Introduction: Lock, Shock, & Barrel Night Lites

About: I've been an artist all my life. Probably nothing I couldn't accomplish according to my grade school teachers who said "I would make a perfect student if I would just stop drawing all the time". I'm …

Hi All, this Instructable is over a year in the making. I started this last Halloween and well found out how dangerous power tools can be. I'll share with you all the gory details in next step.

The end result was me rethinking my initial idea, which ended up being more for speed than safety. The focus here will be my compromise to do Lock Shock and Barrel Night Lights. I wanted to make something fun for my grand kids. And I think they turned out pretty good. Lets get started.


Materials & Tools in order used:

  • Computer - Internet (Research) Adobe Illustrator (design work)
  • Laser Printer
  • Laser Paper
  • Spray Adhesive
  • 4 - 6" square - 1/8" think plywood (or gypsum board)
  • Hand Drill
  • Packing Tape/Painters Tape
  • Scroll Saw
  • Spray Paint (Black, White, (3 corresponding colors Red, Purple, Green))
  • 6 - Dollar store decor boxes repurposed
  • Hand orbital sander (with 80grit)
  • Reflective Foil Furnace Tape 3" width
  • Wood Glue
  • Clamps
  • 3 - Fairy light sets (each different corresponding color) with built in timers
  • Double side Duct tape
  • Band Saw

Step 1: Begining: Research Reference and Original Idea

In the beginning I wanted to make customized styled night lights for the grand kids, and my initial idea was to do them in circular box shapes. So I did my research online and found multiple reference for Oogie Boogie and his kids: Lock, Shock, & Barrel. I reworked their faces into a design that I could scoll saw them out of thin gypsum boards.

Well, sometimes you have to go back before you can go forward. So last year I was fashioning circular boards to back and frame my night light designs. I was in the process of cutting off bulk areas to make it easier to kerf and then cut down into circular shape. One piece of wood was being stubborn and before I knew it my thumb found the business end of the blade. Suffice it to say 9 stitches later (Personal record btw) I took a long sabbatical from my Band Saw. Hey sometimes you have to suffer for your art, am I right? I at least had completed enough boards to do the first one Ooogie Boogie for a test. You can click on the pics for minimal descriptions of what I did for this style.

Step 2: Prepping Art and Scroll Sawing

Being a big fan of Nightmare before Christmas, and the fact I have four grandkids (but only three are of appropriate age to appreciate the night lights and have actual seen the movie, Lock Shock and Barrel (2 boys and 1 girl) were perfect for my grand kids. I found a slew of reference online and then created B&W drawings in a circular shape for the opening of my night lights that I'll use on my scroll saw. I did these in Adobe Illustrator. I determined the size I wanted them to finally be and scaled them accordingly. After which I printed out paper copies. OFF to the Scroll saw.

I used some old 1/8" thick gypsum board left over from other projects. I lightly spray glued each design and mounted them on individual boards. Next step is drilling holes for all the areas you'll have to cut out. These white areas will be the portions where light will show through. Once holes are drilled you can begin the tedious cutting of the detailed voids. (FYI the most time consuming process depending on how detailed your design)

TIP: make sure you drill holes as big as possible for feeding your scroll saw blade through for cutting.

TIP 2: I find putting a layer of packing tape or painters tape on the back side of your board will help keep your wood from fraying or spurring from your cuts. And help prevent you from having to do tiny areas of sanding which can possibly ruin the work.

Step 3: Sand Faces and Paint

With all the faces cut out, I squared off boards to the angle I wanted each character to be displayed using the band saw. Then carefully peel off the tape from the back and the spray glued front. You may find its a bit harder to get off after all the handling. I lightly sanded both the fronts and backs to help remove any glue or residue from tape or spray glued paper designs. I then spray painted each face in the color I chose to represent each character. Lock = Red, Shock = Purple, Barrel = Green. After they dried, I lightly sanded again to make them smoother. And then hit them with a second coat.

