This past Halloween I had a few projects in mind. One included recreating the phone booth from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure...
I'll explain more in my next blog, but for our 2015 Halloween party the theme was Time Travel. I like to include as many references to the theme as possible at the actual party. So for this year's event, I decided I'd build this phone booth and turn our garage into the 'Circle K', as seen in the movie.
For those of you who weren't born in the 80's... Bill and Ted travel around time in a phone booth which is really just a time machine in disguise.
I thought to myself, "Self, this phone booth is really just a a box made of wood and plexi..." Several days and a more silvery complexion later, I had my phone booth.
I first designed the phone booth on my computer. I had several reference photos from the internet and from watching Bill and Ted on Netflix. Laying the project out on the computer helped to really grasp what all measurements were needed. You'd be surprised how few tutorials there are on the internet for this phone booth...
Once I had my design and the measurements needed, I purchased the materials. This included wood, plexiglass, LED lighting, hinges, spray paint and so on! Obviously the original phone booth was made of metal, but that can be very expensive, so some spray painted wood works just fine!
I designed the project to be able to be disassembled. In the end it would come apart into six pieces. I designed the walls to insert into the floor piece. For the build I began with the floor. Once I had that, I built the walls, which were a bunch of small pieces of wood that came together once the plexi was in place. In order to connect the wood to the plexi, I cut a small channel into each strip of wood that the plexi would slide into. I've never seen so much sawdust...
Once I had all the pieces I put the puzzle together! It was a delicate balance getting the plexi connected to the wood and building each side up, but with some glue and rope (for temporary hold) everything came together.
After the sides were done, I installed the roof, which was also a series of wood pieces as well as a couple of panels that would sandwich the lights in. This roof piece would also be built to slide off of the side walls.
The roof held our lighting, which really brought the whole thing together. I love LED lighting and it's so cheap anymore, so I got some LED lighting that included a remote and color settings, and installed the 3 light "buttons" in the ceiling. This lit up the PHONE signs on each side and lit the interior of the booth.
One of the more challenging elements of this build was cutting the plexi. I hate cutting plexi. A sharper-than-sharp box cutter is key. Or if you're lucky enough, you have a machine that cuts plexi or the proper blade on your bandsaw. Getting the cut without veering off course and marking the good part of your plexi with a giant cut line is crucial. And I had to make sure to not cut too much off the plexi or it would fall out of the channel in my wood.
After everything was squared off, I built the doors. Similar to the walls with the plexi and wood puzzle, I built the 2 door panels and then connected them with hinges. I found track hardware at my local hardware store that works great for installing the door.
For the actual phone prop, I researched phones online but they were all hundreds of dollars... For the short time this prop would be used, I figured I should save the money for other things, so I built a phone out of wood! Once that structure was built, I spray painted it and added some stickers I designed and printed. I found a plastic phone at Goodwill and used a small strip of thick wire I spray painted for the cord.
One of the finishing touches was wrapping a phonebook with a jacket cover that was designed after the phonebook they use in the film. I also topped the phone booth off with the signature metal umbrella with glowing lights that helps with time travel... I even managed to sneak a little 'Keith & Meredith' writing in the roof, which is my wife and I. I like to sneak those things in there just for fun.
The phone booth took a little more time than I wanted but I'm glad it turned out as well as it did! And in case you're wondering, yes it's for rent! Need a prop for a play, convention or your basement?? Contact me!
Check out photos from the build below:
-The Media Buff