. I really liked the idea so I figured that I would try and make my own. In 2005 I had a donation box made out of a coffin for a temporary fix. I had it all made up within a couple hours. Also, it wasn't very noticeable and we only received about $35 out of it. So I hoped with making this podium it would be more noticeable and put to use more! This how-to shows each step I went through when making my podium. I tried to be descriptive as possible to help anyone else who is interested in making their own. I really enjoyed this project and am very proud of how it all came together so I hope you enjoy!
Throughout the how-to you can see thumbnails. I provided these to help better describe the tasks. For a closer view simply click on the thumbnail for the full sized image in a new window.
Although I didn't take pictures of the construction of the base, I think you can get a pretty good idea of how I made it. I made the base out of 2x4s to make it not only sturdy, but to make it heavy to lessen the chance of somebody tipping it over. The picture to the left shows the base wrapped in wood from an old futon. After framing the whole thing out, I sanded it and filled in the nail holes with wood putty. After cleaning off all the dust and prepping the surface, itís time to stain.
Here's the base stained. It's a darker stain with a red tint to it. I think it will look great against flat black paint. After the stain has completely dried, I painted many layers of polyurethane to make sure the wood doesn't get wet and warp.
Here's a picture of the whole podium. I added a shelf about 1/2 way up the center of the podium. This will be for catching the donations that are inserted into the slot. I plan on making a door on the back with a lock for easy access.
Close up of the shelf. I added sides to the shelf to prevent any change falling off the shelf and into the base of the podium.
This picture shows a front few of the podium. The back is covered with 1/2" plywood and a hole is cut for a door for easy access to the donations shelf.
Here's a back view of the podium. You can see the hole that is cut for the door, as well as the shelf that will house the donations.
The plywood sides are added with a nail gun. The shelf is painted flat black. I plan on making a sign saying "DONATIONS" out of Plexiglas. And since I plan on leaving some of the Plexiglas transparent people will be able to see inside so I chose to paint the entire inside black. Also, I plan on putting a small strobe light to light up both the donations sign and the slot for people to insert the donations. After the shelf is painted, I put a few coats of polyurethane.
Here is the top that I plan on attaching to the podium. It's my pride and joy! I made it completely from scratch. I used old wood we had laying around from a futon we were going to toss out. I added a small piece of wood towards the bottom to hold the guestbook. After filling the nail holes with wood putty and sanding it down, I stained it the same color as the base of the podium. I also put a few coats of polyurethane.
Here is the back/bottom of the top that I plan to use. I put many coats of polyurethane over the whole thing to assure that it will be water sealed. Even though I plan to bring it every night, there may be a chance it could get left out and get wet.
This is a picture of the piece of Plexiglas I bought at the local Miller True Value. I first cut a piece of plywood that would cover the front of the podium. I then cut a holes for the sign part as well as a money slot. The red rectangle you see in the photo was from me tracing the hole that I cut in the plywood front so I could see what part of the glass would show.
I then went to the computer and picked out a cool font that looked good but would also be easy to paint. I made the font as big as possible paying close attention to the size of the rectangle I had to work with.
This picture shows the letters taped to the back of the plexi. NOTICE: I did actually do this step incorrectly. I should have printed the font backwards so that when I painted the letters the paint would be on the back side and the front would be just flat plexi. However, rather than starting over, I improvised.
Here's a picture of the letters being painted.
Another progress shot of the letters being pianted.
Here's the letters completely painted. I ended up putting about three or four coats of flat black paint as to make sure that no light would get through.
After finishing the letters I flipped the plexi over and painted a light layer of purple spray paint. The kind of paint I used was intended for model cars so it was somewhat translucent. I was really happy with the way that it turned out.
This is the sign attached to the podium. I first drilled pilot holes, then screwed the plexi to the frame. I the put the plywood front over that. Seeing as the paint was on the outside, and risked being scratched or flaking off, I put quite a few coats of polyurethane to seal and protect it.
Here is the podium with all the sides attached. I then painted the whole thing with flat black paint. (The paint is still wet in the picture.) You can see that I still need to add trim around the base. Also, if you look hard enough, you can see a black cord coming out of the top of the podium... That's the power cord for the strobe light I attached on the inside to light up the letters.
The top gets attached! I was so happy to see it come together after the long hours I put into this project. I still need to add the trim around the base and then some bead board around the corners bringing the whole thing look well put together!
I was quite busy getting ready the last couple weeks in October so I wasn't able to take many photos. However I was able to take this picture of the pages that I put inside of the book. I three hole punched the pages and then took a lighter and lit the edges of the pages on fire letting just a little burn off. I really wanted the pages to look really old and ratty so I also took 3 different colors of spray paint and lightly misted the paint letting in splatter somewhat all over the pages. In the picture you can see the first original page. The next one shows the burned edges. And the last one is the final product. I wasn't able to find a cool creepy book at the last second to put the pages in so I just ran up to Wal Mart and grabbed a 3 ring binder.
Here's a picture of the podium complete. I added a light to the top and a strobe inside the podium so it would light up the sign as well as the slot. A door with a little pad lock was added to the back aswell so I could retrieve the donations at the end of the night. The cross I got at Wal Mart a couple years ago. I had them on my cemetery columns but replaced them with new plaques.
This is a final picture of the podium out by the curb. You can see the book on top also. I am very happy with the way the podium ended up. I coated the thing about three times with polyurethane to make sure that it would get any water damage. In the end the podium really paid off! We got about 300 signatures in our book as well as over $150 in donations! If you have any questions or comments about this project please don't hesitate to ask!
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