I have been out of the cosplay game for a number of years and when I decided to be the Ancient One, I really wanted to spend my time with both the costume and props.
I did not want to do an illuminated prop, at least not at this time. My first thought was using the contrast between a reflective and transparent vinyl decal to play against the other. After talking to a friend and him telling me has access to a laser cutter, it changed everything. That's when it became more about the contrast between 2 different colored acrylics, one solid/translucent & one transparent. Designed the "spell" glyphs in Illustrator, laser cut, 3d print and glue. ^__^
Step 1: Creating Mock-up
- Sharpie or marking tool
- Tape (specifically painter’s tape but that was because it was closest to my hand) When every I start a new, prop project I try to make prototypes to get a better idea of handling and proportions. In this case I used cardboard cut outs to get ideal width and how I wanted to sit on my hand in the back of the spell prop.
Tried fingers fitting through attached rings and a dowel passing through the center from the back to the front most circle layer. The rings I liked the best.
Step 2: Spell Prop Body & Supplies
I have done 2 versions of these spell discs.
The first set has 2 levels, a lifted smaller ring that sits above the larger one. I was hoping to add depth in photos. That is not exactly what happened. You really couldn’t tell and it also made it structurally fragile especially if you were walking around a convention with them.
The second set is one level only with same detail on the back as the first.
- Opaque bright yellow acrylic sheets 1/4” thickness
- Transparent amber acrylic sheets 1/4” thickness
- Thick aluminum foil (I bought the one that said it was for barbecue)
- Wide painters tape or cheap kitchen counter contact sheets you would find at a dollar store
- Laser cutter
- Acrylic cement
- Acrylic cement applicator
Step 3: Cutting Acrylic
Base transparent acrylic (transparent color I speciifcally used is Amber)
Laser cut acrylic with protective paper surface still attached to acrylic. May have to cut 2 twice but one of them is cut with the air off so that the edges of the circle melted a bit and were not “cutting your fingers” sharp. I’ve seen people use a torch to smooth edges. I used the cutting process to do so.
- STYLE 1 - Attached file, STYLE1-2lvls.ai, has second smaller level that sits just above the base.
- 2 - 14.5” Circles
- 2 - 5” Circles
- 10 - 2” circles
- 2 - 14.5” Circles
Detail opaque/translucent acrylic (color I used is bright yellow)
- STYLE 1 - Attached file, STYLE1-2lvls.ai, is for this 2 level style.
- STYLE 2 - Attached file, STYLE2-1lvl.ai, is single base, no additional levels.
- Removed protective paper on both sides from acrylic placed large enough foil sheet down on the cutting machine. The cutter will not cut the metal (mostly). This is to make sure you do not loose tiny pieces that are part of the design needed.
- 2 cuts
- 1st cut - fast with air on
- 2nd cut - slower with air off to melt the edges as it finishes cutting
Step 4: Gluing Detail to Base Circles
- Remove all protective paper from the transparent acrylic circles if you haven’t already.
- I always start with the outer most circle of the design from the yellow sheet and place it on the circle. large or small doesn’t matter. It helps to set everything else as you add detail to the spell prop.
- “Gluing” acrylic to acrylic with acrylic cement is really more like fusing the pieces to each other. I “tack” the piece first, usually 2 spots, with the cement. I press the areas down together and let it sit for about 30 seconds to a minute and let go.
- I wait one more minute then I start lining seam where the 2 acrylics meet. I am not very careful with it. The flow of the cement applicator was quick. I had little drop hear and there in places. Do not wipe away. Just let it dry. You are melting plastic so if you wipe you create a streak and that you will definitely see on the transparent acrylic.
- If you think you missed some places, just flip over your piece and you will see on the back through the transparent acrylic where you missed.
- Repeat on the back STYLE 1 glue 5 of the 2 inch circle pieces with center removed, together. This will allow the smaller circle enough lift from the bigger one. glue one side of this “large spacer” first to the back side of the smaller circle free of detail glue other side if the “large spacer” to the front side of larger circle, middle of detail.
Step 5: Attach Way to Grip Back
There were so many ways this could be done. Someone suggested creating a lifted circle layer in the back and you would grip it like a bowling ball. I was going to do that next if the rings for fingers didn’t work out. Also thought about an acrylic rod going through all layer. Decided, not. Too much work.
WAY 1 (rings for fingers to slide through)
- 3d printer
- Wood/plastic composite filament
- GOOP adhesive using
- 3D printed bottom finger grips to sling ring file found here => https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2544293
- Make 3-4 at the BARE minimum. suggest 5 just in case cut one ring bottom in half.
- File edges and base of ring bottom so that it is more flat area touching a surface.
- Placed my hand on the back of the spell where I want it to sit. Had the rings on fingers and thumb. marked lightly where is sits on the acrylic.
- Sand the acrylic surface where I am going to glue the ring bases. (rough it up)
- Glue down the ring bases to acrylic. Let it cure for at least 3-4 days before playing with the spell prop
WAY 2 (singular ring to slide part of hand through)
- Hard acrylic shower rings
- Acrylic cement
- Cut acrylic rings in half. I used a hack saw.
- File or sand down surface of ring ends so that it will lie flat against the acrylic surface.
- Use cement to fuse ends on the back of the spell prop. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
- This way is not perfect because the points of contact are smaller but it held a 5 lb. weight. But if you kick it, it will come off.
I love these spells.They are my most favorite props to date.
Runner Up in the
Halloween Contest 2018