Introduction: Book Nook Insert Epoxy Blood Elevator From the Shining
I've been wanting to create a book nook insert for a while. I'd imagined it'd be a quaint Paris street scene but instead I recreated the blood elevator scene from The Shining. Didn't question my choice at the time, but now I see it as the perfect quarantine project or a lonely desperate cry for help. I decided to try to use stuff I had around the house, with the exception of the epoxy resin and alcohol inks, which it turns out I didn't use. This would be my first epoxy project and it was different than I thought it'd be. I don't have a laser cutter or a 3D printer. I don't even have a table saw. I cut the box pieces using a jigsaw first, then resorted to using a handsaw. Initially I wanted to make a true recreation of the elevator scene, but the shot is too wide for a book nook. I narrowed it and exaggerated the vertical aspect. I gave up on an exact reproduction and instead decided to recreate the feeling of the scene. The scale is approximately 1:16, 1:12 was too big and 1:24 too small.
Book nook box:
1/4" Baltic plywood
latex acrylic paints (dark brown for the exterior, popsicle stick wainscoting and elevator door surround, cream for walls, red paint for elevator door and surround, taupe/dark beige for the floor, gold metallic for elevator panels and floor indicator)
thin cardboard (not corrugated)
thin EVA foam sheets
2 small brass washers
2 small brass brads
epoxy resin, used Alumilite Amazing Clear Cast
plastic sandwich bags
Rit liquid fabric dye (just happened to have Scarlett and Wine, they must be 15 years old)
2 small pieces of red upholstery fabric for the 2 wall hangings
paper for wall border
6 battery-operated tea lights (from the dollar store, 2 to a package)
binder ring or other metal ring
black electrical tape
6 - 1" white heat shrink tubes or narrow straws
jewelry chain, maybe from necklace
thin plastic-coated electrical wire
black rubber washer
black thin EVA foam sheets
1/2" lamp nipple
2 nuts to fit lamp nipple
paper for book cover jacket
jumbo paper clips
4 roofing nails
dark brown metallic paint
hot glue gun
Step 1: Start the Box
Cut Baltic plywood pieces, 2 - 8" x 11" for the sides, 8 1/2" x 8 1/4" for the base, 8 1/2" x 11" for the back elevator wall and 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" for the ceiling panel. Sand edges. Paint one side with the dark brown paint. I used an espresso paint I was going to use on a coffee table but then changed my mind.
Cut 2 foamboard pieces approximately 1" x 11", then cut 2 pieces 4" x 11"
I had a bunch of photo mailers, so I used them for the cardboard pieces. Cut 2 cardboard pieces approximately 8" x 11". Score the back of the cardboard with a utility knife about 1" in then again about 1/2" and fold over using a ruler to secure the folded edge. Make another score 1" in and then 1/4", fold those. Then score 3" from the last fold and another 1/4" from that. Easier to see in photo.
Glue 1" foamboard into 1" folded cardboard space, then glue 4" foam board over 1" foamboard and 3" folded cardboard space. Wrap cardboard around the two foamboard pieces and glue so that there aren't any loose cardboard edges. Glue to wood side pieces and paint a cream color. I had extra interior wall paint, so I just used that. Paint the ceiling panel the same cream color. If there are gaps, fill with caulk.
Cut popsicle sticks for wainscoting approximately 2 1/2". Takes about 30 popsicle sticks, so 60 cuts. Took me forever using a handsaw. Adhere to walls using wood glue. Rip the 1/4" wraparound corner pieces with a utility knife to fit. Rip popsicle sticks in half with a utility knife for top wainscoting trim.
Paint the wainscoting with dark brown paint. Paint the base a taupe/dark beige.
Step 2: Elevator Wall
Cut 2 pieces of cardboard 6 1/2" wide x 6" tall. Take one piece and cut an overlapping door opening, 1/4" in from the left edge then another cut 1 1/8" from left edge x 5" tall. Make the second door opening cut 4" from left edge then another cut 1 1/8" x 5" tall. Glue the cardboard piece with the door opening cuts to the solid base piece. Paint red.
