Instructables
Picture of Infinity Mirror Pendant
I've seen numerous infinity mirrors and always liked the effect.  However, I've never seen a really small one.  I had recently purchased a new type of resin and wanted to try it out.  What popped into my head was the infinity mirror pendant.  The main challenge would be to create an infinity mirror small enough to fit in a pendant.  The infinity mirror is composed of a mirror, lights, and a one-way mirror.  The square bezel for the pendant had an interior depth of roughly 5 mm (3/16 of an inch).  I would have to find LEDs that were small enough to fit while making sure they were low voltage (as I wanted to minimize the size of the required battery).  Without LEDs small enough, this project would be over before it started.  On a trip to the electronics shop, I found some LEDs that looked like they would fit and after purchasing a few more electronics components, it was time to start.

I initially intended to do only a square pendant but mid-way through the project, I decided to try making a round one as well.  The results weren't bad for a first attempt.  Not great but not bad.  And definitely serves as a decent proof-of-concept.
 
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kracken428 months ago

Sweet!

redkcir2 years ago
You can buy a similar (the vinyl) product at sporting goods stores called a space blanket for under $5. A 12x12 one way mirror is about $25 on line.
I don't know if anyone has tried it yet but a space blanket does NOT work. The coating is too thick so the mirroring works fine but you cannot see into the pendant. It is very deceive because looking through he space blanket makes it seem translucent but it is not enough to see anything. Same goes for Mylar balloons, even if the part you use appears to purely reflective with no paint on it. What light that does some through is very diffused. I used "Guardian" brand Emergency Survival Blanket. Please mention if you had more success with another brand. But to be honest it seems like the whole point of those blankets it to be insulating so I don't know if anything else would be better.

Additionally, automotive reflective tint also does not work for the opposite reason. I assume because of law, it is not nearly reflective enough. It only give you one or maybe two reflections and each one is a huge step down in brightness, it looks very awkward.

I'm trying very hard to find something that doesn't require me to buy a $40 roll with 500 times more than I even require. Any more suggestions would be helpful, I'm trying to get this done before my girlfriends birthday and this is the last part I need.
While the observer pane is made from a space blanket, the rest of them (angles, top and bottom) are true mirrors. they make up for the loss of the front pane. I have included some photos of a project I have been working on. Sorry for the picture quality. This is with one light source, a string of colored LEDs on the right side.
DSCF0216.JPGDSCF0217.JPGDSCF0218.JPGDSCF0219.JPGDSCF0220.JPG
Kabapu (author)  Halt! I am Reptar2 years ago
The space blanket is meant for the mirror backing rather than the one-way mirror. I used a vinyl product that had adhesive on the back (so it worked like a sticker). The vinyl product can be hard to find in some areas so the space blanket was suggested as an alternative to that.

As for the mirrored window privacy film, that's a bit difficult to get in small quantities. Home Depot has a 3x15 foot roll for about $27 (http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100196546/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=window+film+mirror&storeId=10051). It's still major overkill in terms of the amount you need. As the film is meant for windows, the manufacturers assume you'll need somewhat large quantities of it. So, it's unlikely that stores will sell small amounts.

What you could try doing is asking the stores/contractors that install the privacy film if they have any scraps that you can take. Other than that, check if anyone who's installed it previously still has some spare left.

Thanks for the info on the automotive reflective film. I'd seen some mention of it as an alternative but never looked into it, as I bought a roll of household window film.

I hope you're able to find some in time.
Ok that makes more sense... I got that same pendant at Michaels though and I found that it is plenty reflective enough on its own.

I'm probably going to settle for that home depot stuff. I should have in the first place, I already wasted $12 on the automotive film.

