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!
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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
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 Bits- https://amzn.to/2HjR853
Miter Saw- https://amzn.to/2YuLG59
Glue Gun- https://amzn.to/2YuLG59
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.
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