DIY LED Light-up Tardis Fascinator Hat




Introduction: DIY LED Light-up Tardis Fascinator Hat

About: Designer living in NYC for grad school. I love laser cutting, Adobe's Creative Suite, random art projects, and baking goodies for friends!

This past Halloween I finally made my very own Tardis costume, from the longest running science fiction show, Doctor Who. I've seen so many versions of this costume that I wanted to try my own and make something unique. For this Instructable I'm going to focus on how to make the LED fascinator from the top of the Tardis!

Step 1: Materials

Most of the materials I used were leftover from other projects or scavenged from my kitchen, except for the ones that have links. 

- material for the base: flexible, flat plastic or copper wire and copper sheeting
- spice jar or other housing
- Goo Gone (if necessary)
- sandpaper
- black acrylic paint
- three, bright white LEDs
- three, 150 ohm resistors 
- solid-core wire
- 2 coin batteries and battery holder
- electrical tape
- small piece of foam
- hair comb or hair band

- scissors
- hot glue gun
- hacksaw
- paint brush
- soldering station and solder

Step 2: Make the Base

For the original design, I made the base out of copper sheeting and outlined it with copper wire, but it would be much easier to use plastic for the base.

Cut an oval out of your plastic. Make small cuts on two sides (see the second image) and hot glue them together to create a slight concave shape. You may paint the top surface if you'd like. For the original, I used the leftover blue fabric from my skirt so it would match. 

Step 3: Make the Housing

I found a large, plastic spice jar, pictured, that I cut in half to make my light dome. You may use any translucent, cylindrical shaped vessel.

Use the Goo Gone to get the label off of your spice jar. Cut the jar with a hacksaw to be your preferred height. Sand the outside of the jar to make it diffuse the light a bit.

Make a roof out of plastic or copper sheeting by cutting out a circle, cutting one slit to the center, and hot gluing it to make it concave (somewhat similar to the base). Hot glue the roof to the top of the dome, and paint it black.

Add window mullions to the outside by painting four thick lines equally spaced, with two thinner lines between them, and two horizontal lines all the way around (see the final image for a better idea).

Step 4: Set Up the LEDs

Solder three LEDs in parallel with a resistor between each of the LED's short leg and the ground wire. To learn more about soldering, check out this Instructable and to learn about LEDs in parallel, check out this one. We're using solid core wire so that we can position the LEDs into a standing "tree" once we've soldered them. Make sure your wires aren't too tall for your dome!

Solder the power and ground wires to the battery pack's wires and, using electrical tape, secure the LED "tree" on top of the case so that the LEDs stand straight up. Turn on your battery pack to make sure your soldering worked. 

Step 5: Finishing Up

Cut a circle of thin foam, 1/2" thick at most, so that it fits your housing tightly. This foam will hold the housing onto the base.

Cut a space into the foam for the battery pack. Hot glue the foam to your base and the battery pack to the base.

Turn on your LEDs and put the housing on top to check out the light!

Finally, hot glue the hair comb or hair band to the base. Now wear your new fascinator everywhere!



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    18 Discussions

    love it!:) If only I'd known this before the 50th exhibition I went to! do you have the tutorial for the rest of the outfit at all?

    2 replies

    Thanks! I'm planning on posting a tutorial for the rest of the outfit after I finish grad school in May. It'll be up and ready well before Halloween and the beginning of the next season!

    Hi! I have found this DIY on Pinterest and I was wondering if you have posted somewhere else the DIY for the whole costume? It is absolutely perfect! I've planned to do it for this Halloween but I have to hurry! Thanks a lot if you answer this!

    Not that you need it, but I would imagine that it would be very slimming, you know, making you look smaller on the outside :) great 'ible! Thanks for sharing. If you have "time", I'm sure after a couple of years you have tons of other groovy 'ibles to share???

    Are you infinitely bigger on the inside? Some kind of 5th dimension thing I presume? LOLLzz Kegels can't help you...

    I love Dr Who to, and awesome costume! But I am left wondering a you get any 'unwanted attention'/ assaults by people reading that sign on the skirt and taking it literally? ;-)

    1 reply

    Brilliant, what a great outfit for a Time and Relative Date in Space!

    This is awesome! Thanks for sharing! Yay!

    i have an suggestion to improve the little hat you made it, why don't you use those leds that glow in blue and red automatically ? can be feed on 3v .

    what a beautifull model !!! and interesting instructable too :P

    :O woah where I am it's the races (stpats) and I know lots of ppl who would like this!!! #FAVE!!

    I love when cool things are made from "trash." Don't watch Dr. Who but this is cool.

    I must admit, I only viewed it because I thought your face was absolutely beautiful. Nice ible though all the same :-)