|Not pictured: dowel and black acrylic paint|
Balsa wood pencil box, Christmas candle light, dowel: $1 each
Plexiglas: about 30¢ a section
Dowel: 80¢ for one to make about 12 boxes
Black acrylic paint: ~$2 for a huge bottle
Custom made vinyl stickers: $4 each with shipping
The process was fairly simple: throw away lid of pencil box, make hole for wire, paint it. Destroy Christmas candle light to get just the cord and the bulb. Put sticker on Plexiglas. Cut dowel to size, paint it, glue to Plexiglas. I also bought some of those circular light switches you can just put on the cord, common on lamps, but haven't installed them yet.
|Lighter for size and fire hazard comparison|
I had ordered two-color vinyl stickers that were reversed so that they could be on the back of the glass and wouldn't get marred or peeled off by the dowel glued to the front. However, the process of having two colors requires them to overlap on the back, which created some unavoidable air bubbles around the outline of every character. If I decide to make more after these supplies are used up, I'll just get the black cutouts and put the money saved towards custom cut red-tinted Plexiglas.
I'll also probably splurge on actual $5 lamp kits so that the bulbs do a better job of illuminating the signs and the whole assembly doesn't have that cheap, dollar-store look. Longer cords would be nice too.
But, for prototypes, they look okay. Cost of each one right now is about $8 plus labor, so I don't think I'd be able to make them with the above better materials and still sell them at a reasonable price to make a profit, but I may do it anyway. Have you seen some of the prices on Etsy?
I'm giving the "PAINTING" one to Autumn and keeping the "RECORDING" one for myself (in case I ever get voice-over work again), but the three on the left are free to good homes. I'll install the little switch things if you'd like as well ("'BATIN'" already has one).
I have two more stickers of each type and can probably scrounge some more lights, so if anyone else wants one of them, tell me (doubtful). If anyone has ideas for other variations ("Gaming", "Brewing", "Working Out", "Just Go Away" ???), if and when I get more stuff I might add those to the list.
NOTE TO SELF: If you do make them to sell, call them "Porlock Repellents/Preventers".