How better to close out our Halloween series than with our craziest costume idea? We thought it would be neat to make a neon sign costume… that actually lit up! It was a challenge, but the results were super awesome. You can even set the lights to blink!
Materials Needed: Large piece of cardboard, pencil, ruler, x-acto knife, projector, black marker, corrugated paper, black spray paint, LED strips, black gaffers tape, AA batteries, 1″ nylon webbing (in black), scissors, hot glue gun, 160Q balloons (in pink), mini balloon hand pump, double-sided Shurtape
Step 1: Draw and cut a large square out of cardboard with an x-acto knife, then round the edges.
Step 2: Spray paint both sides of the square black and let dry completely.
Step 3: Find a font you like and project the text onto the cardboard square. Trace the letters with a black marker.
Step 4: Cut corrugated paper into strips that are slightly wider than the LED strip. Hot glue the thin edge of cardboard strips along the outline of the letters. Keep in mind that the inflated balloon will take up about 1” of space, so space out the letters accordingly.
Step 5: Spray paint the corrugated paper additions black.
Step 6: Remove the adhesive backing from the LED strips and attach to the flat side of the cardboard letters, starting with the end of the strip that doesn’t connect to the battery pack. Connect the individual letters on the cardboard with one continuous LED strip, allowing a few inches to continue onto the back of the sign.
Step 7: Use black tape to tape over the LED strips in areas where you do not want lights to show.
Step 8: Make an “x” harness out of nylon webbing and attach to the back of the sign with hot glue.
Step 9: Insert batteries into the battery boxes and connect to the LED strips. Hot glue the battery boxes to the back of the sign.
Step 10: On Halloween night, inflate 160Q long balloons to the length you need and release a bit of air before knotting so the balloon has less tension. Then trim off the balloon tails. Apply pieces of double-sided Shurtape to the cardboard next to the LED strips and attach the balloons.
Step 11: Turn on the LEDs and put on the sign, and you’re good to glow!
Crafting by Justine Pon