Saturday, April 02, 2016

Ticking the box

Here's how I made the light box I blogged about yesterday:

While I was at work I pondered and plotted and came up with many options for how to make a working light box. A number of them very complicated indeed. Finally, after doing some research on my lunch break, I decided that the easiest way to make the letters was by printing onto clear stickers. And it so happened that Officeworks had the perfect solution for quarter of its usual price.

I popped out there after work, and while I was there picked up a couple of folders that I thought would work for the light box front and the channels for the letters (I'd originally wanted to make it with working channels made of styrene so I could change the letters but then decided that was the way madness lay and so went for an easier option.)
A packet of A4 clear printable stickers and a white plastic and white cardboard  folder.
 Total cost? Under $10.

At home I dug through my tubs of projects that I should have finished months ago to find a brooch box that I'd painted black for a custom order (sorry Tina: you're going to have to wait a while longer...).

I knew that if I could ignore the fact that the dimensions weren't quite correct, it would transform easily into the body of a light box.
Plastic tub containing a number of miniature wooden crates and packages of miniature items.
I stole the wiring from The Hideout,
Nine-volt battery with wires and switch, and a miniature light bulb.
 and drilled a hole in the back of the box for the bulb to go through.
View from above of a hobby drill drilling a hole in a miniature crate.
Miniature light bulb set into the back of a miniature crate, next to a nine-volt battery and a hobby drill.
Light shining behind a white plastic folder.
After this trial, I decided that perhaps a lower-voltage system might be better, I was going to test my theory but all my AA batteries needed charging so I pressed ahead before I lost momentum.

I cut strips of the cardboard folder to act as channels for the letters: again, they could have been neater but I was going with a proof of concept and knew I could cut better versions later.
Modern dolls' house miniature light box, half built but lit up.
At this stage I was starting to get excited.
Modern dolls' house miniature light box, half built but lit up, with hand for size reference.
The final step in my experiment was to print off some letters. I cut my sticker sheets down to A5 and did a test print (during which my printer decided to start running out of ink. Just after I'd returned from Officeworks. Typical!)
Modern dolls' house miniature light box with the words 'let there be light', half built but lit up, with hand for size reference.
The end result was good enough to prove that it was worth some further work to make it awesome.After I'd had some sleep.

The next steps? Try a lower voltage system. Cut new (straight) pieces of card for the channels. Re-print the letters and then cut them down to look more real. Glue it together. Make a scene. Then spray paint a new brooch box for Tina's commission...

Friday, April 01, 2016

Let there be light...

After being set a challenge by an Instagram follower this morning, I can home tonight and made a mock-up of a miniature working light box.
Modern dolls' house miniature light box, lit in the dark with the words 'let there be light' on it.
A perfectly normal way to spend a Friday night, wouldn't you say?

I took photos, which I'll share with you tomorrow. I might even finish it properly!