Family how-to: multicolour projectors

Published 11 February 2021

Follow these instructions to create your own light installation at home, using a simple DIY projector.

  • How-to: multicolour projectors

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    Go on a shape hunt

    We’re creating colourful effects with light, like Rana Begum RA.

    You’ll see lots of repeated patterns in her artworks influenced by cities, buildings and Islamic Art. Can you find any shapes to inspire your light installation? You could borrow ideas from objects in your cupboards, patterns on your pyjamas or from the buildings in your neighbourhood.

    Tips for materials

    This activity involves collaging coloured cellophane – transparent plastic film often used to wrap sweets and other food products. Have a look in your kitchen cupboards and see what you can find. Alternatively, you could buy some cheaply online or have a go at blocking out colour with permanent pens instead.

    • Materials

      What you need

      • Cardboard

      • Rubber bands

      • Cellophane sweet wrappers

      • Plastic wallet

      • Dot stickers

      • Tape

      • Scissors

      • Torch

      • Pencil

      • Ruler

      • Paper

    • Step 1

      Step 1

      Draw out your shape.

    • Step 2

      Step 2

      Measure the sides of your shape by making marks along one edge of the cardboard

    • Step 3

      Step 3

      Use a ruler to draw out the lines.

    • Step 4

      Step 4

      Score along the lines.

    • Step 5

      Step 5

      Fold the cardboard into your shape.

    • Step 6

      Step 6

      Use rubber bands to secure the structure in place.

    • Step 7

      Step 7

      Place your drawing into a plastic wallet.

    • Step 8

      Step 8

      Cut and arrange your shapes onto the drawn shape. Play around with overlaying shape and colour to see what visual effects you can create!

    • Step 9

      Step 9

      Secure the pieces in place at the corners – be mindful that stickers and tape will show up in the final projection.

    • Step 10

      Step 10

      Loosely cut out the design, leaving some extra plastic around the edges.

    • Step 11

      Step 11

      Tape your design onto the front of the cardboard structure.

    • Step 12

      Step 12

      Turn the lights out and project onto a wall or other surface!

  • Step 13
  • Show us your light installations! Share a photo of your finished work with @royalacademy on Twitter or @royalacademyarts on Instagram, using #familyhowto.

    • Sculpture workshop for families

      Families at the RA

      Whether it’s a free drop-in workshop or one of our fun and engaging Art Detective trails, the RA is brimming with colourful paintings and sculptures that are waiting to be explored. Everyone is welcome at the RA – and kids under 16 go free to all our exhibitions.

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