Here is an infinity mirror that I made as a birthday present for my girlfriend. Perfect if you are stuck for present ideas and want to tinker around a bit as it is a really simple creation. It only took me a couple of days of working for a few hours in the evening to make and i am very happy with the finished product. The infinity effect really stands out in the dark and its really cool to observe in person. Please feel free to ask any questions if you need any help.
To attempt this project you will need:
- Mirror - Any shape you want
- Glass - Same shape as the mirror but with at least a 10mm greater radius
- One way mirror film - Enough to completely cover one face of the glass (purchase information below)
- Sections of wood for body - Various assortment of thin and thick sections
- 2 wooden cubes - Height needs to be smaller than the height of the sides of the body
- L.E.D strip lights - 12v sticky backing (purchase information below)
- A23 battery and holder - 12v
- Run of the mill switch and wires
Optional (Foam) - Can be cut into desired shape and stuck to mirror, looks quite nice and creates a centerpiece for the infinity mirror
- Soldering iron and basic solder skills
- PVA glue
- Scroll saw
- Hand drill
- Belt sander
- Hot glue gun
- A bunch of clamps
Good luck and have fun!
Mirror film-http://www.ebay.com/itm/One-Way-MIRROR-Reflective-... - Any film similar to this will do. Make sure that if you are ordering over the internet that the seller packages it properly as it will easily crinkle and get marked if weight is placed upon it.
L.E.D strip lights - http://www.ebay.com/itm/5M-3528-300SMD-Warm-White-... - Comes in many different colours so pick your preference. The back of it has an adhesive covering so it can be stuck easily to any desired surface. (remember these require a 12v battery)
Step 1: The Mirror
The first thing I did was disassemble a cheap double sided mirror, which had one flat mirror and one magnifying concave mirror. After breaking it apart I kept the flat mirror and the circular ring that kept the two mirrors in place (pictured).
After that I bent the ring slightly open so that it fitted neatly around the outside of the flat mirror when placed on top.
Step 2: The Centrepiece
I found some old crappy foam from some packaging and printed out a hollowed stencil of a star. I then stuck this to the foam and cut it out with a craft knife, before spending some time cleaning it up by curving the edges to make it look more appealing.
A star was quite a pain to cut out and make neat due to the sharp points. The last one i made was a love heart which came up quite nicely.
Step 3: The One Way Mirror
Extreme care needs to be taken for this step as the one way mirror film scratches extremely easily. Even though damaged film will still work, the surface will have an obvious blemish which detracts from the quality of the finished product.
I cut out a square of film that was large enough to completely cover one side of the glass (note the glass should be larger than the mirror by at least 10mm on all sides). And after cleaning the glass with window cleaner I put some water in a spray bottle and sprayed the glass, which made a nice coating for the film to stick to. Then it was the simple process of peeling the protective backing off the one way film and gently adhering it to the glass.
After that I used a plastic ruler to drag across the surface and remove the bubbles. Make sure you do this slowly and lightly as excess force will score the surface which will mean you will have to do thew whole thing again.
You can minimize the air and water bubbles underneath by ensuring a thin even coating of water and by slowly attaching the film. Once the film is stuck to the surface and you are happy with the quality cut the excess film around the sides off. If the quality is not up to your standards you can simply peel it off without damaging the glass.
Step 4: The Faces
First of all I printed out a hexagon that was large enough to accommodate the one way mirror with some additional spare room left to glue the sides on. After that I traced the shape onto some thin plywood twice and cut out both using a scroll saw. I then chose one hexagon to be the front face and the other to be the back face.
On both of these hexagons I placed the mirror in the exact center and traced around it. For the front face I drilled a hole in this tracing and used a scroll saw with the blade positioned through the hole to cut out the circle. On the back face I glued the mirror where the circle had been traced (pictured) with PVA glue.
Finally I made some spacers that were the same height as the mirror and glued them at regular intervals around it. These acted as a platform so that when the L.E.Ds were attached they would be level with the mirror and everything would be symmetrical.
NOTE: When gluing the mirror to the back face make sure that you do not clamp it too tightly or else the mirror may warp and then crack under its own stress. (learned this the hard way)
Step 5: The L.E.Ds
First of all I soldered two wires to the L.E.D strip that I bought on the internet . To make everything easier I soldered black wires to the negative side of the circuit and red wires to the positive. Once this was done I completely wrapped the ring that I scavenged from the original mirror in red electrical tape and ensured that there was a gap in the ring large enough to pass two wires through.
Then I peeled the back off a L.E.D strip cut to the correct length and attached it to the ring, making sure to pass the wires through the hole and ensuring that all sides were stuck down symmetrically. I then hooked it up to my 12v battery to test to see if the ring lit up before progressing. This is a good thing to do because you don't want to get to the end of your project only to find that your lights do not work.
NOTE: the L.E.Ds require 12V so your run of the mill household AAA or AA batteries wont work
Finally I used PVA glue on the completed ring and clamped it around the mirror on the small platforms I previously made.
Step 6: The Sides and Switch
To determine what height to make the sides of the body I placed all the layers I had made so far on top of each other and measured the gap in between the top and bottom faces. Using this measurement I made 6 pieces made up of the aforementioned height and the width of each side of the hexagon using more plywood.
After this i cleaned up the front face of one of the segments using a belt sander before drilling and cutting out a rectangular section in the center that i could slot the power switch into. One terminal on the switch was then soldered to a wire coming from the L.E.D ring.
NOTE: In order to conserve wire I positioned the L.E.D ring so that the wires came out at the top, minimizing the distance to the switch.
Step 7: The Battery Pack
Here I simply took another side section and drilled two small holes in it far enough apart so that the battery pack could sit comfortably between them with some space to spare. Then I countersunk two larger holes into the outside face so that when screws were used they would sit flush with the edge.
Finally I used hot glue so that the wires leading from the battery terminal were vertical (see picture) and started to glue and clamp the 5 remaining sides onto the bottom face.
NOTE: do NOT glue the battery pack section to the bottom face.
Step 8: Final Assembly
After the first 5 sides were glued to the bottom face, I glued two small wooden cubes with small holes in them to the bottom face as well, making sure they were lined up with the holes in the section with the battery pack attached. Then I soldered the battery pack to the wires leading from the switch and L.E.D strip, making sure to leave a lot of slack in the wires so that the battery pack could be pulled away from the body for easy replacement of the batteries.
Step 9: Finishing Touches
Here I gave the mirror a thorough clean before using superglue to attach the foam star to its surface. Then I gave the one way mirror a clean and placed it with the foil side facing down on top of the L.E.D ring. Then I glued and clamped the top face to the body and screwed in the battery section using two wood screws.
Finally I belt sanded all sides of the finished product to make everything smooth and parallel before going over all surfaces with sandpaper as final finish.
Note: No glue is required to be used on the one way mirror as the friction caused by the lid being glued down to the body will keep it in place
Step 10: The Finished Product
Overall i am very happy with the finished product and I think it came up a treat.
Good luck with your own projects.