What’s your sign? Bring the cosmos into any room with this simple DIY LED wall art!
- plywood (select desired size)
- knowledge of the free downloadable program Inkscape
- any constellation star map
- electric sander
- drill + various sized bits
- black wood stain
- black spray paint
- 220 grit sandpaper
- dremel tool
- battery LEDs (for as little as $6 on Amazon)
- epoxy putty
The artist shared their experimental walk-through as they mapped out their constellation, drilled the holes, painted the wood, an mounted the lights. The results are stunning!
Build a frame! I started by cutting a 2' x 1.5' piece of plywood and adding a 1'' frame around the back.
Pick your constellation star map! Taurus is shown here. I pasted it into Inkscape. I made the image the size of the board so I could plan where to drill the star holes.
I measured out where the major stars should be, then just kinda guessed for the rest of them. The numbers represent the size of the star. I just used my best judgement based on the picture. the 1's are the largest, and the 4's are the smallest.
I started to drill out the stars. 3/8", 1/4", 1/8", and 1/16" were the drill bits I used.
Here all the star holes are drilled out. There was a lot of splintering on the back, so I made sure to sand that off.
I bought sanded plywood, so I started with 120 grit, then smoothed it up with 220 grit.
I wanted to try this black stain to see what it would look like. Note: do not get this on your hands, or clothes, or anything for that matter. It is quite difficult to wash off.
At this point I though it looked pretty good. I realized that the stain didn't go into the holes really, and you could see the wood inside each hole.
My idea was to flip the board over, and spray into the holes to cover up the exposed wood.
I sprayed black paint into each hole, but unfortunately is seeped onto the front. The gloss black was very noticeable over the stain so I decided to just spray the entire front with the spray paint.
The gloss black looked uneven and kind of weird, so I went over it with 220 grit sandpaper. I alternated between 220 grit sanding and spraying it with the paint until I got a nice, even, matte black coat (3 coats of paint, sanding in between each).
I referred to my picture again and used a dremel tool to carve out the constellation lines. It looks just like a bull!
I bought these battery LEDs off Amazon for like 6 bucks.
I used some epoxy putty to stick the LEDs around the back.
Showcase of the Amazon LEDs. Pretty bright.
Finished! It looks way cooler with the lights off. It also looks much better in person. My camera doesn't take very good pictures with the lights off.
Stellar! Not only could this project be integrated into classrooms all over for a fun and engaging learning experience, but kids and adults alike can brighten any room with this creative DIY project. What other parts of the galaxy could one make into LED wall art? The universe and beyond is the limit!