zip ties but you could also just hot glue them.
Step 5: Prime the Outside of the Lights
Next prime the outside of the lights in black. Black tends to be a better base coat for anything metallic.
Step 6: Apply Metallic Coat
Once the black primer has dried, typically in about 15 minutes, apply your silver or platinum metallic coat of paint. Let the silver coat dry until it is tack free 30 minutes to an hour.
Step 7: Apply the Rust Coat
Now this part can be a little tricky for people and they may not have easy access to rust paint. For this project I used a paint called Iron B from Sculpt Nouveau but you can always make you own rust paint using the tip below.
TIP: If you can't get rust paint or it's outside your budget you can always make a faux rust using black, metallic and orange spray paint.
To create the effect lay down a thick, almost runny coat of black and silver paint. You can layer them over each other to the point where they almost want to drip.
Then take your orange paint and very lightly hold down the spray nozzle until it spatters and spits droplets of orange paint out. To get a feel for this practice over cardboard first.
Once the nozzle is spattering paint spray this on your very wet black, metallic coat and the orange paint droplets should run, bleed giving you a believable rust effect.
The tip above takes some practice but when you master it you have a really cheap source of faux rust for any type of project.
Step 8: Test Your Light
Once the rust paint has dried you are ready to test your light.
If you hooked up your own LEDs you might need to do some additional wiring which goes beyond the scope of this Halloween Instructable, but Instructables has plenty of guides to walk you through wiring LEDs.
For my project I simply plugged in my GhostLight to the provided 12volt adapter and plugged that into the wall. The amber light came on right away and I was ready to put this into our haunted house.
TIP: A great way to mount these lights to a wall is by using a plastic PVC flange they sell at local hardware stores.
Step 9: Wrap-Up
That covers building your own easy and Cheap Industrial Themed lights for a Haunted House. I hope you enjoyed my first Instructable! Please feel free to message me if you have requests for other Halloween projects, we are always obsessing about all things Halloween.