Introduction: Evenly Backlit IKEA Frame With LEDs

Lighting a picture from behind can be a pain when it comes to getting the light nice and even. Often you get hotspots where the light is more intense than the rest. There are solutions to that that involve spacing the lights farther back or using reflectors or diffusion filters, but I wanted something simple, cheap, and quick. So I stuffed an LED string in the back to light it up and it worked out great.

So with just a little bit of work with a basic tool (drill! woo-hoo!) you can do this, too. Then you can also be lighting up pictures of dogs that you found on the Internet*. Here's how.

*I found the picture on the Internet, not the dog. I have cats. I don't see them often. We have an arrangement. Which includes no dogs.

Step 1: Materials/Supplies

Here's what you need:
  1. 9"x9" Ribba frame from IKEA for $9.99
  2. LED string from IKEA for $12 (not online)
  3. Drill w/ 5/32 bit
  4. masking tape
  5. template

Step 2: Attaching Template

  1. Print out the PDF attached to this step
  2. Take off the back of the frame
  3. Tape  template to back of frame

Step 3: Drill!

I used a 5/32" bit here. Be sure to try out a couple different bits as your lights may be different from mine.

See all those circles? Drill 'em all! Go go go!

Second pic shows the results of your work. Don't worry if there are a few hanging bits. They won't get in the way.

Step 4: Insert LEDs

Now it's time to shove all the lights into all the holes. You can go row by row or in a spiral, it doesn't matter. Just as long as you get all the lights in.

It hurts a little to push them through, but you'll survive. If you do this for five frames and 240 LEDs you can get a nice blister and a callous, though. Just FYI. That wasn't fun.

Step 5: Put Light Piece Back on Frame

Now just put the lights back on the Ribba frame. Of course you'll need the picture on the front of the frame instead of the back. But you already knew that, right? Because you're clever.

OK, that's it. Plug it in and enjoy the lit up pictures!

Comments

author
originalbrew made it! (author)2014-09-10

Is it possible to hang it on the wall then?

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Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.
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