Make Your Own Metal Box [EMPTY] from Fallout

After fighting off a horde of super mutants, getting lost three times in the damn metro, and breaking two bobby pins off in the lock, you finally get into the door only to find rows and rows of metal boxes [EMPTY]. AAAHHH!
The emblem on the wall does little to comfort your lack of loot:
Want to make your own Fallout themed metal box or little Washington DC emblem? It’s pretty easy and cheap.
You’ll need:
  • Metal Box (Michaels $3.99 or wherever metal boxes are sold)
  • Wooden DC Emblem (Michaels $0.99)
  • Black Acrylic Paint
  • Brown Acrylic Paint
  • Green Glossy Acrylic Paint
  • Glow in the Dark Paint
  • Cardstock

This is what I started with:

The box needs some serious aging for that post apocalyptic look. After so much Halloween work, I’ve gotten pretty good at making new stuff look ancient and full of tetanus.

Just dab your wet sponge into some black and brown paint. Mash it all over the surface, then dot it back off with your second wet sponge. Keep it up until you like the level of filth. If it’s too much, apply some water to remove and add paint again.

I cannot freehand fonts to save my life, so I made a stencil. First, I downloaded the free font Monofonto and used Photoshop to get the sizing and layout right. After that it was slow, laborious work of sneaking up on…I mean chopping out letters with my exacto knife. It’s as exciting as one would expect.

Got your stencil? Scotch tape it to your hopefully dried box and get to painting. I used a radioactive color previously reserved for my Cthulhu Barbie. It’s shiny as well as neon green. You can go orange if you’d like – weirdo.

I added a few layers, then removed the stencil and had to mop up the damage. Then I went back around the letters with a darker green to outline it and draw them out. If your box is dark enough you might not need to do that.

Exciting stuff, but most of Fallout is spent in the barely there light requiring blackout curtains to cut the glare. Here comes the glow in the dark paint. To get a good glow, you need at least two coats, maybe three. It’ll look white when you first add it, and that’s generally okay, as it’ll dry mostly clear. It’ll whiten your green a bit, but it’s worth it for an eerie glow:

The emblem is a bit trickier, but only required the black paint and a cup of water.

To age it, I used an alternating series of wetting the brush, dabbing on some paint, then smooshing it through the wood with more water. It gives the ancient, probably flooded look. While the wood was still partially wet, I painted in the recessed details with the black. Straight on flat black is too harsh and cartoon looking. If you add too much, just go back over with the water.

When in doubt, smooth over the edges with water. Just dip in some black, dip in some water, and mush it all around the decal. Age doesn’t come in a fancy pattern; let your imagination go wild.

I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with my 200-year-old DC emblem, but my metal box is holding all my jet and psycho until I can sell it for more ammo.

Get out there and make your own Fallout box, contents optional.

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