Giant 4x8ft Lite Brite!

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About: I like making stuff.

I made a massive 4x8ft Lite Brite!!! My sisters work was putting on a youth event and asked me to make this for the event since the theme was LIT. It was a lot of hard work and I wanted to quit a bunch of times. I only had four days to finish this and I barely made the deadline but it ended up looking totally cool!

If you like this project please consider voting for it in the contest or checking out my YouTube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/chippedbuilds

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Some maybe affiliate links

2x 4' by 8' 1/2" sheets of plywood

1x 1/8" 4' by 8' clear plexiglass

4x 2x4's

20+ 1" 6ft long clear acrylic rods

Blue Sea Glass Paint- https://amzn.to/2YznbEe

Ruby Sea Glass Paint- https://amzn.to/2JIyu8L

Green Sea Glass Paint- https://amzn.to/2HllDaO

Red Spray Paint- https://amzn.to/2VKSQFP

Black Spray Paint- https://amzn.to/2wa7kzP

Orange Spray Paint- https://amzn.to/2EdgMa1

Metallic Blue Spray Paint- https://amzn.to/2Ys1qG0

4x LED's- https://amzn.to/2LGZjN8

Table Saw- https://amzn.to/2EbfBaN

Drill- https://amzn.to/2JI9j6a

Drill Bits- https://amzn.to/2HjR853

Miter Saw- https://amzn.to/2YuLG59

Glue Gun- https://amzn.to/2YuLG59

Planer- https://amzn.to/2vZ1elw

Step 2: Drawing the Grid

I got my plywood from Lowes and had one of the employees help me get the wood down since I was so short. Once I brought it home it was time to draw out the grid for the 500+ holes (this was such a crazy project) I didn't want to have to measure the whole thing out so I cheated a bit and printed out the template I had made in Illustrator. This mostly worked out pretty well. It had a center dot in each hole that I could line the punch up to. This way the holes would all be centered.

Step 3: Drilling All the Holes

This part took forever! Once I had all the spots I was gonna drill marked at the center I could use my forstner bit to drill the holes. This took me roughly 13 hours and i couldn't stop. I had to push myself to finish it and I got a crazy blister on my hand from the drill. After the first few holes are done it gets boring really fast.

Step 4: Building the Frame

I cut some 2x4's on the table saw to act as the frame for the lite brite. I cut some strips and then ran them through the planer to get rid of the rounded edges. I then glued and nailed/screwed the frame to the front piece of plywood. I also cut some smaller pieces to act as supports.

Step 5: Adding the Acrylic Back Panel

In order for the pegs to not fall out the back I got a 4x8 sheet of acrylic to hold them in place. This was attached to the frame and the little supports i made. This allowed the pegs to sit out about a 1 1/2 from the front. Obviously, I couldnt put anysupports for the acrylic behind the holes so they went all around the frame. I counter sunk some holes for the head of the screws and then gently screwed them in. A piece of the acrylic broke so I used hot glue to fix it.

Step 6: Lighting

This wouldn't be a Lite Brite with out leds. I cute a bunch of strips of led lights and soldered all of them together. my power supply wasn't enough and it would only light half of them. Since I was out of time I went and got some cheap led lights to compensate for the missing lights. This ended up working out really well and was super bright.

Step 7: Cutting the Acrylic

I had to cut over 500 of these pegs, but this wasn't as bad as drilling all the holes. I put a piece of tape on the miter saw so that all the pegs would be the same shape and I wouldn't have to measure each one. Be careful though cut some of the chips of the acrylic will fling back and cut your hand. I had a friend end up help me cut the pegs.

Step 8: Painting Acrylic

This part was cool. I used a few different spray paints to achieve the color that we wanted while still letting light pass through them. I used a sea glass spray paint that worked out the best. It was the perfect balance of light to color ratio. I then used regular spray paint for the other colors and just sprayed it from far away. This worked out ok.

Step 9: Enjoy Your Massive Lite Brite!

I love how this thing turned out. It was a lot of hard work but I think it was totally worth it in the end. I was happy with it and my sister and her boss were really happy with it. I honestly don't think I would ever do this again unless I had a cnc machine but it was cool to see that I was able to do this by hand. Let me know in the comments what you think about it or if you have any questions.

Check out my YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/chippedbuilds

Woodworking Contest

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Woodworking Contest

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    16 Discussions

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    alcurbcelestedarling

    Reply 10 hours ago

    In the original Lite-Brite toy, if I recall correctly, there's a black construction paper sandwiched between the pegboard and the light box so that when you push a peg into one of the holes, the peg punctures the black paper allowing light to come through that peg.

    In this project, it seems that pegs populate every hole. I guess you can use pegs painted flat-black to block the light.

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    stillashalcurb

    Reply 10 hours ago

    hmm, not sure if there were different models of the toy. I used my sisters hand me down as a kid. All the light shown through when you didnt have the black paper template covering the front. Once that was used and you took it off the light was showing. I did originally use thin foam to block the light but I ran out of time and it didnt really make a difference to the project.

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    stillashcelestedarling

    Reply 10 hours ago

    You could use thing foam to do that but the original was only blocked by the paper pattern. If you were making up your own images then the light would always shine through, other option is to make black wooden pegs

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    h3idi

    1 day ago

    You did amazing work by hand- thanks for posting such a great instructable.

    1 reply
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    mcr2582

    1 day ago

    It's only surface deep, but you can dye acrylic with RIT dyes. We did it in a pot on the stove as a test, so it's obviously not practical for a sheet, but it would work great for this.

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    mcr2582

    1 day ago

    I can totally relate! Lots of things I've built, I would never do again, but I'm still super proud of how they turned out.

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    Biodynamic

    2 days ago

    So cool! Where did you get the acrylic rods? I'd also love to know more about the LED light strips. Did you need to make sure an LED was centered in each of your 500 holes? Congrats on finishing a massive project under such extreme time constraints.

    1 reply
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    stillashBiodynamic

    Reply 2 days ago

    I did. So I layer the piece of plywood with the holes on top of the back piece and just traces the holes on the very end. I went to a local plastic store and had to order the acrylic rods. Thanks. It was a hard project but also fun.

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    taythetravelista

    3 days ago

    it's my first time to visit this site. i really impressed by the choice of words. Willing to read more.

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    nsummy

    4 days ago on Step 9

    At first I though, whats the big deal? Then I noticed it said feet and not inches! Amzing!

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    stillashnsummy

    Reply 4 days ago

    Thanks! Yeah if it was inches I probably wouldn't have even posted it.