In this tutorial I will show you how to make portal bookends (or game-ends). These bookends are inspired by / Based on http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/e9cc/ . I saw these and thought they looked pretty cool and then thought that £25/$30 was a bit much for some bookends. After thinking about it I realised they would be pretty simple to make so I got started.
Styrofoam (25mm thick)
Felt pads for grip on the bottom. (could use rubber or anything you can find, I just had these handy :p)
Hot Wire Cutter
Step 1: Step 1 - Templates
Draw up the templates using a 2D CAD package, I used 2D Design as it was what I had available at the time. You will need a template for the Portal character, The Portal itself and possibly a template for the acrylic/main structure. The size of the Portal character and the portal do not matter too much just go with a size that looks about right. Once the templates are drawn just print them off and cut out the Portal character but don't cut out the portal itself yet as it will be used as a stencil for painting later on. (For the template used on the acrylic you could sketch this onto the plastic straight away without a printed template and you could just use a pencil and ruler)
Step 2: Step 2 - Cutting
(Before I start I should apologise as I forgot my camera when I went to borrow the band saw and because of that I don't have any pictures) So now its time to cut. Using the band saw (or whatever you have that can cut 3mm acrylic) cut around the template you have made for the Acrylic and you should be left with a rectangle. DO NOT CUT the line in the middle (the one that is 50mm up on the previous page) as this is a fold line. Once you have this cut out you can cut out the portal character. trace the template you printed off onto the 25mm Styrofoam and cut around it. Then cut the character in half as pictured. You may want to sand/smooth the edges of both parts after the cutting.
Step 3: Step 3 - Strip Heater
(Once again I forgot the camera and don't have any pictures of me using the strip heater sorry) Now you need to fold the plastic. Using the strip heater line up the acrylic with the wire and leave it there for whatever amount of time the machine tells you. (Most machines will tell you how long it should take to become flexible). Once it becomes flexible bend across the line to create a 90 degree angle as pictured. you will need to hold it in place while the plastic cools.
Step 4: Step 4 - Paint
Now you can paint the plastic. You could leave the acrylic white if you wanted to or even paint on some white panels but I decided to go with a brick wall and a stone path. Starting with the brick wall you will need to mix up a brick red colour or find a paint already that colour. After a few coats it should look fine. then using masking tape cover up the red area you want to look like bricks and paint the bottom grey as seen in the picture. now to paint the lines for the cement on bricks I covered the red area with masking tape and left gaps where I wanted the grey to be. Once the paint dries remove the masking tape and you should get the lines as pictured. Also you will need to paint the portal character black using the acrylic paints.
Step 5: Step 5 - Painting the Portal
Now that you have a brick wall you can paint on the portal. now you can cut out the portal template you should have printed earlier. make sure you only cut out the part you want to paint (seen in picture). Line up the stencil as seen in the picture and then paint over it with light blue on one and orange on the other. I recommend giving it 2 or 3 coats. once the paint dries remove the template and you should be left with a nice looking portal.
Step 6: Step 6 - Grip
Now you can add some grip to the bottom. I found some felt pads around the house and managed to use them and they appear to work well but if you have rubber pads for grip they would probably be much better. As always its best to work with whatever you have.
Step 7: Step 7 - Glue
You are almost finished, all you need to do now is glue the character to the main structure. Using the glue you have glue the back half of the character onto one portal and then glue the front half onto the other portal as seen in the pictures. You will need to hold it in place for a minute or so to allow the glue to dry. Once its dry you are done now you can enjoy your bookends and use them to hold up your Books, Games or DvDs.