Two of Three Bears

About: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby

For Halloween, my wife, Annelle, is Goldilocks and I am one of the three bears. We needed two more bears. This project provides two illuminated bear heads that rise up when a button is pressed.

Step 1:

The heavy duty part of this project, a linear actuator, can be obtained from . I had one of these (high speed, 10 inch stroke) from another project, so I incorporated it here.

When you provide power to this actuator, it moves to the end of its stroke and disconnects the power (that's internal to the actuator). Reversing the power causes the actuator to go the other direction.

Step 2:

I 3d printed a few parts to 1) hold the actuator up vertically 2) house the pushbutton switch 3) support the light.

The connector for the end of the actuator to the plywood that holds the heads comes from here:


The light comes from here:


The actual light is an LED MR11 12 volt 2.5 watt found on

Step 3:

Fasten the actuator bracket (MB8 from to the bottom plywood (about 2 feet by 2 feet by 1/4 inch), then secure the actuator with a pin.

Step 4:

Using the printed actuator holder, secure the actuator in an upright position. I secured it against two pieces of aluminum, but could have used wood just as easily.

Step 5:

Secure a 9" x 17" piece of wood to the top of the 3d printed actuator bracket.

Step 6:

Wire the batteries, relay and pushbutton according to the schematic in step 2. I used 25 feet of wire from the button to the assembly.

Step 7:

My wife, Annelle, made the actual bear heads. Blow up two balloons (Momma bear size and Baby bear size).

Step 8:

Cover the balloons using white glue and strips of tissue paper. This will take about six layers over a two day period. Let the glue dry overnight. The ears are made from cardboard, covered with glue and tissue paper. Tape the ears to the head, then cover the tape with glue and tissue paper.

Step 9:

Pop and remove the balloons (they should pull out easily).

Paint the heads to suit your taste.

Step 10:

Fasten the spotlight assembly to the moving base.

Push the button and the bear heads will illuminate and rise to the top of travel. Release the button and the heads will go down (with light out) to the lower end of travel.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!



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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I think that I should also say "Great job!" to your wife , I recall during many of your creations that she has added her artistic talents. You make a great team; keep up the awesome work together!


    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks for the encouragement! We enjoy putting things together--and hope others may get ideas about how to do things or where to find parts :)


    3 years ago


    I knew this was your handiwork before the image had fully populated my computer screen! As usual ...great job! You truly are one of my favorite Instructables authors.

    Thanks so much for sharing ,



    3 years ago

    Cool! I'd love to see pictures of your costumes as well. Thanks for sharing!