Thanks.
Kabapu (author)  redkcir2 years ago
I hadn't thought about using a space blanket. That's a good idea. The reflectivity is similar. The vinyl product does have a couple advantages over the space blanket: 1) it already has adhesive on the back so you don't have to worry about a way to glue the space blanket to the pendant and 2) it comes with a paper backing (peeled off to reveal the adhesive side, of course) so it's easier to cut to the right shape. Of course, if you can't find the vinyl product, the space blanket is a good substitute.
I didn't check out much in way of online ordering for the one way mirrors. For the Make It Glow contest, I needed something right away. A couple things to be careful about if getting a finished mirror are the thickness of the one way mirror and the ease with which you can cut it (especially if it comes with a glass backing). If you find something that works and you can afford the wait for it to be delivered, then getting it online is a great option.
Thanks for the info.
redkcir Kabapu2 years ago
I like the idea of the per-coated vinyl, but the web site started the price at $300 a roll and I haven't found that store around here. I've used the space blanket for years as a way to reflect the heat coming through the windows here in Arkansas. A little soap and water and a squeegee works great as an applicant. I used the 12 x 12 glass one way for an Infinity display with several types of lighting. Try getting 4 12 x 12 mirrors, set two as a wedge to the one way and two for the top and bottom. Fill with light of your choice (I have used Christmas lights, lasers and crystals, etc.). Right now I am working on a display using single LEDs, magnets and motors for a moving Infinity display.
Kabapu (author)  redkcir2 years ago
The vinyl product does seem to be a bit hard to find. I looked in three major art stores and I only found it in one. A space blanket, as you suggested, is a great alternative if you can't find the vinyl product or something similar.
The setup you describe sounds interesting. I'll have to try it some time. The moving infinity display also sounds cool. Hopefully, once it's done, you'll post some photos or an instructable for it.
redkcir Kabapu2 years ago
I was planning on it. I had a short video of the first one, but it's NOT a good idea to shot one if you are in your underwear at the time! A one way mirror turns into a regular mirror if the lights are on the inside.
MissBetsy2 years ago
Very nice idea and execution. A real eye-catcher!
Defg1452 years ago
Where can i get the pendant bezel finding?
Kabapu (author)  Defg1452 years ago
The findings I used were Lisa Pavelka brand bezel findings. I got mine at Michael's craft store (www.michaels.com), although if you want to get them directly from the Lisa Pavelka site, here's the link: https://www.lisapavelka.com/Findings-Pendants.asp
I'm not sure where else they're sold but you can look for them in craft stores.
Another good place to look for pendant bezels would be jewelry stores and web sites. All that's really needed is a bezel that is deep enough to hold the LEDs.
Hope this helps.
good one! cheap and unique. bravo.
What an awesome look! I love it!
bpark10002 years ago
You may not be "burning out" the LEDs. What may be happening is you are applying forces to the leads while you are soldering. This causes the plastic to soften, and the leads to shift and break the tiny bond wires inside. Try to get the LED in a "stress free" state before you solder. Use a hot iron, and solder one lead quickly. Do that to all the LEDs, and allow all to cool before soldering the other lead.  If the LED goes open, this is most likely what is happening.

If you connect LEDs directly to the battery, you may be burning them out due to overcurrent (they usually short in this case).  You should have a series resistor on each LED when paralleling. You could do that with a 1206 surface mount resistor on each one, and still get everything to fit using your "free space" connection method.  Without individual resistors, one LED will tend to get hot, and "hog" the current from all the others.  LEDs are constant voltage devices, and should always have a current limiting resistor in series.  The current in each LED (of the type you are using) should never be allowed to exceed 20 milliamps.  With a 3V battery and red LEDs (about 1.5V voltage drop), you would want at least a 75 ohm resistor in series with each one.  Second best would be one resistor in series with the whole pendent.  If the battery is unusually fresh and there is no resistor, you could blow the LEDs.  Horrors if you use a 6V battery on red LEDs!

Indications you are overcurrenting: the red color of a red LED shifts toward orange after a few seconds.

