Making hoverboards, Back To The Future style

free printable hoverboard graphics by sweetmagpie dot com

Last year our local entertainment expo brought the cast of Back To The Future to town. I was bouncing around the house in excitement when I first heard the news since that’s my favorite trilogy of all time. Seriously just so good. I re-watched the trilogy, introduced it to my kids, and then got down to business.

2 months and an 80’s punk makeover later, I was Spike, a member of Griff’s gang from 2015:

The Hoverboards

Planning the hoverboards was one of my favorite parts of making this costume. It gave me a chance to geek out in Illustrator with an attention to detail that warmed the cockles of my heart. I started out with just creating the 2 hoverboards my husband, daughter and I needed for our costumes:

The Thrrilll (odd man out)} and No Tech Knowhow hoverboard recreations

Once I was on a roll though, it was hard to stop. After the “odd man out/the thrrilll” board and “no tech knowhow” I dove into the “rising sun” hoverboard, the “Pit Bull” (You bojo, those boards don’t work on water. Unless you’ve got power!) and the pink kids’ hoverboard Marty totes around in the Delorean.

Download the hoverboard graphics

Want to make your own hoverboard? I’ve recreated the graphics and put together a high-res JPG of each so you can print them off yourself. Each hoverboard has a black line around the outside that you can trace on to your foam or plywood to get a perfectly even edge around the graphic.

For a full-scale hoverboard just print off at 100% on a 24″ x 36″ sized poster. I ordered mine printed at Vistaprint with a coupon code that made each print about $20.

How we made our hoverboards

Once I had the graphics designed we ordered them from Vistaprint. While we were impatiently awaiting the mail, we went out to Home Depot and picked up a sheet of 1/2″ thick insulation foam (Foamular C-200) for $10.

We cut the foam to the shape of the outer stencil included in the poster, painted the edges to match the movie hoverboard, and glued the graphic on the top and bottom. I’ve included a few photos of my handy helping husband to show the general process:

Once the board was assembled we picked up and spray painted some disposable plastic plates for the silver circles on the bottom. The rest of the pieces were 3D printed using Imirnman’s models from Thingverse and then screwed into place.

Noteworthy hoverboard resources

Now that I’ve shared how we created our hoverboards, I wanted to mention a few other makers with great tutorials in case one of those is more your style.

I came across some beautifully crafted hoverboards for purchase online – solid wood, and as close to the originals as possible. They’re above my price point, but if you have some cash set away I’d recommend checking out the hoverboard replicas and kits at GoldenArmor.com.

DIY Prop Shop also has a pretty great tutorial on making a plywood hoverboard, along with graphics you can print at home, for the classic pink Mattel model:

Also worth checking out if you have access to a 3D printer, Imirnman created all the parts for the pink Mattel hoverboard and posted them for download on Thingiverse. There’s also an option to order them printed, which is ideal if you don’t have a 3D printing champion on your team yet.

3D hoverboard model by Imirnman

Martha

Author: Martha

Martha is a pinata making, costume-loving web designer with a thing for her mom's brownies. And really swank vintage chairs.

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