Instructables

Hang Boo on a wall (Boo wall piece)

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Picture of Hang Boo on a wall (Boo wall piece)
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Inspired by Dr.Duckhunts "Build Uka Uka wall piece" I made a glow-in-the-dark Boo wall piece, as a birthday gift for my stepson.

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This Photos Instructable is an entry in the Elemental LED contest. If you like it, please give it your vote. You can vote for as many I'bles as you want. Thanks!
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To copy Boo's image on a piece of MDF, I made a 5 x 5 grid in Illustrator and placed a picture of Boo behind it (the pdf document is included with the pictures). The grid is easy to draw on the MDF sheet, and makes copying Boo's image a lot easier.

I used a jigsaw to cut out Boo's silhouette, his eyes and mouth. Boo's teeth are made out of a separate piece of MDF.

Sanding and painting takes patience (! of which I have only a limited supply :-s). I used two layers of white acrylic primer. Boo's final white is high gloss acrylic paint. The tongue and eyebrows are also acrylic paint, but matte. For the eyebrows, the matte paint is perfect. The tongue's red might be better in high gloss. Use a roller (or even better, an airbrush) for the white and red. I tried the tongue with a wide brush, but with very bad results (brushstrokes stayed visible, no matter how hard I tried...)

To get the red light behind Boo's eyes and mouth, I made an inclusion on the backside with left over pieces of MDF. The inclusion is eventually covered with 5mm plywood, painted black on the inside.

Inside the inclusion I traced the circuit with 3M copper tape. Expensive but very, very useful in this case. I only used it because I had it lying around. I used ductape to make "bridges" on spots where the traces cross each other.

Since 3M copper tape can be soldered, mounting the leds was easy. Again, I used tape to prevent the LED's leads making contact with a reel they shouldn't be making contact with (preventing shorts).

The red glow is produced by a string of the cheapest 5mm red LEDs. Between the leds and the batteries is a circuit I'm not very confident about, it still needs some debugging. So, only very limited details in the picture :-)
shorepatrol2 years ago
I made something similar years ago (although it was a airplane in the clouds) for my son's room. I used a rope light and hid it between clouds, painted the visible parts of the rope and plugged it in,done. Perhaps this will help someone who does not want to build a circuit. It did get warm so I added a timer. yours looks ripe for an arduino, flashing, chasing or alternating colors, I better get busy. Thank's for a mental nudge!
ynze (author)  shorepatrol2 years ago
Owwww, you mentioned Arduino... I'm in doubt about that! I expect (but am not sure...) an Arduino drains batteries pretty fast. And I wanted batteries instead of a wall wart for this one, avoiding a power cord over the wall.

On the other hand, with an Arduino it's rather easy to add all kinds of cool effects...
Hey, just a after thought but if one used blue lights could we call your ghost "behind boo eyes"?
DaShroom ynze1 year ago
It does, think TI MSP430 - Really Cheap, Extremely low power, and easy to use, despite what people say. REALLY COOL and good looking project btw :-)
:O A W E S O M E !!! I'm thinking about trying to build this as a gift for my boyfriend (who can't wait for Luigi's Mansion 3D) but I guess I'll have to chicken out on the light. It looks really complicated for someone who's never tried out anything running on energy of any kind before (= me). Maybe if I attach some holiday lights onto the back it might work :)
ynze (author)  buttonsandyarn2 years ago
Thanks! Don't chicken out on electronics yet! I'm working on a better circuit and an easy way of soldering the components. Stay tuned!

Y.
Will do! There's still some time left until christmas, so I'll try to gather some courage and patience ;D
Dr.Duckhunt2 years ago
Looks Awesome, Glad to hear i inspired someone to do something haha, looks awesome with the lights, i wanted to but im no scientist. great work
You should enter this in the Hurricane Lasers Contest! http://www.instructables.com/contest/hurricanelasers/
ynze (author)  SelkeyMoonbeam2 years ago
Hmmmmmm, not yet... Must improve on instructions and electronics first. I'm working on that, since this Boo gets so much attention :-D
smunro12 years ago
I think that this project is absolutely brilliant! Would you be able to include a PDF or a KiCAD drawing of the circuit? I want to be sure that I make the circuit properly. It might also help with debugging. :)
ynze (author)  smunro12 years ago
Thanks! I'm working on a better version of the circuit right now. I'll reply to your comment as soon as I have it online.

If you don't want to wait, you can use the circuit I used for a led-dimmer circuit:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Magicolor-shadow-lamps/step8/Led-dimmer-circuit/
kcjaries782 years ago
So do you always have to walk backwards out of the room? I totally want one!! I would buy this in a heartbeat.
ynze (author)  kcjaries782 years ago
No need to buy. You can totally make one :-)
Phenomenal! Absolutely fantastic, wonderful, and exciting! Your pictures are great, the idea is simple and elegant, and all of this makes me want to go build one right now! Thank you for sharing this!
ynze (author)  Brian Henderson2 years ago
*blush* :-) Thanks.
Kiteman2 years ago
I think, by "voltage reels", you may mean "voltage rails", but a better term here would be "circuit traces".
ynze (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
Thanks for paying attention! Aren't you in SF right now?
Kiteman ynze2 years ago
We land late on Sunday.
ynze (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
Sounds like a great vacation to me! Enjoy!

About "circuit trace": I verbed it into "I traced the circuit using...". Understandable?
Kiteman ynze2 years ago
Spot on. (I had been thinking of "make the circuit traces".)
ChrysN2 years ago
Great job, the lights are a really nice touch.
ynze (author)  ChrysN2 years ago
Thanks!
canucksgirl2 years ago
Really nice job! The lights are great for it. :)
It's already awesome and then you added those lights! Very sweet!
ynze (author)  Penolopy Bulnick2 years ago
Oh thank you, Mrs. Moustache! And for subscribing as well :-)