Another way to try making this: cut a piece of Plexiglass plastic 1/8" thick (keep the protective paper on).  Drill holes in the edges for the LEDs (best done with a jig to prevent breakout to the front or back).  Glue the LEDs in with the resin (do not get resin on the faces).  Do the connections as you describe for the round pendent (but I would add resistors).  Remove the protective paper.  Either use mirrored plexiglass, or stick the mirror film on the back of clear plexiglass.  Stick the one-way mirror film on the front.  Insert into pendent and paint edges.  Doing it this way will eliminate the waviness (because the resin is not perfectly flat).  To avoid bubbles between the LED and the plexiglass, you may need to glue them in in 4 setups (plexiglass held on edge with the LEDs being glued in on the top side).
Kabapu (author)  bpark10002 years ago
Thanks for the info. From what I experienced, it was probably the first thing you mentioned (shifting leads). I didn't experience any color shifting.
The resistors are also a good idea as is using plexiglass. I'll have to keep these in mind if I do an improved version of the pendant. Your suggestions and those of others who have commented have given me a lot of improvements that I (and anyone else who decides to make an infinity mirror pendant) can try.
Thanks again.
HandySun2 years ago
hey, I really like the green, but the red looks horrible. Could I do blue instead? I just can't seem to find the blue ones though. They must be around, but everywhere I go I see plain old boring red, its just too easy and unattractive. A link to some good efficient BLUE LEDs would be AWESOME.
Kabapu (author)  HandySun2 years ago
Online (on ebay), the 1.8mm LEDs are available in white, red, yellow, orange, green, and blue. So a blue version is definitely possible. (A search for "1.8mm leds" on ebay will give you some links to the same type of LEDs I used. Here's a link for 1.8mm blue LEDs on ebay.com - http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=1.8mm+leds+blue&_sacat=See-All-Categories) I didn't pick up any blue LEDs from the electronics shop so I can't remember if they didn't have any in stock or if I just skipped buying them. I picked up some green, yellow, and red.
One problem I had with the red LED pendant was some really small bubbles in the resin. This made the center look slightly cloudy on the inside and definitely had an effect on the attractiveness of the red one. It does actually look a better live than in photos - the LEDs are a bit more distinct. But if red isn't your preferred color, there are certainly other alternatives. If I try making more pendants, I'll definitely have to track down some blue LEDs and make a blue one.
If and when you try it with blue, you'll have to let me know how it turns out and maybe post an image or two so I can see how a blue one looks. Thanks.
HandySun Kabapu2 years ago
hey, you know, yellow is nice, but they tend to cause problems. You can see red for miles, but blue you just don't even notice it even when its put in your face. I dunno, thanks for the link though, I'll see what I can do
alinke2 years ago
nice!
Cool Instructable !!
I NEVER though of doing a pendant like this one ,until now....
You are using mirrored plastic sheet ,what percentage of tint does it have ?
Would window tint work also that you find at automotive part stores?
What about using 1.0mm - .50mm diameter light fiber strands that are angle cut on the ends to shine the light rearward into the mirror in the back?
The light fiber strands could then be imbedded into the clear(?) epoxy instead of the LED's and then LED's could then be put anywhere on the backside so they can be more easily replaced when they burn out.
I think that I'm going to try that ....

Keep up the good work!!
Kabapu (author)  Mechanic20112 years ago
Great ideas! Never thought about using light fiber strands. Those might be a bit tricky to ensure they're properly angled and you'd need to properly feed the strands out the back of the pendant but it could work. The LEDs only really seemed to burn out while I was soldering them in. Once in, they should have a long life. However, a light fiber strand system like you suggest could actually allow you to switch the color by switching the LED(s) instead of creating a new pendant.
As for the mirrored plastic sheet, the automotive type should work as well, as long as the mirror effect is strong enough. I'm guessing there won't be any problems and that the automotive film is very similar or identical to the residential film.
As for the tint, according to the Gila site, the visible light transmission of the film (percentage of visible light that passes through the filmed glass) is 18. The table is at http://www.gilafilms.com/pdf/ResidentialWindowFilmSpecs.pdf.
Someone else on Instructables has already mad an "Arc Reactor prop" from the movie "Iron Man".
It looks very similar to yours.
The nice thing about the optical fiber strands is that you can "duct" the light from wherever you want to hide it from.

I have been buying the stuff off of Ebay that I need to build costume fairy wings for girls and ladies and I wanted it to have its own light speckles throughout the wings but not have it too obvious where the light is coming from.
It should look really neat in low light or the dark.
Almost like the Luna Moth on the T.V. commercial for Lunesta .
But in bright daylight it will just look like a really nice set of costume wings.
I suppose that I could imbed some metallic glitter in the colored see through plastic cellophane panels of the wings.

You just have to be very creative on what to use and where to find the materials.
Good luck with yours :>)
octochan2 years ago
Dang, I was hoping to find a source for 1-way mirror film that didn't involve buying a whole window's worth. Great instructable, tho.
Kabapu (author)  octochan2 years ago
I got a roll because I couldn't wait for delivery if ordering online. If you're ordering from a hardware store online, they have more options. I saw some privacy film that's 3 ft x 15 ft at homedepot.com for about $26 US and some film that's 3 ft x 6.5 ft at homedepot.ca for about $18 CDN. You'll still have a lot of excess but it won't be too bad on the wallet. You can always create larger infinity mirrors with what's left over. Or do a lot of pendants at once and give them out as gifts.
If you know anyone who actually wants to use it on a window, they may have excess bits left over that you can snag. (The square pendant is only 1.5 inches a side so you don't need much per pendant.)
solserenade2 years ago
nice job, excellent instructions, thanks!
Nice idea! love the size!
Looks cool. I like it a lot. Nice spin on the infinity mirror from brusspup.
nice
doomsdayltd2 years ago
nice different