DIY Custom Painted Grinch Sphero




Introduction: DIY Custom Painted Grinch Sphero

About: Introducing Sphero 2.0. Now faster, brighter, and smarter than ever. The future of gaming is here. Choose from over 25 apps and launch a whole new world of mobile gameplay. Drive Sphero like never before, tu...

Sphero 2.0 is gearing up for another season of eggnog and mistletoe, and this year, he's dressing as everyone's favorite Christmas character - the Grinch. Deck your ball this holiday with this how-to Instructable brought to you by the one and only Deth Becomes You.


Deth Becomes You here again with another Instructable for building your own Grinch Sphero! This Instructable is similar to the last one I did with an eyeball Sphero for Halloween, but this time, I have added a cool tech twist. The entire process you see in the following steps was documented using Google Glass - the perfect documenting device for this round robot.


So what do we need to make this nasty wasty skunk? Only a few things.


- Sphero Robotic Ball (duh)
- Sandpaper. A higher grit rating is preferred.
- Some sort of brush tip marker that is not permanent.
- Thread or thin fishing line.
- Brushes/airbrush (optional).
- Acrylic paint (greens, yellow, red, black).
- Clear coat spray paint (flat matte finish).
- Vinyl/Latex gloves.
- Masking tape.
- Soul full of gunk.
- A three-decker sauerkraut toadstool sandwich (optional).

Step 1: Step One: Get on Your Gloves and Grab Your Sandpaper

Possibly the easiest step here. This step is to make the paint "bite" or stay into the plastic shell of the ball. All you need to do is sand the surface of your Sphero. You have accomplished your goal when the gloss of the original is now dull or flat. It will look similar to the picture here. Now that that is done, wash the Sphero to remove any sanded debris, then dry and move to the next step.

Step 2: Step Two: Base Coat

Another easy step, but one you need to be careful with. I went ahead and tied a loop in some thread and placed the loop in Sphero's groove or waistline. I did it at this stage because I used an airbrush to get the base coat on. You can brush your base coat on by hand if you don't have an airbrush, just be sure you thin your paint enough so as not to cause large, uncured or thick spots of paint.

Because Sphero's logo is made out of a different material, it might be harder to paint. You can first apply a little white over it and then paint over that with your base color.

Step 3: Step Three: Take a Whack at Drawing

Grab your marker and get to sketching out your design. These non-permanent markers listed in the materials will work great because they can wipe right off of Sphero with a bit of water. Choosing a color similar to the base coat will be your best bet.

Use reference photos for what you are creating, or freehand your design. Drawing over your Sphero this way creates a guide for you to paint over in a later step.

Step 4: Step Four: the Eyes Have It

There are several ways to go about painting. Before I started the Grinch's eyes, I airbrushed a darker shade of green along the lines I had drawn with the marker. This was to get a little more depth and character in the end result. It is not a necessary step, but can certainly make a difference in the final product. I then put yellow where the eyes go. You can be a little more sloppy here, because you will be outlining the eyes with the black paint. I am painting in layers in this photo. For me I went with base green/shading green/yellow/red/black.

Step 5: Step Five: the Bad Banana With a Greasy Black Peel

This is the step to finish all the details. As you can see I have added the red in the eyes and black over my previously drawn detail lines. Now the ball has the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile. After you have painted all your lines, wait for the paint to completely dry. If you were like me, you made a mess with the marker and your lines were all over the place. Go ahead and take a damp cloth or paper towel and rub off the remaining marker lines. Rub lightly, so as not to remove any paint you want to stay.

If you have not already done so, tie your line of thread or fishing line around the ball in the hemisphere groove. Give yourself enough slack so you can hang the ball away from anything it could come in contact with while you spray. Your Grinch Sphero is now ready for its clear coat!

I decided to go with a matte clear. You can go with a gloss finish if you would like, but it might make your Grinch look extra slimey. I wanted a finish that was closer to fur which to me I thought looked less than clean. Come on, the Grinch is far from clean.

Step 6: Step Six: All Your Base Are Belong to Us

Let's not forget that Sphero comes with an inductive charger! To Grinch-ify the blue base, take your masking tape and cover up the lower, white portion. This makes sure we don't paint over the light inside the base and gives us something to stand it on or hold while we paint. Use the sandpaper from Step Two and scuff up your base. It needs to be dull just like the ball. The paint needs something to stick to. I also shoved some cotton inside the charging cable port on the side of the base. Just to be safe.

I went with a slightly darker green color for painting the base. I wanted the base to be more like the neck of the cuddly-as-a-cactus Grinch. I free-handed little "v" marks in black paint as you can see - something I felt matched the Grinch design. Once the paints are dry you are ready to clear coat the base just like the ball.

Step 7: Step Nine: Show Off Your Grinch

Now it's time to admire your appalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of rubbish imaginable mangled up in tangled up knots!

You have done a wonderful job capturing the likeness of the most deplorable, low-down, dirty, King of Mean, The Grinch. And even if you haven't, hopefully you had fun. Pat yourself on the back and go fill your stocking with coal. You deserve it!

*Sphero 2.0 also makes a great stocking stuffer.

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    5 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Welp, now everyone is clamoring for Google Glass at Instructables HQ. Cool project, great documentation, and a possible solution for "where'd I put the camera?" issues.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    The Grinch has always scared me a little, but this version is kinda cute. :D

    Great job, Deth!


    6 years ago

    Would definitely buy skins for sphero if Orbotix made them.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    We do have Nubby covers available! They give Sphero extra traction for off-roading.