Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
I made it at TechShop

We decided to make unique trophies for the Nightmare Cruisers Hearse Club annual Ghoul (Glow) Bowling outing.

Materials:

Plastic skeletons
1/4" Acrylic sheet
Hot glue
Spray paint
Painter's tape (optional)
Tools (all available at TechShop)
Epilog 60w laser etcher/cutter
Coreldraw software
Plastic welder
Diagonal cutter or scissors
Hot glue gun

Step 1: Get your donor skeleton

Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
We started with a skeleton garland, purchased at the dollar store. Not a bad deal... 4 skeletons for a buck.

And the heads pulled right off, which we will use for the bowling ball!

Step 2: Positioning the skeleton

Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Using a Plastic Welder (which is nothing more than a heat gun with a very small nozzle) we heated the joints we wanted to move. Once the joint was soft, we simply removed the heat, positioned the limb where we wanted, and held it in place for 30-60 seconds while it cooled. Because the skeleton is made from thermoset plastic, it holds its shape when cool.

Using a photo of a traditional trophy top as a guide, we continued until all the joints were in the desired positions. Because the hip joints were movable in the original piece, we had to actually weld the joints in place.

Tip: taping the feet down to your work surface will help when positioning.

Step 3: Adding the ball (skull)

Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
With just a dab of hot glue, the skull was attached to the hand to create the ball. We also clipped off the barb at the top of the neck where the skull was attached with a diagonal cutter.

Step 4: Painting the figure

Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
We wanted to give the skeletons some "depth", so we painted them with a base coat of flat black spray paint.

Using a hot glue gun, we attached the skeletons to a scrap piece of wood, so that they would stand up. This allowed us to paint them from the top and sides with fluorescent spray paint, leaving the undersides black.

Step 5: Creating the base

Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
We removed the protective film from one side of 1/4" clear acrylic, and painted it black.

Using the laser etcher/cutter, we etched a mirror image of our design, and also cut out the shapes (circles). In this case, we used the default "top-down" setting on the laser, and because the exhaust fan blows from the bottom up, we needed to wash off ash-like residue before we could spray the pieces with our contrasting color (white).

Tip: Use the "bottom-up" setting on the laser, so that the exhaust fan does not deposit any residue on the freshly etched design, eliminating the need to wash them.

And just for a final touch, we added a coat of the fluorescent paint over the white.

When the protective film was removed from the top surface, the etched and colored design shows through.

Step 6: Final assembly

Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
Skeleton Glow/Cosmic Bowling Trophies
With just a couple of dabs of hot glue, the skeletons where attached to the bases.

The skeletons and edge of the bases glow under UV (black) light for Glow/Cosmic Bowling!
 
 

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