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Topic: Oh wise crafters, I need some help with this!  (Read 1339 times)
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mellyp
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« on: October 05, 2004 10:55:11 AM »

Hi everyone - I heart craftster and love all of the amazing ideas you come up with. I hope some of you can help me out with my current project. I am making a fake neon sign for my boyfriend's birthday party and I would like to make it as realistic as possible. My ideas so far are to use the thick posterboard (with the reinforced foam inside) painted black as a background. I bought some red and blue "neon" craft paints to paint the words on it. But I'm not satisfied with that. I want to try using some clear rubber tubing from the hardware store, painting that with the neon paint and then running clear or blue christmas lights through the tubes and setting them to blink, if I did this I'd have to come up with a good way to mount the tubing and lights and obviously use something stronger than posterboard...so if any of you have any advice, ideas or just think mine are crap, please let me know - any comments are appreciated!
Thanks so much,
Melly P
Huh
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2004 11:01:45 AM »

you could also check out those rope lights.  that way, you could take out the step of cramming xmas lights into a tube. 
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mellyp
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2004 11:23:11 AM »

thanks tallyho - i did think of that, i wonder how flexible they are as far as bending into shapes...i am trying to spell out the words "blues club" (i know, can i make things more complicated?!?!)
my boyfriend is a musician and i am decorating the house like an old blues club - i need a sign to go over the door to his recording studio where we are setting things up to look like the club; lots of red and purple velvet, little round cafe tables, candles. i printed up b&w photos of blues singers from the internet that i've enlarged to hang as well as signs from major streets in new orleans and memphis. i have flowers for the girls to wear in their hair and cigars for the guys, i'm asking everyone to dress up...i'm excited! (thanks for listening to me ramble - it's good to see everything i am doing in writing!)
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quarkiegirl
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Keep it loose, keep it tight.


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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2004 11:27:58 AM »

How about some sort of light box with the letters cut out? then you could put the clear tubing over top of the cut outs and light it from behind.
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mellyp
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2004 11:43:30 AM »

i think i get it - so a hollow box and i'd have a front/top area where the letters would be the negative space and then i'd put the tubing or the rope lights in where the letters would be? then some kind of additional light in the box to illuminate the letters more probably, it would be a giant litebrite! thanks for the idea quarkiegirl!
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quarkiegirl
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2004 12:53:29 PM »

Yeah, kind of like a litebrite with a tube! And I realize I forgot to include the most important part--the light. I think a flourescent light would be best, since it won't get so hot and be a potential fire hazard.
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mellyp
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2004 02:41:46 PM »

Right, fire is not one of my design ideas. Thanks so much Quarkiegirl - and everyone else - for your great ideas, I really appreciate it!
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2004 03:06:17 PM »

adding to the lightbox idea, you could also add that plastic type colored stuff to the back of it...I don't know what it's called or even if you can find it anywhere, so I probably just confused you  Smiley, but that would add a sort of neon sign effect to it. I hope this helped! Smiley Sounds like it's going to be a great party Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2004 05:07:47 PM »

cellophane? thats a good idea.
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2004 05:30:54 PM »

You have one lucky boyfriend!  You could come plan my next party ;-).  With the effort people are talking about it might be worth it to call around to junk yards or maybe call neon making places to see if they sell used signs.  It's kind of a generic phrase, you might be able to find it pre-existing for cheap, especially if you live in a big city.  It's worth a shot, 15 minutes of phone calls might save you hours of work.
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mellyp
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2004 03:51:24 PM »

You guys are great - thanks for all of your ideas! I am still working on it but now i have someone helping me - one of my b'friend's housemates. He had the same idea to use the lightbox with the colored gels. There are so many ways I could do this, I am so happy I could come to craftster for help!
I think I will try and call around to see if I can get a used one..if it is within the party budget I will do that and save myself the time and inevitable injury...
I will try and post photos of the finished project.
Thanks again!
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skizzy
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2004 11:10:22 AM »

Hi,

I just joined, specifically to address this post - sorry I am almost three months late!

You *could* use phosphorus coated wire.  It simulates neon VERY well.  I used it on a project of mine where I took an old bakelite phone that did not ring (but otherwise worked) and combined with some off the shelf electronics, I did a little 'fix-up'.  I basically just outlined the phone with the wire and when someone callls, the phone lights up.

This is where I got it from:

http://www.litewave.co.uk/faq.htm

If people are interested, I can post pics of the phone. 

-Eric

You guys are great - thanks for all of your ideas! I am still working on it but now i have someone helping me - one of my b'friend's housemates. He had the same idea to use the lightbox with the colored gels. There are so many ways I could do this, I am so happy I could come to craftster for help!
I think I will try and call around to see if I can get a used one..if it is within the party budget I will do that and save myself the time and inevitable injury...
I will try and post photos of the finished project.
Thanks again!
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mellyp
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2005 09:36:35 AM »

skizzy(eric) -
thanks so much for your post, i've never heard of phosphorus coated wire and wouldn't have even considered it - i bet you've given other crafters some great ideas. i would like to see photos of your phone!
i wound up with a really simple end product but it turned out amazingly well; i took foam board and created basically a huge stencil - i used a template of the font i wanted (just some interesting ones i found in my Word program) and cut them out using an exacto knife. this was a total pain in the ass and took forever but i was so pleased with how great the letters looked. i taped regular velum paper behind the negative space and with standard black acrylic paint filled in the islands by painting directly onto the velum (so much easier than my original plan of saving the tiny foam pieces). then i hung it in front of a black light and from there decided where i needed more definition - i added this by painting glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint in orange and blue to the insides of the letters on the foam part, in places where the black light hit. once we turned the lights off it was spectacular! i spent about $8.00 and 2 hours total on this project. and it was completely worth it.
i would love to post photos and will continue to harass my friends who took digital photos that evening, i was relying on them to document it all for me while i ran around as the neurotic host.
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