This project came about after looking for a solution I could put out in the yard and not have to worry about sprinklers/rain ruining anything. It had to have lighted eyes so that people who notice it will do a double-take trying to ascertain if it is real or not.
Thus was born the "Glowing Eye Critter" (GEC)
To build the GEC you will need:
a small bucket
small extension cord
building supplies - hot glue, spray paint, duct-tape, etc.
Part 2 - Cutting It Up
This image shows a unblemished bucket on the left, and what I did to it on the right. I used a skill-saw to cut off the bottom couple of inches and a 3/4" drill to cut the eye-holes
Part 3 - Wiring It Up
This image shows the simple wiring system I employed. Basically I use a night-light connected to a extension cord. The night-light sits up on a spray can lid to position the light behind the holes.
Now we have the finished wiring scheme, carefully duct-taped to the inside of the bucket so when it is all turned over the light will stay in place. Although not shown in the picture, I tried the eyes out in the darkened garage and they weren't bright enough - so I replaced the 4watt bulb with a 15 watt one - kind of long and skinny, its used in our chandelier but works great in the GEC as well. I tested the heat output of the 15watt bulb and everything was fine even hours later.
I found some orange ping-pong balls and purchased them. I cut them in half using a pair of scissors - easier than you think if you cut right along the seam. Then I hot-glued the half-balls over the holes.
Finally a little work with a black marker and the eyes looked pretty good!
It's usable as a prop right now but looks pretty plain. I wanted it to be weird looking, something that would attract a second glance if spotted in the daylight. I decided to use some expando-foam on it, that would give the proper "weird" look and then glue on some hair later to keep it from looking to plastic...
By covering the eye-balls with some old spray-paint lids I could spray foam all over the GEC and not have to worry about the eyes getting covered, it also makes a nice eye-socket. Unfortunately the plastic vinyl bucket I used didn't allow the foam to stick to it, notice the sides where it had fallen to the ground. Still with a whole can of foam I was able to make it look decent!
After the foam is dry, I spray painted it a chocolate brown, then removed the paint can lids. You can see where they were. This area is painted black. I also dry-brushed a little black around the body. Actually what I did was take a napkin, dip it in the black and kind of "blob" it around, but "dry-brushing" sounds more professional...
And you can see the result. Ready to scare people with their glowing eyes.... But there is still more!
Part 6 - Hair
The finishing touch, to keep it from looking like just another "prop", was to add some hair. That way, people will dismiss it as a dog or something until they take a second look or see the glowing eyes. Hair can be added really easily, in my case I found a witches hat with silvery-grey hair attached for $2, so I purchased it, cut off the hair and threw the hat into the "parts" bin.
As you can see from the picture, I took small wads of hair and hot-glued them all over the GEC. Then I trimmed the hair to not be too long, "teased" it so it spread out and the mighty GEC is finished!
During the day it looks like a dog or some bizarre thingie, but during the night the lighted eyes glow with evil promise!
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