How to Make a BAT-signal





Today we are going to learn how to make a BAT-signal to call the batman !!

So let's go !

Step 1: Stuff Needed.

To make this light we need :

A cardboard pipe ø 30 cm is a good size but the first objective is to make this props with reclamation stuff. so if you can find an other size it's also cool !

Important mention : during this tutorial, i will not give the precise sizes because you can adapt the size of the build with the size of the cardboard pipe base

Wood Glue

Spray contact glue

Eva foam : 3 and 5 mm thickness


A Tab saw ( don't know if it's the right word >< )


MDF also called Medium wood : 6 mm thickness

Sintra PVC.

Cleat and stick wood

Step 2: Salvage a Cardboard Pipe and Cut Wood Circles

First step : salvage a cardboard pipe : there is no required size !! the build is based on the cardboard pipe you can find ! big or small no matter !

step 2 : cut wood circles.


You have to measure the EXTERNE diameter and INTERNE diameter of your cardboard pipe

You need 1 circle cut at the EXTERNE DIAMETER SIZE

and 2 circle cut at the INTERNE DIAMETER SIZE

When you have your circle you have to re-cut in the circle to get a ring - you can choose the size of the little circle in the circle.

Hope it's understandable ><

Now glue the largest ring on the cardboard pipe using the wood glue. Believe me it's will be verry strong.

Let dry during 24h00.

Then, as you can see on the picture, we will glue a second wood ring IN THE cardboard pipe.

I use a strip of wood cut to put a space between the two rings


IMPORTANT do not discard the scrap wood. we will use them later !

Now take the measure between the second ring and the bottom of the carboard pipe. Cut 4 strip of wood with 1 centimer witness. and glue them. see PIC N°3

Step 3: Make the Base

The pedestal is made with the scrap wood of previous wood ring PICTURE 1

Use the wood cleat to make the "U" part which will be articulate with a simple bolt.

I've made a quick plan to explain how to make the "U" wood part i hope it's clear enough.

So now go to step 3 which is clearly the best part of the build : DETAILS !!!!

Step 4: Make the Details !

We need the contact glue in spray and EVA foam ( 3 and 5 mm thickness )

Spray the cardboard pipe and a strip of EVA foam ( size equal "perimeter of cardboard pipe" x "height of cardboard pipe" )

Wait 10 min and glue them together.

Now you are totally free, you can make all the details you want ! just few things :

You can glue the details with

- contact glue

- Hot glue

- Super Glue ( i use loctite 401 ) Super glue is the best solution : very strong - very precise - and very neat. Just be careful because it can glue your skin !!

Once you have glued all the details, you have to cover the lamp with EVA glue ( or wood glue ) to protect the foam and get a smooth effect.

Step 5: Piece Together the Different Parts.

Use a big bolt to set the cardboard pipe on the wood "U".

The lamp is now articulate !!!

You can now cut a transparent PVC circle and cut the notch see on picture 7

You can also cut the BAT-logo in SINTRA PVC.

You can chose any BATMAN LOGO.

On pic number 8 you can see the last wood circle. it will close the lamp and maintain the socket with the buld.

On picture 5 you can see a STEEL BAT LOGO - it's was just a try ( i've used the bat logo for an other projtect ;) )

Step 6: Last Step : Make a Socket and Bulb and Paint Job.

Here you can see the finished product.

Go to the next step to see more tricks and tips ;)

Step 7: Tricks and Tips

1 - As you can see i've used foil paper inside the cardboard pipe. Not sure if it's a good idea !

the foil paper heighten the number of light refraction that has for effect to make the projection of the logo blurred.

2 - The eight of the cardboard paper is important too. if the cardboard pipe is big you can use a better bulb

3 - Here I used a common light bulb that illuminates at 360°. I think it's better to use a directional spot light to accentuate the projection of the logo.

4 - Maybe use LED light !

5 - for the paint job if you don't know how to proceed here a quick explication.

A : 1 layer of black paint and let it dry for 24h00

B : then brush the edges of details and lamp with silver paint. Let id dry

C : Add white splatter with a knife painting.

If you are not friendly with wood work you can easily make the "u" part with PVC pipe. you are free to customsize any part or steps.

Et voilà ;)

Hope you enjoy it !

Don't forget to be forgiving with me , i'm a poor french guy and it's difficult to explain how i've made it in english.

I've try to do my best to be understandable.

Feel free to ask me advice if you want to make your own Bat-signal ;)

Step 8: The Projection.

As you notice i'm challenger in the "make it glow challenge"

so here some pics of the bat-signal projection.

Now you can call the batman !!

Make it Glow!

Runner Up in the
Make it Glow!



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    38 Discussions


    Reply 2 years ago

    I don't know ,where are you from. ? I may have to make some arrangements and check the cost of expedition


    2 years ago

    For the 3 circles that make up the base, is the top circle the same size as the interior diameter of the cardboard pipe?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    the saw is a miter saw and I am going to make one for a bird cage my friends canary is named Gordon lol


    4 years ago

    This is very cool. Love the look


    4 years ago

    This instructable can be much better if you can show the Output of Projection. On wall is also ok.

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    Does it work in open space? as shown in movie. Like projection in Sky?

    4 replies

    Reply 4 years ago

    Ok you are right. Light source does not have that much wavelength to propagate in sky. Thanks Again


    Reply 4 years ago

    waterproof off course. But projection is not possible as far as I know. Only LASER light can do this. Again it not possible to have it. Lots of Rules and Regulations in my country. A 2Km range laser can work.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    BUT my tutorial can be applied for an outdoor lamp. you just have to make it waterproof and change the bulb. You can make a wood pipe ( ø size about 80 cm ). if you use a very powerfull spotlight it could work !


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    hélas no ! :( the lamp is not waterproof and the light source is not big and pought to project the bat logo in the sky


    4 years ago on Step 7

    You might try some 4" Wide Stainless Steel Tape, used for Heating Ducks & Trim, it is easy to work with & Reflects a lot better. Just beware to keep the light out of Direct Sun light when not in use,or you might find yourself in a real bat cave, after your house burns down.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Make a reflect surface in the lamp is a bad idea. I mentionned that in the step 7.

    The best thing to do is paint the interior in black. If you don't do this the projection will be blurred


    4 years ago on Introduction

    It will help to keep the bulb cool by leaving off the top transparent cover (particularly if using a filament bulb).

    A longer tube (light source further from the bat) will give a narrower beam, you could even go with telescopic tubes for variable range.

    A large fresnel lens fitted over the bat will give a better focused image (experiment for best position) (big plastic ones can sometimes be found cheap). If the lens was on the front, the bat could be (about) halfway between the light and the lens.

    Jumpfroggy gives excellent advice ! (just about everything I was going to say)

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for advice.

    when i started the build i really wanted to build a bat signal like the one we see in the Christopher Nolan trilogy. if i take off the transparent cover i will loose this aspect of the bat signal.

    I think the most important is to forget the foil paper !!!