Cut a piece of thin EVA foam 6 1/2" wide x 6" tall. Cut door openings and middle opening, 1/4" from left edge then another cut 2 1/2" from left edge x 5" tall. For the middle opening cut 1/2" from the left elevator door opening then another cut 1/2" in x 5" tall. From there cut out the right elevator door opening 1/2" from the middle opening, then another cut 2 1/2" x 5" tall. Paint the foam piece including the edges the dark brown. Glue to red cardboard elevator piece. Paint outside edges dark brown. Glue to back wall. Cut small rectangles of cardboard for the elevator button panel. Paint gold, add a spot of white for the button and glue on the foam surround. Paint red geometric designs on the foam surround.
Cut little "D" shapes out of cardboard. I drew around a quarter and a dime to create the half circle. Paint gold and glue above elevator doors. Glue on brass washers and brass brads as floor indicators with E6000.
Print out hall border, cut sections and glue to the top edges of the side walls and back elevator wall.
Step 3: Radiators
If I were to do this again, I'd buy dollhouse radiators. But I was determined to use as much stuff around the house as I could in this project. Take jumbo paperclips and cut off the inner wire coil with wire cutters. Shape and cover wire with Sculpey, bake according to package instructions. Sounds simple but it took a long time to get those paperclips covered.
Paint paperclips with a dark brown metallic paint. Take a piece of wire and thread through a radiator clip and a plastic bead. Hot glue in place, continue to thread and glue. Twist wire up around the top of the first and last clips. Repeat at the bottom of the clip.
Hot glue two roofing nails as bases for the radiators. Paint with dark brown metallic paint. Hot glue radiators in place on either side of hallway.
Step 4: Chandelier
Take apart 6 tea lights. Add wire extensions to the led light wires, be sure to keep track of which wire is longest and shortest. Attach red wires to the short wire and black wires to the longer wires. Twist wires together and cover with electrical tape. Probably better to solder, but oh well. I wanted to use narrow straws for the candles, but didn't have any, so I used 1" heat shrink tubes I already had. Feed wires through tubes.
For the chandelier base, wrap a 2" diameter book ring with electrical tape. Then hot glue candles to base and wrap wires around circle base. Pigtail 3 black wires to 1 black wire and 3 red wires to 1 red wire, so you get down to only 4 wires. Cover connections with electrical tape and glue to base on inside. Cover a 2" section of straw with electrical tape and thread the 4 wires through the straw.
Hot glue or E6000 3 lengths of jewelry chain about 3" long to the bottom circle base, spaced evenly apart. Glue other end of chains to a rubber washer. Paint chains black. Feed wires through the washer. Feed wires through a nut and E6000 nut to washer.
Drill a hole in the ceiling panel in the middle, but about 1 1/2" back from the front edge. Fit 1/2" lamp nipple through hole. Feed wires through the lamp nipple and screw on nut to lamp nipple on bottom of ceiling panel. Screw on another nut to the lamp nipple on the top of the ceiling panel.
Cut a donut shape out of the thin EVA foam to fit on the bottom of the chandelier circle base. Hot glue in place. Cut a strip of EVA foam. Use the pinking shears to create a zigzag edge on one side. Hot glue around the chandelier circle base. Cut a small strip of black paper and glue around the top of the chandelier where it meets the ceiling panel.
Step 5: Epoxy Blood
Finally. I bought a of box of Alumilite Amazing Clear Cast and some alcohol inks. I didn't want to buy a bunch of resin dye and was tempted to try some Scarlet and Wine Rit liquid dye I've had for years, but read that the resin wouldn't mix with a water-based dye so I compromised and bought some alcohol inks.
I wanted to create the illusion of splashing water. This video was very helpful in guiding me. Many thanks to L. Braman.
I don't have a small cooking torch, so I used an iron instead to meld the corners and edges of the sandwich bags I had on hand. Be sure to layer your plastic bags between sheets of aluminum foil.