Step 4: Creating Light Boxes

Now my original idea, as stated earlier, was the cutting of the boards into circular shapes and then layer them so each night light would be circular in shape. Granted much more difficult in production. I decided to take a short cut here for the three left to do. (I had finished my first one Ooogie Boogie in the Circular shape so I was content that I had done my original concept at least once).
For the three Oogie Kids I opted for a simpler and less time consuming option. Off to the Dollar Store. I initially just bought three seasonal boxes they had. But decided to go back and get three more. I sanded the designs off of them. (UGH I HATE GLITTER, now I've got glitter everywhere in the time machine). Yeah, these particular boxes had glitter on them So I scraped and sand as much off them as possible.

Once I was satisfied with them, I glued them face to face so the backs were open on each side. Clamping them for a snug fit. After the glue set up I drilled a small hole (but big enough to insert my light strands through from the back side) at the bottom edge of the squared boxes.

I painted the front opening where the lights were going to be affixed with white paint (mostly focused on the inner side edges. I spray painted the outside edges of each set a different color again to match each of Oogie's kid. Since these are cheap particle type boxes it too a couple coats to set up. After they were all dry lined each of the front sides of the boxes with reflective Foil Furnace tape.

Step 5: Stringing Lights and Light Tests

I started out with another great Dollar Store purchase. Led strand lights. You can even get the ones with seasonal caps on them and take the caps off. I ended up getting what are often called or referred to as fairy lights.

These particular sets were a bit pricier than what you can find at the dollar store… but worth it as they each had 6-On-18-Off timers built in. Plus each one was colorized to the corresponding color I wanted to match to the respective night light.

I fed the light strands all the way through and then with a bit of double side duct tape, I mounted the battery pack on the bottom inside of the back of the box.

With this set, I then slowing attach the strands of lights around the inside edge of the front of the boxes. Using smaller pieces of double sided duct tape to roughly position them. I then did a face light test, positioning each face over their respective color with back over the lighted box to see if I needed repositioning of lights for good coverage.

After I was happy with the balance of lights around the edge I put drops of hot glue over the strands to help keep them securely positioned.

Step 6: Final Prep of Faces With Backings

For this next step I went back to the dollar store and bought opaque flimsy vinyl three ring binders. These were bright colored and were a plastic material that when held up to the light the material would glow. I cut down pieces big enough to cover the openings of each character. And secured with drops of Hot glue and duct taped the edges for extra staying power. Before moving on to the next step I laid the faces on each respective box with the lights on to make sure I was getting proper light distribution, just in case I needed to reposition any of the lights before it was too late.

Step 7: Mount Faces to Light Boxes

With a bead wood glue I ran along the face edge of each box, I then carefully positioned each face sealing the lights inside. Using small clamps around the edges to give it a tight seal. Being sure to wipe off any excess glue that beads out. I repeated this for each box. Depending on your boards and box surfaces you may need more clamps to get a good seal.

Step 8: Optional: Added Tombstones

Lights, as is, turned out great in my opinion. I was pleased with the end results. But I still had some time to do a bit more so I decided to make tombstones for each one to sit on top of each box with the respective names painted on them.

I rough cut out each tombstone. Hit them with some gray paint over all(except the bottoms for glue) and then painted each in a Tim Burton drawing style for added effect.

After Halloween I plan to get them back and add some painted Tim Burton like details in black paint on the faces so they will be cute to look at in the day light as well.

Aside from almost lopping off my thumb at this projects outset. WARNING: Be safe with your power tools. I've since created a push bar to keep my fingers from ever being new blade.

I think it was a pretty easy endeavor. In fact I'm working on other ideas for other seasons. Lots of possibilities.

I hope everyone enjoyed and inspires you to make your own.

Step 9: Other Night Lights Done

Happy Pumpkin:

I mentioned early on that I had four grand kids and I didn't leave the fourth one out. She's way too young for the Nightmare Before Christmas theme so I made her a Happy Pumpkin with a stem on top.

Oogie Boogie back lit:

I had seen this some where online and its actually what inspired me to make my own. Can't remember where I found it but I'm sure if you search hard enough you can find it either on YouTube or Pinterest.

I took this inspiration and scrolled out a face pattern and a base an glued them together. I fortner bit out a hole in the base for either a led candle or regular tea candle to sit in it.

Halloween Contest 2019

Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2019