With Halloween approaching, I recently ordered a latex Ood mask from China for around $25. It’s pretty realistic, but the costume would not be complete without a translation sphere, so I had to make one!
For this instructable you will need:
- Acrylic Fillable Ornament (100mm diameter)
- Beverage tubing (1/4" diameter, 2' length)
- A screw
- Silver/gray material to make a ring around the sphere
- Coin batteries and white LEDs
Step 1: Prepare the Sphere
The first step is to purchase some 100mm diameter acrylic fillable ornaments from your local hobby store (for me that would be Hobby Lobby or Michaels). They are also available online but you typically have to buy at least a dozen.
The ball is made of two halves that snap together. There is a hoop at the top that can easily be removed with a hacksaw or a craft knife (I prefer using a hacksaw).
After removing the hoop, it's a good time to use some "frosted glass" spray paint (Rustoleum and Valspar are two brands you are likely to find in your local hardware store) to make the ball slightly opaque. I sprayed both the interior and exterior.
Step 2: Attach the Tubing
The next step is to drill a small hole in the bottom of one half of the sphere so that we insert a screw to attach to the beverage tubing. When drilling acrylic it is best to start with a small drill bit and gradually work your way up to the desired size to avoid shattering the acrylic. Also, you want to drill from the inside of the sphere with some scrap wood under the sphere.
After drilling the hole, insert a screw, using hot glue to secure in place if required. Next, place hot glue over the exposed end of the screw and then slide the tubing over the screw and hold in place until the glue dries (being careful not to get hot glue on your fingers).
Step 3: Create the Silver Ring
To make our translation sphere look authentic, we want to create a silver/gray ring to hide the seam where the two halves of the sphere connect. If you have access to a 3D printer, this is an ideal way to create this and it is a simple model to create if you're looking for an excuse to try your hand at some simple 3D modeling. Alternatively, it would be possible to cut a strip of card or foam instead.
Use a small amount of hot glue to attach this ring to the sphere half that has the recessed lip, leaving a gap to connect the other sphere.
Step 4: Lighting Up the Sphere
The easiest way to light up the sphere is to attach some LEDs to some coin batteries with duck tape and lightly secure these in the base of the sphere where you will be holding the sphere so that they are not too noticeable.
To diffuse the light from the LEDs you can add a small blob of hot glue.
That concludes this instructable! For more information and to see other projects of mine, please visit http://theotherandygrove.com