2012-10-20 19.03.31-2

Eerie glow stick halloween eyes

Glow sticks plus con­struc­tion paper plus a dark set­ting:

Recently I saw a cou­ple of crafty arti­cles flow across my RSS news­reader that involved mak­ing creepy glow­ing hal­loween eyes by using glow sticks and empty toi­let paper tubes. I thought it was a cool idea, but saw three fun­da­men­tal flaws in those designs.

1. “It ain’t gonna fit.”

2. I am not a Martha Stewart wor­ship­ping hoarder.  I do not hang on to old toi­let paper tubes, yogurt cups, styrafoam meat pack­ing trays, or any­thing else gen­er­ally regarded as recy­clable or dis­pos­able pack­ag­ing.  I try to buy local things, with the least amount of pack­ag­ing, carry it home in my own reusable cloth bags, and put what’s left in the appro­pri­ate curb­side con­tainer.

3. Light will come out the eye holes, yes, but wouldn’t it also come out the sides?

Given this, I decided to draft up a quick alter­na­tive design that can be made from con­struc­tion paper.  (For some rea­son I have a lot of black con­struc­tion paper on hand.)  I made mine a square tube rather than cylin­dri­cal.  I fig­ured that gives it a bet­ter chance of not rolling off of a shelf.

First, I sketched out a paper­craft box.  This one was designed for min­i­mal light seep­age — the two ends have nice long flaps and there is an extra over­lap­ping body seg­ment to stop light from leak­ing out the back.

Next, I mea­sured a glow stick and attached mea­sure­ments to the box.

I then plot­ted that design in the com­puter, printed a tem­plate, used that tem­plate to cut con­struc­tion paper, and built a pro­to­type.  I actu­ally went through two pro­to­types because I decided that I did not like the design of the side flaps.  I changed them from square to tapered because they were a lit­tle dif­fi­cult to insert.

If you would like to build one, just fol­low the sim­ple instruc­tions (pic­tures are below):

  1. Print the pat­tern on reg­u­lar paper or, if avail­able, card­stock.
  2. Cut out the pat­tern. You can vary the eye design as much as you’d like.
  3. Use the pat­tern to cut out black con­struc­tion paper (either directly or by first trac­ing).
  4. Fold as directed, form­ing a square tube.
  5. Activate a glow stick and put it in the tube (you may have to cut off part of the glow stick’s hanger to get it to fit).
  6. Fold the end flaps closed. You may want to tape up the seams for stur­di­ness.
  7. Hide it in a dark but vis­i­ble place, such as dense bushes or a dimly lit book­shelf.
Click this image to down­load “Glowing Eyes.pdf”

cut out tem­plate

use the tem­plate to cut con­struc­tion paper

use tem­plate to cut con­struc­tion paper

trim the glow stick’s hanger so that it fits bet­ter and more cen­tered

For more paper­craft projects, check out the Netninja.com paper­craft tag.

Posted in: Projects

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Brian Enigma

Brian Enigma is a Portlander, manipulator of atoms & bits, minor-league blogger, and all-around great guy. He typically writes about the interesting “maker” projects he's working on, but sometimes veers off into puzzles, software, games, local news, and current events.

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