Carefully mix 1:1 ratio of A and B liquids and stir for 3 minutes. For some reason I expected the resin to heat and solidify in a matter of minutes. Thought I'd done something wrong, didn't realize it took so long to set. Used the alcohol inks and the red came out gold and and red with brown came out orange. Would have been great for a flame effect. Poured the mixed resin into the sandwich bags and shaped as best I could. Read online where makers were dyeing their 3D print resin projects with Rit dye. Was worth a try. The next day after the resin had set, I peeled off the sandwich bags and dipped in hot water with the Scarlet and Wine liquid dyes. Took the dye in a matter of seconds.
To add blood resin to the elevator scene, wood glue and screw the side walls to the back wall. Then glue and screw the walls to the floor base. If I had a little nail gun that would have been nice, but I'm not great with a hammer and didn't want to break the whole thing apart. It's a good idea to caulk on the inside around the bottom of the back wall where the floor meets the wall and up the walls a bit in the back. I didn't do that. I did add masking tape to the back outside seams where the walls and floor meet, was okay, but caulking would have been a better idea. Had to scrap off some dried resin. Hot glue the pieces of resin that were made the day before to the scene. Try to make it look like blood is coming through the elevator door and splashing against the side walls. To pool the resin against the back wall, tip up the front end of the scene by elevating with a couple of small pieces of wood.
I added a bit of the Scarlet and Wine dyes to the resin, the dyes worked great. Poured one small batch, then another. Looked okay, but lacked movement. The new resin was flat and smooth. To add the appearance of agitation, I grabbed some more sandwich bags and squished them on the top of the resin to give it texture.
Step 6: Book Light Switch on Top of Box
Take an old paperback book about 1" thick and use a paintbrush to apply glue to the edges, avoiding the front and back covers. After glue dries, drill a hole through the back cover through the book, big enough for wires to fit through. Avoid drilling through the front cover (which I didn't). I photoshopped a phony cover jacket for the paperback. If you want to do that, now is the time. Drill over the hole at the bottom with a bit large enough to create a hole to cover the top nut. Attach a small doorknob hole drill bit and expand the hole in the bottom to be deep enough to hold the wires. Switch to the front and drill a doorknob hole deep enough to hold the tea light case. Leave pages between the top and bottom as a separation.
Pigtail the chandelier wires from 4 down to 2. Apply glue to the back cover of the book, then feed the wires through the book. Place the book on the top of the ceiling panel. Feed black wire through bottom hole in tea light case, might have to enlarge hole with drill. Feed red wire through hole in switch, again might have to enlarge hole with drill. Place tea light case in book, add battery and replace switch top.
Cut a hole the size of the tea light case in a piece of black paper. Glue down paper and trim edges.
Step 7: Final Touches
Create wall paintings by cutting out 2 rectangles in cardboard 1" x 1 1/2". Paint with floor paint. After paint dries, tape off a 1/4" or so and paint a little watercolor in the center. Use a black Sharpie to draw a frame around the edges. Glue onto the wall.
For the dark red wall hangings, I added a couple of swatches of upholstery fabric to the red dye when I was re-dyeing the resin pieces. They should be approximately 2" x 3". I added zigzags and lines with a black Sharpie. Hot glue wall hangings to walls.
I made a couple of chairs, but they made the space look too small. Plus they covered the view of the resin.
Add wood glue and screw the top ceiling panel to the top edges of the walls. Caulk seams, screw tops and paint with a couple of coats of dark brown paint.
Step 8: Enjoy Your Book Nook Insert
And there you have it. It does make a great night light.
Participated in the
Epoxy Speed Challenge
2 years ago
Wow. GREAT JOB! Thanks so much for sharing. Making a booknook is on my loooong list of things to do.
2 years ago
Thanks for sharing this! It's cute and I like how you used the resin :)
I'm trying to work with resin for something and I need to put it on something it won't stick to. How did you find working with plastic bags? Were you able to take it off fairly easily?
Reply 2 years ago
I was afraid the plastic bags would stick too, but I think as long as the resin is hard enough it will peel off. The only problem I had was when I accidentally got a corner of a plastic bag embedded in the resin. There was no way it was coming out of there, so I just trimmed the plastic bag with scissors. This was my first experience working with resin and I expected it to be more difficult than it was. I'm sure it would have been more difficult if I were working with larger amounts of resin.