The Art of Geek Challenge on Instagram (@artofgeekchallenge) hold's a monthly geek-themed build challenge. Their most recent theme was Futurama.
After seeing a mashup of Fallout's Vault Boy and Futurama's Fry as a graphic on a shirt, I decided to take the graphic and make a sign out of it.
Here is how I put it together.
Step 1: Materials
1/2" mdf - https://amzn.to/2DcAF0f
1/2" plywood - https://amzn.to/2VEih7C
Scroll saw - https://amzn.to/2VEih7C
Contact paper - https://amzn.to/2VEih7C
Spray adhesive - https://amzn.to/2VEih7C
Spray paint - https://amzn.to/2VEih7C
Wood glue - https://amzn.to/2ExYS0Y
Clamps - https://amzn.to/2XDyJq4
Sanding sponge - https://amzn.to/2unPGaF
LED strip - https://amzn.to/2VEih7C
Hangman hanger - https://amzn.to/2VEih7C
Step 2: Tracing the Design
I started by bringing the design into Inkscape (www.inkscape.org). I changed the size of the design to fill the 24"x24" piece of plywood I had for the background piece. I used the line tool to draw basic shapes around each colored element of the graphic, then used the edit path tool and adjusted the lines to match the curves of the design.
After I traced out each of the colored shapes, I traced the basic outlines of the whole design. I then separated each of the colors together and printed them out.
Step 3: Taping It Together
Because the size of the shapes meant that the printouts were on several pieces of printer paper, the next step was to take the printed sections and start taping them together.
After taping it together, I took the large piece and traced it onto the 1/2" plywood. I then cut out the piece that will be the background.
After each of the smaller sections were taped up, I rough cut each of the pieces out then laid them out to make sure they all fit on the piece of plywood.
Step 4: Prepping the Shapes
To prep the shapes to get ready to cut out of the MDF, I took some contact paper and used the spray adhesive to glue each of the cutouts to the contact paper. Once dry I used a knife to cut out each shape.
I peeled the backing of the contact paper off and added each of the pieces to the MDF to get ready to cut.
Step 5: Cut and Cut and Cut
The next step was to take the now shape-infused MDF and start cutting everything out. It is lots of cutting. Lots.
For a one final check-to-make-sure, I laid the MDF pieces on the plywood to ensure everything was going to fit as it should.
Step 6: Paint and Paint and Paint
After all that cutting, it was followed up with lots of painting. Lots.
I started by priming each of the pieces, making sure to first focus on the sides of each piece and then getting the main faces.
Once the primer was dry I used each color of spray paint to paint each piece, again making sure to get the sides before focusing on the tops.
Step 7: Gluing It All Together
With the paint dry, I used the wood glue and started clamping each of the pieces onto the background. For the pieces that were too far in from the edge, I just used some workout weights (use what you got, right?!) to secure the pieces down.
Step 8: Distress, But in a Good Way
At this point, you could just leave the sign as is. I decided not to, but the choice is yours.
Trying to make the sign similar to its graphic inspiration, I took a sanding sponge and distressed the sign.I tried to match the worn parts as best I could to the picture, but added my own distressed marks to areas I felt needed it.
Step 9: Light It Up!
I decided to back-light the sign, so I turned the sign over and removed the adhesive from the LED strip. I followed the edge of the sign about 1 1/2" in from the edge. There was more strip than I needed, so I used some scissors and cut the excess length off the LED strip.
I put the Hangman mount on the back of the sign, then used the wall mount piece and screwed it into the wall.
Then I hung the sign up and turned the LED's on (making sure to choose a Slurm-y green color)
Step 10: Enjoy a Can of Slurm
Now that the vault boy Slurm sign is done, you can crack open a can of Slurm and enjoy! Then be sure to have another Slurm to get the Slurm taste out of your mouth.
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