Introduction: DIY Altoids Infinity Mirror

Picture of DIY Altoids Infinity Mirror

I've never made an infinity mirror before, much less owned one, and thought it was much more complex than it actually was. So during the Deconstruction 2014 (a global hackathon-ish sort of thing), one of our projects became this altoids infinity mirror!

What you need:

  • Altoids Tin
  • Mirror that can fit into altoids tin (you may need to cut your own)
  • 1 way mirror (we used a filter from an old projector)
  • LEDs or Chibitronics LED stickers
  • Electrical Tape + Double-sided Tape
  • 5v power supply (wall wart) with its power jack cut off

Tools you may need:

  • Mouse Sander
  • Dremel tool w/metal cutting wheel
  • Tin Snips
  • Drill Press
  • Files/steel wool

Step 1: Cut Your Mirror Down to Size and Tape It Down

Picture of Cut Your Mirror Down to Size and Tape It Down

For the mirror, we used a glass cutter to score it.

  • We clamped the glass down and using fairly significant pressure, scored the mirror.
  • We then used the back of the glass cutter (what looked like a ball) to gently tap the mirror. It split fairly easily!

Note, when cutting it, make sure to allow enough space on the sides of the mirror for your lid to close!

  • Apply a piece of double-sided tape inside of the altoids cover and tape in the mirror.
  • We decided to put the mirror on the Altoid side so that we could still keep the Altoid graphic

Step 2: Prepare the Box for the Double Sided Mirror

Picture of Prepare the Box for the Double Sided Mirror

  • Using a mouse sander we sanded off the nutrition facts for a nice silver-y surface. We also sanded it with some 000 steel wool to get a better polish. A lot easier than we thought it'd be!
  • We traced the shape of the filter/other mirror on the box and drew box inside of that one with a 1.5mm border.
    • The border is important because that was where we put the super glue to keep the filter in place.

Step 3: Establish the Power/ground Rails

Picture of Establish the Power/ground Rails

Since the altoids tin is conductive, we used it as the ground plane. But this required that we isolate the positive power rail from ground.

  • Put electrical tape around the inside of the tin but below the edge by around 1.5mm - just enough for your LED/chibitronic LED negative leg.
  • Put Chibitronic copper tape over the electrical tape, also around the inside of the tin. If you're using Chibitronic LED stickers (as I did), you'll want to make sure the positive leg of the LED can reach the copper tape.

Step 4: Add Your LEDs + Final Touches

Picture of Add Your LEDs + Final Touches

  • We used Chibitronic LEDs around the edge. Again the + side of the LED attached to the copper tape and the - side attached to the ground plane of the tin. I believe we used 8 LEDs.
  • We then soldered the + side of the wall wart to the copper tape and the - side of the wall wart to the tin.
  • We drilled a hole for the wall wart cord to go through, but if you need to give the cord more room, just use a pair of tin snips to adjust it!

Step 5: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

And voila! The fun thing about using a projector filter is that depending on which way you turn it, you end up with a different spectrum of colors! Hope you enjoy it!


crashzoom (author)2015-03-23

So coo

supergilligan (author)2014-11-29

Tymkrs, great project. I do have a correction though, it is one way mirrors not two way. I'll keep looking for more good projects of yours.

CrafteroftheArts (author)2014-11-26


Errol1951 (author)2014-11-20

I built one similar but for the one way mirror I used the reflective film that is used on windows for privacy and insulation

Tymkrs (author)Errol19512014-11-21


longwinters (author)2014-11-20

Nice project thanks for posting, if you want more battery power just take the top off a second tin, cut the lip off and make a second compartment on the back to hold battries

Tymkrs (author)longwinters2014-11-21

Great idea!

alcurb (author)2014-11-20

Looks nice. Pretty cool.

I wonder if this design would allow for a flat LiPo battery be used behind the purely reflective mirror. The lipo would take about 5mm or so in depth and the charging circuit would take less room than the battery. Thanks for the inspiration.

I inserted your project in my "He LED me to the LIGHT" collection.

Tymkrs (author)alcurb2014-11-20

Haha, he LED me to the LIGHT :) I like that. I think it would allow for a flat lipo battery! Double-sided tape ftw!

Ayush Sharma (author)2014-11-18

Nice work! but use a clear glass at front to make it vivid.

Tymkrs (author)Ayush Sharma2014-11-19

Thanks for the suggestion :) It was our first time with an infinity mirror (i hadn't even really seen one up close) until now, so next time we do it, we probably will!

jueljp (author)Tymkrs2014-11-20

make sure you share the results; nice project, it makes a nice necklace, can it fit in a more compact case for a fine looking necklace?

Tymkrs (author)jueljp2014-11-20

I don't see why not! These leds can be powered with a 3v coin cell so it is definitely small enough for a nice necklace!

shinystuff (author)2014-11-20

Hi, I also like to divide by zero and show the infinite vortex it creates to people! :D These are 3 of my infinity mirrors and the one with the sea shells actually uses two row of leds, the other one is a uses a bathroom mirror frame and the last one is actually a working clock(the missing led is because the led strip was too short, talk about inconvenience :( ) and it works like a charm. I don't want to sound like I am criticizing but you could use a better double mirror. I am not actually using a double mirror but a glass with a highly reflective side ( bronze-salt I think it is called). Otherwise very good project, I really like how you made the conductive part!

Tymkrs (author)shinystuff2014-11-20

You should write instructables for those!

hickhamt (author)Tymkrs2014-11-20

agreed!! would love an infinity clock... just saw Interstellar and im all hyped up on wormholes and clocks now! lol..

shinystuff (author)hickhamt2014-11-20

Well I can give you a short instructable right here, you need a clock(round or square), a preferably thin mirror because of the arrows, a led strip and a highly reflective glass. Take the clock apart, remove the sheet with the number, drill a hole in the middle of the mirror(I asked the local glass smith to do it), glue the mirror in place, place the led strip on the inner circle, put back the dials, place the reflectic glass with the reflecting side towards the clock, put the case of the clock together, plug it in, get high, stare into the vortex, go insane and PROFIT. And that is how you make an infinity clock.

iceng (author)2014-11-18

Very cool !

Tymkrs (author)iceng2014-11-19


MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-11-18

Aaah witch craft! This is really cool and illlusion looks awesome!


Ben1894 (author)2014-11-18

This is awesome

Tymkrs (author)Ben18942014-11-19


samalert (author)2014-11-18

This is awesome, but why the outer glass looks murky or i would say not clear. I am also gathering materials to make one much bigger than altoids.

Also one more question is how much should be the distance between outer two way mirror and inside mirror. If i leave less gap does it look different?

Tymkrs (author)samalert2014-11-19

Well, that was probably more an issue of our fingers getting all over the glue and accidentally touching the glass haha. Maker error! :) Hmm. I imagine the distance between the outer and inner mirror probably affects how the infinity portion looks - is something I found.

And the outer mirror isn't actually clear glass - it's a color filter from a projector machine. So that may also be why it looks different!

samalert (author)Tymkrs2014-11-19

Ohh great link ! Cleared the air.

KyleTheCreator (author)2014-11-18

Cool! I like how compact it is... Could a battery pack of some sort be used to power it instead of the wall wart? If so, which?

Thanks for sharing,

Tymkrs (author)KyleTheCreator2014-11-18

You could probably just use a 3v lithium ion battery - as those power the leds pretty easily. And that would fit on the back of the altoids tin. You'd just need to bring wires out from inside the tin to the back.

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Bio: Every week two geeky people in Rochester MN spend every ounce of their freetime creating educational videos, podcasts, articles, and music. They publish it all ... More »
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