Step 1: What You Need
1 Sheet of 3/16" Foam Core. I chose black for the contrast effect
1 Package of matte or glossy sticker paper for inkjet or laser printers
Hot Glue gun or Elmer's Glue "
Color LED's (The colors are your choice based on your own taste.)
330 Ohm Resistors
A few 9V Batteries with clips
Rubber Stoppers or Bushings
Flashing Circuit (See schematic)
Computer and printer
Word Processing or graphic design software
Scissors and X-Acto" Knife
Soldering Iron and solder
Ruler and pencil
Single Hole Punch
Step 2: Preparation
The first step is to decide what message you want to display and how large you want your sign to be. Make it large enough to be seen but small enough to carry in the venue with you. Most stadiums and arenas require that signs be able to be put out of the way so they do not interfere with other fans sight lines of the action when not in use. Check with your venue before you attempt to build this.
After I decide what message I wanted to display, I designed each individual letter in full color at 8 1/2" X 11" in the landscape format.
I started by putting small dots where you want each LED to go. Space them evenly apart. (The dots are not essential but I decided to use them to create an additional wider area where the LED's would go and also to further enhance the reflection of the LED's off of the letters. Plus, it gives it a "Broadway" style look.)
Step 3: Finalize the Letters
1. Print the graphic of each letter on a full sheet of 8 Â½" x 11" sticker paper in the best quality your printer will allow.
2. Cut out each letter carefully.
3. Using the hole punch, punch out a hole in the center of each of the small dots.
4. Lay out each letter on the foam core the way you want the sign to look.
5. Use a ruler and pencil to mark a straight line for each word.
6. Carefully peel back the adhesive for each letter and apply the letters to the foam core.
7. Using a soldering iron, carefully burn through the foam care at each dot. This will be the hole for the LED's.
Step 4: Build the LED Circuit...
1. Wire all of the negative terminals of the LED's together for each letter
2. Add a 330ohm resistor to each positive LED terminal and wire all of the positive leads together.
3. Join the positive contacts and negative contacts of each letter in the word to form a group or section that you want to flash.
4. Build the flashing circuit and hot glue it in place. Add your 9 Volt batteries, 1 or 2 to power the LED's and 1 to power the circuit. I found that one would light the sign for a long time and the LED's will run on as low as 4 volts.
Step 5: Final Steps...
1. Use the rubber stoppers as standoffs and hot glue them in the corners of the foam core base.
2. Add a back made out of foam core to cover the electronics and protect it. I reinforced mine with black tape to make sure it stayed together.
3. Turn it on and amaze everyone!
Hope you enjoy this Instructable!