Introduction: Queen Album LED Backlit Wall Art
The entire concept behind this project was that it was part of collaboration on YouTube. The plan was that a group of guys would make some album wall art of a classic rock band that they like. We chose to make Queen II and thought we would share the process on here. Also, in the description of the video (on YouTube) is links to a few other guys that participated in this collab that are also giving away some cool stuff.
Other than that, enjoy this instructable and hopefully it inspires you to get creative as well.
NOTE - the giveaway is over. Winners were drawn on 10/30/2016. Thanks to everyone who played along.
Step 1: Dimensions
To start we cut an 1/8" thick piece of MDF down to a 12" x 12" square. This is about the standard size of a record sleeve.
Step 2: Sizing and Making the Pattern
The pattern had to be split up and printed on three separate sheets to make it larger enough to work for the size of an album. Unfortunately we can't offer the pattern since it is not ours, but we can tell you that the pattern is easy to make from the original album artwork, put into a photo editing software, tweaking the levels and then either poster printing it in Adobe Reader or a great program called Posterazor (this one is our favorite and it's free).
Once we had the pattern made, we printed out the three sheets and taped them together to make the full size art.
Step 3: Attaching the Pattern
The pattern is attached to the MDF using a base layer of blue painter's tape and then spraying on an adhesive spray so the paper pattern sticks to the tape. This will allow for easy removal once we are all done cutting.
This is also a perfect time to drill all the required holes that will allow entry of a scroll saw blade. We made sure to drill a hole in every independent black space.
Step 4: Scrolling
For quite a while I have been against the use of spiral blades, mostly due to my inability to control them properly. However, for this pattern it was perfect. The entire piece was scrolled with a spiral blade. The freedom to move the blade in any direction was key to this turning out as decent as it did.
One thing we fought with was the smaller facial pieces or other small bits. Being careful not to let those pieces fall into the sawdust abyss that exists below the crack in the table insert was a hassle at times. But it's important not to lose them.
Step 5: First Round of Paint
Once everything was cut out, we peeled off the pattern which was made easy by the layer of painter's tape that was applied earlier. The first coat of paint was just a light coat to get things started. We also coated the smaller bits as well. This was made easier by placing them on a piece of upside down tape to hold them in place.
Step 6: Making the Frame
The frame was made out of 3/4" plywood. This was a simple box construction with mitered corners and rabbeted edges. Everything was cut and sized to receive the panel we had cut out on the scroll saw. The panel sits right in the rabbeted grooves. Then, the panel was glued in place, the miters glued and everything was clamped using a band clamp.
Step 7: Trim
To hide whatever gaps were present between the panel and the frame, we cut matching pieces of thin trim out of some pine board. These were mitered as well and glued in place over the gap and flush with the edge of the frame.
Once this was dry, we added one more coat of paint. This time a bit thicker.
Step 8: Acrylic
We bought a thin sheet of acrylic at Hobby Lobby to use as a light diffuser. It was clear, so we spayed it with some frosted glass spray. Then we sprayed the back of the MDF panel with a spray adhesive and placed the acrylic sheet in place.
Step 9: Small Bits
Now that the acrylic sheet was in place, we glued all of the small bits, facial pieces and what not back into place. These get glued directly to the acrylic. Once they were in place and dry, we sprayed the whole piece with a semi-gloss clear coat.
Step 10: Installing the Battery Box
This art piece has a strip of LEDs that span the inside border of the frame. Part of the problem we had with this project was figuring out how to attach the battery box for it to the back of the MDF. We decided on creating a compartment out of some of the leftover MDF. This was just cut on the band saw and sized to fit around the box. The pieces for it were glued down with hot glue.
Step 11: Attaching the Light Strip
The light strip is stupidly easy to attach. It has an adhesive back that makes it easy to just peel and stick. We just covered the inside border with them and then cut off the excess on the cut line provided and that was it. If you are interested in these light strips you can get them here - Light Strip.
Step 12: All Done!
That's it. The process for this could be used with just about any album art or any other pop culture art piece. It was incredibly easy to make and didn't break the bank either.
We hope you enjoyed this DIY project and the video that goes along with it. If you have any questions or comments please let us know, we'd be more than happy to help you out. Thanks for checking out this Instructable.