Introduction: Building a Rad Nightmare Before Christmas Light Box

About: My name is David and I make things... geeky things. I enjoy punk music, woodworking, graphic design, and screen printing. @gearboxdesigns (Instagram & Facebook)

In this Instructable, I'm going to show you how I made this Nightmare Before Christmas LED Light Box thingie featuring Oogie Boogie.

Some of the tools I used:


Angle Grinder


X-Carve CNC Machine

Belt Sander

Drill Press

Leather Dye

Now, you don't have to have an X-Carve to cut this stuff, You can use a scroll saw, band saw, or jigsaw. They all work great!


1-1/4" x 1/8" steel bar

3/4" Birch Plywood

1/8" Birch Plywood

1/8" Acrylic Sheet

Nuts and Bolts

LED Strip

If you are using a mobile device, here is an alternate link to the video---->

Step 1: Preparing the Metal for the Base and Welding It Together!

I started the build by cutting down some 1-1/4" x 1/8" steel bar stock. The two side are 3.5" and the bottom is 4".

After the pieces are cut, I used my angle grinder to put a 45 degree bevel on one short edge of each of the sides. It doesn't have to be perfect, its just provides a place for the welding pool to go into.

I clamped the bottom and one side of the steel bar together with some 45 degree welding magnets. These are awesome and you can buy them at Harbor Freight for really cheap. After side one is complete, weld a couple spots on the inside of the bracket to make it stronger.

Once everything is all welded together, cherry that bad boy up!

Step 2: Look Out.......

When you leave your barn to head in to the shop, watch out for space-suit-mini-me. He's always judging.

Step 3: Wrapping Up the Metal Work.

Once you have successfully avoided the small space man, wrap up the metal work by sanding off the sharp edges. I sand mine with the belt sander loaded with 80 grit paper, then finish with some 120 then 220.

Next, drill some holes large enough for what ever nut and bolt combo you will be using. Be sure not to make the holes too tight. By giving yourself a little wiggle room, you will be much happier later.

Finally, add paint. I cleaned the steel with some mineral spirits then used a piece of wire to hang the bracket while I painted.

Step 4: On to the X-carve!

I used my X-carve CNC machine to mill out some pieces. The first piece is some 1/8" acrylic, followed by (2) 3/4" inch thick rings and (1) 3/4" thick solid circle, and (1) 1/8" ring.

All of these circles have the same diameter (3-3/4") and the ring is 1/4" wide.

If you do not have a CNC machine... don't fret! You can do this with a steady hand and a scroll saw, band saw, or even a jig saw. No Sweat!

Step 5: Glue Time!

Glue is awesome. Especially super glue. Did you know it worked on wood? Well it does and it's amazing.

Set the acrylic circle and 1/8" ring aside and grab those three 3/4" pieces for earlier. I start by gluing the two rings together. I use regular wood glue and make a thin bead around the circle leaving (4) 1/2" voids in the glue. Sprea out the wood glue with your finger, then add a couple smears of super glue in the voids. Line the pieces up and put a little weight on for about 1 minute. Repeat with the final piece.

Step 6: Make It Purple Rain.

I bought this Fiebing's leather dye on amazon for pretty cheap. It's an alcohol based dye, just like wood dye. It is very potent and very awesome. Be sure to glove up or you'll looking at purple fingers for the next month!

While I was waiting on the dye to dry, I headed out to the barn with that piece of acrylic I cut earlier. I sandblasted it to give a frosted effect then applied my graphic. This was cut on my vinyl cutter, but you can print a graphic and cut it out with scissors and glue it on to the acrylic.

Step 7: More Glue and And Some Magnets.

Remember that 1/8" ring from earlier? Now its time to glue it to the acrylic. Piece of cake!

Next, I drilled four holes into the outer ring of the big part of the lamp. They don't have to be exact, but you do want to get them as close to the center of the outer ring as possible. Only drill them as deep as your magnet buttons (mine are 1/8" x 1/8" x 1/8") and glue them in with some super glue.

To line the second set of magnets up with the lid, I used some craft store paint. A nice dab on each magnet. Then,, carefully place the lid (acrylic side facing down) directly onto the wood base. This will transfer the location of the magnets to the lid. Drill them to the same depth as the magnets.

Stick four magnets to the magnets that are glued into the wood base. This will ensure that you don't mix polarities. Squirt a small drop of glue into the holes on the lid and put the two pieces together. You will need to remove the lid quickly incase any glue oozed out. Remove the lid my scraping it off to one side as opposed to lifting it off to ensure that the magnets stick with the lid.

Step 8: Mount This Thing to the Metal Stand and Add Some Lights!

Finally, find the best placement for the bolt holes in the wood base. I found the center of the lamp with the lid attached. Drill the holes the same size that are in the metal stand. Add nuts and bolts. Now you're cooking with grease!

Drill a hole for your light, mount it, turn it on and.......


Nice Right!?

Step 10:

Halloween Decor Contest 2016

Participated in the
Halloween Decor Contest 2016