My husband and I will soon be finishing our basement. There are only two small windows down there and it is very cave-like. I've been thinking about how I could brighten the space and came up with the idea of a lighted, faux window. Of course, my first stop was to look at Instructables for plans! When I didn't see exactly what I was looking for, I noticed the Make It Glow Contest and decided to tackle this project on my own. I had a great time building it and I'm hoping that, by hanging 2 or 3 of these in our "below-garden-level" finished basement, we can give the feeling of an above ground space. Hope you like it!
IMPORTANT NOTE: You can see in the following photos that I folded my LED tape lights into pretty sharp 90 degree angles. As my lighting has been erratic since shortly after this project was photographed, I think that is what I may have done wrong. SOOO--please do not fold your lighting this way--instead, use a more curving solution OR use inexpensive Christmas string lights!! I'm sure I'll eventually go back and change mine out!
-Window Blind in Desired Size (I used 31" wide and cut it down to 48" long.)
-1" x 1" Wood Trim Pieces at Least as Long as the Perimeter of Your Desired Window (Note: 1"x1"s are actually .75"x.75".)
-Screws or Bright Finish Nails--2" or Longer
-Sheet of Corrugated Plastic that is Larger than Your Desired Window OR Foam Board OR Poster Board
-White Non-Opaque Fabric to Diffuse LED Light--I used some sort of drapery-lining fabric.
-Staple Gun and Staples--1/4" Long OR 1/4" Wire Brads
-Flexible, Self-Adhesive LED Strip Light (I used RGB 5050 SMD 300 Leds LED Strip Light. Mine was 5 meters long.)
OR Christmas String Lights (White wire would look best.)
-If you're using Christmas String Lights: White Tape
-Optional if you're using LED Ribbon/Strip Lights: 44 Key IR Remote Controller
-If you're using LED Ribbon/Strip Lights: Power Source: Mine required a 12V Adapter.
Total Cost of my Faux Window: About $90
Total Time Spent Building Window: 2 Hours
Step 1: Determine frame dimensions and cut wood.
My finished faux window was to be 31" wide by 48" tall. The faux wood blinds I purchased were 31" wide and could extend up to 72" long. In order to end up with a finished size of 31" X 48" you'll need to cut two pieces of wood to the exact width of the window and two to the height of the window minus 1 1/2" to allow for the "overlapping corners" of the wood pieces. They don't actually overlap, of course. If you kept the sides as 48" and then attached the 31" wide pieces perpendicularly, your window would become 49 1/2" long instead of 48". I hope that makes sense!
NOTE: You also want to choose a wood that is not too heavy since this will hang on the wall.
FYI--I had my boards cut for me at the store so I didn't have to worry about using a saw.