Sunday, June 21, 2020

Tutorial – Miniature Flat Screen TV and Remote

I needed a TV for my Tiny House project that would fit inside a set of shelves.  Hobby Lobby has a wonderful one (for a great price) but it was too big for my needs.  I will share how I copied the manufactured one in the size I needed with just a few simple supplies.  It took a little time but turned out nice.  Scroll down to see the small one inside the red bookshelves.
In the photo above, on the left is the Hobby Lobby TV and on the right is my homemade version.  The purchased one is made of a sort of metallic gray plastic and mine is made of wood, painted to look like plastic.  Here is the tutorial:

Supplies needed:
Thin wood scraps (1/16 and 1/32” thick) for TV frame
Narrow popsicle stick for TV base/stand
Piece of clear plastic cut from packaging
Small silver stickers (square shaped – try nail decals)
Paint: black, silver, red, white (and green, blue, yellow if desired for remote control buttons)
Flat Black spray paint
Clear gloss spray
Wood glue, tacky type glue (for stickers)
Basic tools: Sandpaper (300, 400 grit) X-acto, gluing jig, paint brush, toothpick

I created the TV frame from scrap wood that was about ¼” wide and 1/16th inch thick -  just butt-joined sides against top and bottom.  I made the bottom piece just slightly wider than the sides and top to mimic the purchased TV.  Glue in gluing jig.

Make a narrower frame and glue to back of first frame (top and sides. This will be to hold the ‘glass’ in place.  I added another strip to the bottom (which you can see in a later photo). After glue dried, I sanded corners slightly rounded.  Also sand the front so it is VERY smooth (like plastic) with 400 grit sandpaper.

Paint with mix of black and silver to try to get that metallic gray plastic look.

Metallic stickers for “controls” – I used some that looked like chain links.

I added a glowing red “power” indicator bulb with acrylic paint.  First make a tiny white dot with a toothpick and let this dry.

After the white is dry, paint on top of it with bright red, again using a toothpick.  Let dry again.

Some other parts needed: Cut a piece of “glass” from a plastic package (lower left corner of photo below) to fit inside the back of the frame and spray paint one side with flat black.  The glossy side will face the front of the TV.  I also cut out another very thin piece of wood (1/32”) to cover the back (also painted black/silver).  Also in this photo you can see the base made from a piece of popsicle stick which I cut off then rounded the cut end to match the original rounded end (also painted to match in black/silver).

Note that if you plan to coat with gloss spray, do this before gluing in the glass.  I think it makes the wood look more like black plastic.  Below is the back with glass in and extra scrap trim strip across bottom to hold glass from the bottom.  I don't have a photo of the finished back but I glued the very thin painted piece (from the photo above) over the entire back holding the "glass" in.  This makes the bottom a little thicker and you can then glue the base on (popsicle stick).

To make the remote, I cut another strip of scrap wood (about 3/4" long), sanded and painted black then added buttons with dots of white paint (later painted over with colored dots).  In the bag is the remote that came with the purchased TV.  It is made of plastic and has a decal for buttons.  A little smaller, thinner and looks nicer than mine but I’m sure my remote will not be visible up close. (you can see my trial and error button pattern on the background paper).

Finished TV front (before base was glued on) and in the bookcase where it fit perfectly!

Thanks for reading my blog!  I have many more Tiny House project tutorials to share.  There is the kitchenette, lots of tiny plants (in cute modern planters), the loft, a really modern floor lamp, hexagon shaped wall cubby.  Lots more to come…(sneak peek photos below).

A peek through the modern front door
Bookends from pushpins