New DIY Plastic Skull Doorbell

As some of you may recall, ages ago I made a wooden doorbell enclosure because our studio’s bell button does not have a cover and looks like the sort of thing that might electrocute a delivery dude. Well, I lollygagged on installing it and it sat in a box by the front door for many months and was eventually lost so it was never installed. So over the last couple of days I made a new one by sculpting it in clay and then making a nice two part mold out of silicone, and casting it in hard plastic and then painting it. In hindsight I am thinking I might have been better off just leaving it in plain plastic (maybe with the skull lighting up) but it’s easy enough to cast another one if I want to change it — and if anyone is really desperate for one, they cost me cents to make and I’m happy to make more.

You push the skull if it’s not obvious! I know that I went a little overboard with the hot glue to hold it in place but Caitlin thinks it’s going to get stolen, plus it was really cold out so I didn’t feel like cleaning up my work. I’ll do that another day. Honest, I will.

Now here are a few photos of the construction stages (Nefarious helped me make the mold boxes out of Lego — we’re going to try replicating a doll she made in foam later tonight, which I’m quite eagerly looking forward to as I’ve never cast expanding foam before. And, yes I made a mess with my new materials. As you can see I can now cast coloured plastic and do effects like the silver plating (which was done by brushing silver powder into the mold so it bonds to the outer layer of the plastic. The table cleaned off fine, but my fingers are ridiculously stained. Quality-wise I’m quite proud of this mold.

I sure sure sure do like making stuff… Even though I’m trudging through this bitterly cold storm of life in agony, following nothing but my icy breath in front of me to god knows what precipice, even in amid that meaningless horror somehow I still do like making stuff and it brings me a certain peace. I suppose they have an arts and crafts cupboard at the hospital for a reason, right?

Anyway, here’s an update on the nail “painting”. I pounded a couple thousand more nails today. I’m not sure how much I will get done tomorrow because I’m spending much of the day at the hospital but I’m sure the project, at least the portrait, will be done by the end of the week and then I’ll build a frame — I’m thinking 4x4s clad in steel — on the weekend.

Since I was asked, yes, the signature is done with wire wrapped around nails. I already have another few nail projects bubbling in my rusty skull but they’re so time consuming — to say nothing of loud — that I’m not sure it makes sense to bite off another one.

P.S. Tomorrow Nefarious is supposed to go downhill skiing with her camp, but the trip may be canceled due to snow. Oh the irony.

6 Comments

  1. starbadger wrote:

    keep on truckin’

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink
  2. Joh wrote:

    This is very neat, Shannon. How did you go about plotting and printing the points for the different types of nails on the board?

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Permalink
  3. Jovanka wrote:

    I can’t wait to press it…

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink
  4. Elizabeth wrote:

    LOL @ Jovanka. Oh she’s BAD!!!

    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 12:37 am | Permalink
  5. sfhellwig wrote:

    How is the plywood holding up? I’m assuming it hasn’t been a major concern since you have made quite a bit of progress without mentioning it.

    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink
  6. chad wrote:

    You may have seen this before but I thought it was really cool (and similar to what you are working on): http://sprki.com/amazing-beautiful-picture-made-out-of-nails-saimir-strati/

    Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. DIY Plastic Skull Doorbell | UniqueDaily.com on Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 7:05 am

    [...] for many months and was eventually lost so it was never installed. So over the last couple of days I made a new one by sculpting it in clay and then making a nice two part mold out of silicone, and c…. In hindsight I am thinking I might have been better off just leaving it in plain plastic (maybe [...]

  2. How To: Make A Super Sweet Plastic Skull Doorbell | Bit Rebels on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 8:01 am

    [...] [...]

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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