PROJECT in 2001: Donation Box with Illuminated Sign
In Halloween 1999 the gang from Ghosts of Halloween went to a place near us called the Hallowed Haunting Grounds.  This was an amazing Yard Haunt which is comparable to the effects at Disney's Haunted Mansion.  They have been doing their Yard Haunt since 1973.  While we were there we noticed they had a donation box.  Of course, we want to help fellow Yard Haunters so we put in some money.  We found it difficult to push the dollars in because it was so full.  We figured this might be a good idea to make back some of the money we spend.
Now, we know it's all about providing a fun evening for people.  That's why we do our Yard Haunts.  Unfortunately, we spend about 300 to 600 dollars a year making new stuff.  Since this is our 5th year we decided to see if we could get a little bit of cash back.  Following, are instructions on how to build a 4 foot tall Donation Box with Illuminated Sign
Here's the Materials needed to make this box.  It's a simple design using metal brackets to hold the frame together.  Mainly, you'll need:
3 pieces of 8 foot x 1½" x 1½"
1 piece of hardboard 8' x 4'
15' of corner molding ½"
5' of ground molding about 1½" high
Wood Glue
20 or so ½" metal 90º degree brackets
2 small hinges
1 small clasp for the lock
Black paint (if you're going to use spray paint you'll need about 3-4 cans of black I suggest rolling it on)
2 Cans of Black Stone Paint from Stone Creations
1 small piece of plexi glass (at least 13" wide and 3" tall)
Black and white Duct tape
2 Glow sticks for every 4 hours
- If I forgot anything, I'm sorry, I built this over a few weeks and had to keep buying parts :) -
' = foot " = inch
You'll need to cut the 1½"ers into:
2 - 4'
2 - 3' 6"
9 - 9"
The 9th one is for the top
The Hardboard needs to be cut into:
3 - 4' x 1'
1 - 3' 6" x 1'
Unfortunately, I got excited about building this and didn't take pictures of putting on the brackets
Clicking on the picture to enlarge you can see the basic idea of how this is put together.  It's just the two 3' and two 4' being held together by the 9"ers and brackets
The brackets I got only had 1 hole on each side, so the 9' pieces had a tendency to spin.  Once the sides were put on it was as solid as can be.
The 9th 9" piece went on the top with two brackets on the bottom.
I then put a 4' x 1' piece on the back and the 3' 6" x 1' piece on the front.
The sides were held up to the box and then a diagonal line was drawn from the top of the 4' to the top of the 3' keeping the flat part of the top flat.  We then cut along the lines.
I attatched these by using wood screws and glue to begin with (when these pictures were taken)
Later that day, when I had to make another hardware store run, I found an electric nail/brad(small finishing nails) gun for about 35 bucks at OSH Hardware.  I decided to take out the screws and use the brad gun.  It was a lot faster and the nails are virtually invisible.
We cut an inside piece so the money didn't fall all the way down.
Of course since I'm lame and my measurements never come out right, we had to put a few small pieces against the sides to make it a nice tight seal so coins don't go through.
This doesn't matter because nobody's going to see inside
Now the corner and ground molding is cut. I had to cut the ground molding using a Miter Box to get the 45º angles.
Naturally, the corners are cut for 2 - 4' lenghts and 2 - 3'6" lengths.
All the moldings were attatched with glue and the brad gun. (one of my best investments for the year)
Spray Painted it black.
If I were to do this again, I'd use roller to paint it on with latex or something.
It took 2 cans of paint and wasn't even.
Here's the top piece made from some extra plywood. (see, I told you I would forget something in the parts list)
I don't know the measurements of this because I just eyeballed it.   I wanted it to hang over the sides and the front about ½ an inch.  It doesn't cover the flat part of the top because that's where our sign is going to go.
I figured where I wanted the slot to go and drilled 2 holes, using a ½" bit, about 4 inches from each other in the center.  Once this was done, I used a jig saw to connect the outside of the holes together.  After a little bit of sanding you're ready to paint it black.
Once the lid is on (using the 2 hinges) you're ready to paint it with the stone paint.
This picture doesn't serve it justice.  I used too much jpg compression so you can't see the detail and the great stone texture of the box.
When you have it painted attach the lock clasp.
Yay we're half way done.  And that's the hard part
Again, I skip a few steps.  This is the box that fits on top for the sign.  It's just two small evenly cut 1½" peices with a 1½" x 1' and 2½" hard board attatched to the top and back respectively.
I filled the inside with the white duct tape to reflect the glow sticks better.
Here's the piece of plexiglass.  It comes with a film on it so it doesn't get scratched.
I cut the piece out by scoring it with a mat knife about 987497394758 times.   Finally, I was able to bend it down the score and it snapped cleanly apart.
I made my piece about 2" tall and a foot long.
Here we cover it with the black duct tape, but be sure to take off the film from the side you're taping. (leave the film on the other side for now)
Overlap the tape so no light gets through the seams.
Now the excess needs to be trimmed off.  I found this a lot easier if you attatched the excess to something and kept it taught while cutting.
Here I've printed out the Text I want.  I used photoshop to make sure the image with 9 inches long.
I then taped it to the plexiglass.
Using a x-acto knife I cut out the letters through the paper and the duct tape.
Here's the result.
I used a drill bit with a countersink on the plastic.
Using wood screws I attatched it to the wood. Making sure I removed the film from the back before hand
Here's the finished donation box.  I hope after buying 70 dollars of stuff was worth it =)
Of course, it is. It's just like building model planes except a big bigger
The sign just sits on top of the box and the glow sticks just sit on the inside.  If light is coming out anywhere just put tape on those spots.
The sign's not attatched to the top but kinda sits in the corner molding (which I left a little at the top)
If the signs there the lid of the donation box doesn't open all the way.
Close up of the sign with flash...
...and without flash.  I think it looks great.
There's only one glow stick in the middle of it.  For the event I'll put in two.