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.
Step 1: Equipment and Materials
The materials you'll need for a single pendant are as follows:
- Pendant bezel finding with an interior depth of at least 5 mm (3/16 inch). Square/rectangular pendants are easier to create than curved ones. The square pendant used is 3.2 cm (1.5 inches) each side. The circular pendant is 3.2 cm (1.5 inches) in diameter.
- 1.8 mm LEDs (get roughly 20 for a square pendant of the size used or 15 for a circular pendant)
- Mirrored sheet with adhesive backing
- Privacy film for windows (not shown in photo)
- Flexible wire for the connection to the battery
- Stiffer wire for connecting the LEDs (not shown in photo)
- 3V batteries
- Paint (not shown in photo)
- Electrical tape (not shown in photo)
- Circuit board (not essential but recommended for square pendants)
The tools and additional materials you'll need are as follows (few are shown in the photo):
- Solder and soldering iron
- Drill with drill bits designed to go through metal
- Hacksaw and sandpaper. Preferably, use a Dremel with a cutting disc for plastic and a high speed cutter).
- Protective mask and safety goggles
- Clay (optional but recommended)
- Rubber cement, wax, or latex mold making material (the type that's brushed on)
- Safety gloves (use the ones that come with the resin or nitrile gloves)
Important notes on the items listed above:
The mirrored sheet is an item I found at the art store. (The art store is Deserres and here's the link to the material: http://www.deserres.ca/en-ca/search/avery-mirror-vinyle/AMIR/. It's sold by the roll online but you can get it by the meter in-store. I'm not sure where exactly you would find it outside of Canada but with searching in art stores is a good start.) It's a sheet with a chrome finish that is extremely reflective and it has an adhesive back. Photo 2 shows how reflective it is. It's not quite as good as a glass mirror but it can be cut with scissors and is very thin.
The resin shown is a new resin from Pebeo. It has some characteristics that are very different from polyester resin (and probably epoxy resin as well). Unlike polyester resin, the Pebeo resin is extremely low odor so use indoors is not a problem. Also, polyester resin goes from liquid to gel-like consistency very quickly, then slowly cures the to fully solid. So, you only have a few minutes to pour the resin and/or position items in the resin. The Pebeo resin, by contrast, has a much more linear cure rate. It'll stay liquid for quite a while so you can take your time when pouring or positioning items. More will be said about this later.
The circuit board is a generic one which has long lines of connected slots. This is to make connecting the LEDs easier while providing a firm framework for the LEDs.
Nitrile gloves come in at least two varieties. One type is designed for use by mechanics and has textured fingertips. The other type is more general purpose and is completely smooth. The smooth type is preferable when working with resin, as it is less likely to leave marks in the resin (if the resin is handled before it is fully cured). Also, make sure to get the powder-free gloves.
The safety mask and eye protection is essential when cutting the circuit board and drilling the bezel finding.
I found the LEDs were prone to burning out (possibly from the heat from the soldering iron). Only 12 are in the square pendant but I believe I had to replace approximately 5 burned out LEDs. So, the number of LEDs listed above includes the replacements. If you're especially paranoid, you can get even more.
For this instructable, I'll be using the term "Dremel", as that is what I own. Any rotary tool will do so if you don't have a Dremel, you can translate "Dremel" as "rotary tool".
For the window privacy film, I used the Gila Privacy Control Window Film, mirror finish. You can find this in hardware stores. Some stores may only offer it through online purchasing.