Old school. Retro. A recording studio or a radio station. In the lounge, a few people sit in chairs, watching the unlit "On Air" box, waiting for it to come to life; waiting to catch a glimpse of the music being made inside. A man in a suit lights a cigarette and waits patiently to hear the velvety voice of the woman on the other side of the wall.
The box flickers on. Bright red letters spell out "ON AIR." The man in a suit sits back in his chair and the music starts to play...
Sounds pretty damn magical, does it not?
Since Justin has a recording studio in his apartment, we were inspired to appeal to the moods and atmospheres of the old school recording days. Thus began a long project to create our very own vintage-looking "On Air" box.
The main elements of the light box, as we first conceived it, were a wooden box with some type of semi-transparent front that allows the light to shine through and make red letters visible. We decided to cut the wood for the box and glue it together, then mount the light inside, and attach the “On Air” panel to the front.
After mulling over materials on the Home Depot website, we decided it was just time to "hit the ground running" and start making the magic happen. Here’s our Home Depot "Grocery List."
- 8 foot piece of treated pine (For the sides of the box)
- 2’x2’ piece of ¼” plywood (For the back of the box)
- 11”x14” sheet of ¼” thick acrylic ( for the “On Air” part)
- 9” Fluorescent light (fixture and bulb)
- Vinyl Boat Letters
- Gorilla Glue for Wood
- Loctite Super Glue
- Corner Clamps
- Red Acrylic Paint
- Black Acrylic Spray Paint
- Tudor Satin Wood Stain
- ½” long screws
How's that for a freaking shopping list? Golly, Miss Molly.
For the record: this old school lingo is already making me cringe. You're not alone in that.
How'd we begin?
Step 1: Cutting
We had the materials cut at Home Depot (we’ve since acquired some tools, so get ready). They wouldn’t cut acrylic at Home Depot (darn it), so we just made everything based on the size of the acrylic sheet, 11”x14” That's improvising, people. We had Home Depot cut the treated Pine to fit the size needed to create a box behind the acrylic sheet, and the ¼” plywood for the back.
Step 2: Staining and Painting
We stained all of the wood with the Tudor satin stain (see above). It was an... interesting process.
Note: Do not stain wood in your laundry room sink and expect the sink to stay clean. In the event that you do and you want to restore the sink to it’s original condition, try lacquer thinner. We learned this the hard way. Sorry Bonnie! At least we got the sink looking like new!
So there, ladies and gents, are Steps One and Two of this project. Want more? Come back tomorrow to find out how we painted (both sides of) the acrylic, constructed the box, and made it beautiful! :)