This is a relatively quick project and it only took me a few hours from start to finish. You only need a few tools, the acrylic sheet and the vinyl wall sticker and you’re pretty much good to go. I’ve chosen the Marvel character Iron Man, but really you can apply this to any character of your choosing, Spiderman, The Hulk or Batman would equally be a good choice.
The most important part of this project is to select the appropriate vinyl sticker. I choose an image of Iron Man in a flying pose, this seemed rather appropriate as I planned on hanging him from the ceiling. I also illuminated the cut-out, as Iron Man has many elements that light up (such as the hand repulsor, arc reactor and the glowing eyes), though this step is entirely optional.
Step 1: Things You'll Need
The overall construction is pretty straight forward, you should only need a few things:
- Vinyl Sticker
- Permanent Marker
- Self-Adhesive Hooks and Fishing Line(to wall or ceiling mount)
Large Sheet of Coloured Acrylic (2mm thick) for Main Body (match the colour to your character)
If you're opting to add some illumination you'll also need the following tools:
- Hole-Saws (to cut the repulsor and arc-reactor shapes out of the acrylic)
- Sharp Craft Knife (to cut the illuminated areas from the vinyl)
- Hot Melt-Glue Gun (to glue the illuminated pieces in place)
- Soldering Iron
For the lighting I used the following components:
- Small Sheet of Transparent Acrylic (5mm thick) for LED Mounting
- 4x Blue Water Clear 5mm LED's, 150mcd, 4v (forward voltage), 20mA. for the eyes
- 8x Blue 5mm LED's, 2700mcd, 4v (forward voltage), 20mA. for the Arc Reactor
- 8x Yellow 5mm LED's, 1600mcd, 2v (forward voltage), 20mA. for the Hand Repulsor
- 20x 27Ω Carbon Film Resistors
- Low-Gauge Wire (red and black)
- DIN Socket and Plug to the link the power source a 3.5mm audio jack would also be suitable
- 4.5v DC power adapter or 3x 1.5v AA Batteries and Holder if you want it Battery Powered
Step 2: Trace and Cut the Character Silhouette
The first step is to trace the character sticker's silhouette onto the acrylic and cut it out, follow the guideline below:
- Place your vinyl sticker on a large flat surface and align the large acrylic sheet over it. I did this on a wooden floor and secured the acrylic with masking tape to keep it still.
- Trace around the outline of the vinyl sticker with a permanent marker
- Using a jig-saw cut around the outline
- If adding illumination, cut out the relevant sections. In my case I used hole saws to cut out Iron Man's eyes, hand repulsor and arc-reactor
- Carefully stick the vinyl sticker to the acrylic cut-out, taking time to align it correctly
- Using the craft knife cut the shape of the eyes, hand repulsor and arc-reactor from the vinyl
Step 3: Adding the Illumination and Ceiling Hanging
To create the illumination I used 5mm thick pieces of acrylic, mine were mostly off-cuts from previous projects. I used a Dremel tool to frost the front face of the acrylic, though sandpaper will work just as well. I drilled holes in the side of the acrylic to allow me to push the LED's inside, use a drill bit size suitable for your LED (typically 3mm or 5mm).
The LED's are wired up as per the wiring diagram provided, if you are using different value LED's you will need to use the correct resistor values for your array. Once the LED's were hooked up and tested, I simply hot-melt glued them into place.
I am powering my circuit with a mains powered adapter, though you could also do this with batteries.
To ceiling hang the cut-out I used self-adhesive hooks on the acrylic cut-out with small anchor bolts in the ceiling, suspended with fishing wire.