Introduction: Light Up Plaque
This project can be modified simply to make any design into a light up plaque but I will be making a fish. Hope you have fun creating this!
Step 1: Step 1: Gathering Supplies
For the fish/your design:
- Cardboard (big enough to fit 2 of your design)
- Laser Cutter and access to Adobe Illustrator (alternately use a printer, exacto knife and mat)
- Spray Paint (get creative here with how you want your fish to look, but I use black and gold)
- Hot Glue
- Short and thin strand of battery powered lights
For the Canvas:
- Canvas (any size can be used but preferably slightly smaller than your cardboard design is)
- Acrylic Paint (any colors you want, I use white and shades of blue, green, and purple to be ocean-like)
- Wide Paint Brush
Step 2: Step 2: Making the Fish/your Design
1. Have design
Have a drawing or image of your design that is very clear and bolded (I drew mine on a piece of paper in black sharpie)
2. Cutting pieces (for using a laser cutter as I did)
Upload the picture to adobe illustrator and image trace it. Once you have a clean vector image of your design, send the outline and the vector image to the laser cutter.
2. Cutting pieces (for using an exacto knife)
Print 2 copies of the picture in the size you want it. Stabilize one of the printouts to the cardboard and cut the outline of the design. Stabilize the second printout to another piece of cardboard and cut out the details of the design.
3. Spray paint
Spray paint your different pieces whatever color you would like and don't be scared to get creative. Note that you don't have to spray paint the back piece of the design as it won't be seen in the end. As pictured, I used black for the outline and gold for the details of the fish. Tip: use a piece of tape to hold down the smaller pieces so the spray paint doesn't blow them away.
Use the hot glue to put the pieces back together on top of the outlined piece you cutout earlier (the piece you did not have to spray paint).
Step 3: Step 3: Creating the Canvas Background
For this step you can create a background as elaborate or simple as you choose. To make my ocean background I placed dots and lines of my colors randomly around the canvas. Using my big brush, I spread the paint out in a right to left motion until the entire canvas was covered.
Step 4: Step 4: Adding Lights
Decide where your design is going to be placed relative to the canvas background and mark it clearly with a pencil on the back of your cardboard design and lightly on the canvas background.
2. Hot glue wall
Create a wall of hot glue around the outline of your design only tracing the parts that will be on top of the canvas. This will add separation between the canvas and the cardboard so the lights will fit. Tip: use clear drying hot glue so the lights will shine through better in the end.
Carefully add the lights all over the back of the design staying within the bounds your hot glue wall created. Use tape to secure the lights. Find a place outside of the hot glue wall on your cardboard that will fit the battery of the lights and hot glue it. Tip: keep the lights as flat and non-overlapping as possible for cleanest looking result
Step 5: Step 5: Putting It Together
By only putting hot glue on the already established hot glue wall, secure your design to the canvas.
Now that you are done, take a look at your project with lights on, mostly off, and completely off as seen above!
Participated in the
Cardboard Speed Challenge