Instructables
Picture of Create Your Own Illuminated Mirror Art
Instructables_ArtSign.JPG
If you're like me, then we both enjoy finding ways to make things that either don't exist or are way less expensive (but equally cool!) than what you can buy from somewhere else. This Instructable will show you how to make a super striking piece of art, super clear signage, and night-time illumination--all in one!

By etching any design into mirrored acrylic and then edge lighting it, you will find the image pops out at you quite magnificently. I will show you two methods here, one without the need of any special tools, powered by a small battery. The other one can be made more elaborately with a laser engraving machine and remote controlled color-cycling LEDs you plug into a regular outlet.

Read on to see how I crafted these...
 
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Step 1: The Materials - What to buy & where to find it

Picture of The Materials - What to buy & where to find it
Take a look at the picture below for the 5 items you'll want to buy:

1. Mirrored acrylic sheet, about 8inches square, Quantity = 2
--8 inches square, 1/8th inch thickness  is what I found ($2.50 each)
--TAP plastics (they will even cut it into any shape to save you time): http://www.tapplastics.com/
--other online sources for acrylic exist, may be a little more $$ though.

2. LED flexible strip (any color you like!)
--best to get the thinest possible, or close to the thickness of your acrylic
--I found a sample that was about 18inches in length, 3/16ths inch wide, 12volt DC, $2.00
--online at: http://www.hobbypartz.com/79p-10198.html

3. small camera sized battery
--this needs to match your LED strip's voltage
--found a pack of 2 for $5 at RadioShack (model# 27A): http://www.radioshack.com/

4. a battery holder
--will need to fit the battery you buy
--also found at RadioShack, model "N", part# 270-405A, $1.20

5. plastic glue
--best to find one for acrylic specifically, some types silicone should also work
--$3 at a local hardware store

TOTAL cost = $16.20
ryry6372 years ago
this is cool!
ChrysN3 years ago
Cool!
mikeasaurus3 years ago
whoa, cool effect!
Great instructable! I agree with your statement: "If you're like me, then we both...", it's why we do "stuff". You've taken this technique to a new high, and I wanted to share a different view, as it were. I made this sign as an experiment, and it was done by using a dremel to engrave "Lisa" on a piece of acrylic. Lighting was simple xmas lights. I stopped at this stage, but it accomplishes much of what you have done. Oh, a good source of cheap or free acrylic is garage sale pictures that use acrylic instead of glass...50 cents or a dollar or so....
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