How To Make A Halloween Sign Using Perspex & L.E.D's
Halloween will soon be upon us so I thought now was a great time to show you how to make a really easy light up Halloween decoration using an L.E.D base. This light would be great to put in your window on Halloween night!
Bandsaw (or Coping Saw)
Laser Engraver (NOT NEEDED!)
The project starts with the design. Of course you can use any design you like. I Printed the design onto self adhesive paper to make it easy to follow with the rotary tool.
The self adhesive template gets applied to the 4mm Perspex. I recommend you apply it on top of the existing protective cover that's on the Perspex. It will be easier to remove later.
Any rotary tool will do for this process. Also, most bits work great on acrylic. I used a basic conical shaped engraving bit.
Now all you need to do is trace the design... OK, I know that's easier said than done. I opt for a medium power setting on the rotary tool. Biggest piece of advice I can give when engraving with a rotary tool is don't worry about going off/outside the lines.
Once the template is removed no one will no that you went off the line. If you go out of the lines then just gradually bring it back towards the line. Stopping and starting again on the line makes it much more noticeable.
The Halloween design really lends itself well to shaky lines too remember. The shakier the better if anything. So all you need to concentrate on is engraving through the paper and protective cover. As long as you etch some of the perspex away it will light up later.
With the template still on the Perspex I cut it out on the band saw. I recommend using a fine tooth blade as I left the larger tooth blade in mine and it broke off the leaves... lesson learnt. Of course you can use a coping saw to cut it out too if you don't have a band saw.
After removing the template I can see where I have missed with the rotary tool. Now you can go back over the design to make sure you're happy with how its looking.
Remember, anywhere that is scratched/etched will light up when in the L.E.D base.
Of course, it's going to be a lot easier to make this if you have access to laser engraver. It really isnt necessary though. Lets compare the Laser engraved version to the Rotary Tool engraved version.
As you can see, without the light on, there is no competition over what looks best and which stands out more. The laser version on the left is much crisper and brighter. BUT... you don't really look at the designs like this. You want them to light up on the L.E.D base.
The L.E.D light base that I used is from Amazon. It comes with a USB cable for power but it does also take 3x AA batteries. It also has a remote for changing the colours too. The slot takes 4mm thick Perspex and its 7cm wide by 1.5cm deep. I have that dimension base on my design already.
So now lets compare them with the lights on!
As you can see, the rotary tool engraving still shows up really well and if anything, looks more spooky. Ideal for Halloween.
I hope you will give this project a try. Its a great one to get the kids involved with!