Introduction: Home-made Gobos

Gobos or 'go between' is a 'templates' or 'stencil' used to make shapes for theatre/event lighting.

What you need:
>Pie-tin or soft drink can


>Sharp Stanley/craft knife

>Dark Pencil


>Template of what you want to make into a gobo

>Chopping/Cutting board

If using a soft drink can you need to wash & dry it out and make it into a flat shape.

Step 1: Preparation

1) Find an image you want to make into a gobo (for simple images add the word 'stencil' after (e.g. 'clouds stencil') to get simple images that are easier to trace and cut.
2) Print image in grayscale/black and white.
3) Cut out image.

Pie tin:
1) Remove from wrapper.

Soft drink can:

1) Wash empty can and allow to drip dry completely
2) Lay can down and grasp can but not to firmly (don't want to crush it).
3) Cut slowly and carefully around the can, near the rim.
4) Cut down the can to the end, again slowly and carefully.
5) Repeat step 3 for other end.
6) Using an eraser or hands, flatten the can so it is completely flat. -take care, it is sharp

Step 2: Draw and Cut Gobo.

1) Get the circle diameter/size you need for the gobo frame of the light you will be using, a simple google search works(e.g. 'selecon acclaim gobo holder size'). Alternatively trace the inside of a gobo holder and add 10-20mm to ensure that the gobo fits inside and doesn't fall out.

2) Measure and mark diameter of gobo frame/gobo size using a dark pencil.

3) Cut out this circle using craft knife, tidy up rough edges with scissors.

4) Draw your shape onto the gobo.

5) Cut out the shape by following the outline of the shape you drew.

6) Holding the gobo firmly, rub over the gobo to flatten, or place under a heavy object.

Step 3: Test

  • Test that the gobo fits in the gobo frame
  • Test taht the gobo works and looks good

That's it!