Introduction: LED Backlit Music Note

Picture of LED Backlit Music Note

DISCLAIMER: This is my first instructable. When starting this build I did not intend it to be an instructable so I didn't capture pictures of EVERY step along the way. I hope you enjoy it!

I recently made an LED back lit wall hanging for my daughter and her college roommates. I used the logo of the college she attended. Of course her brother had to have a wall hanging as well. I decided to up the ante with this one and went with a wireless remote controlled string of lights.

I wanted this project to be pretty straight forward and light on skill requirements. The LED kit I used doesn't require any kind of soldering skills and the wood cut out is basic jig saw cuts. I hope you find this instructable to be easy to follow and applicable to other ideas as well!


Step 1: Tools and Supplies

Picture of Tools and Supplies

Supplies needed:

  • 3/4" plywood scrap 24"x24"
  • tape of some kind (scotch or masking, something to tape the template parts together)
  • paper (to print the template)
  • spray adhesive
  • small craft nails
  • black spray paint
  • Gorilla brand double sided tape
  • LED light kit, similar to this one: LED kit
  • LED jumpers, here again: LED jumpers
  • painter's triangles (not required, you can use something else to elevate your sign when painting)
  • small eye screw (used to hang the sign)

Tools needed:

  • Jig saw
  • staple gun
  • sand paper

Step 2: Making the Template, Putting It Together and Gluing It Down

Picture of Making the Template, Putting It Together and Gluing It Down

I don't have any pictures of this step but will write an instructable in the future on how I made the template.
In a nut shell, I googled images of an eighth note and downloaded the one I liked. I manipulated the image and got it to the size I wanted and printed it out across numerous pages. Then I had to put the pages together like a puzzle. After I got the template assembled, I sprayed my plywood with spray adhesive and applied the template. You want to do this so it doesn't move around when you are cutting it with your jigsaw. If you are feeling adventurous you could just free hand the template onto the wood with a pencil and save yourself some time, paper, and ink. The spray adhesive should set fairly quick so you can get to cutting right away.

Step 3: Cut It Out! (no Really, Stop It)

Picture of Cut It Out! (no Really, Stop It)

This step is fairly straight forward. Cut out the shape! The type of jigsaw blade you use will be determined by the type of wood you are cutting. Blades with a higher TPI, or tooth per inch, will cut smoother, therefore cutting down on sanding time. (see what I did there?) Clamp your workpiece down so it is stable, and cut around the outside of the pattern.

Step 4: Sand the Edges

Picture of Sand the Edges

Depending on the type of blade you used in your jigsaw, and how close to the outside edge of the pattern you got, your sanding may take a bit longer. The goal here is to knock down the edges so no one gets any splinters.

Step 5: Paint

Picture of Paint

Because I was making a music note, I kept it black. Cover your work area with newspaper or plastic and spray! I also used some painter's triangles placed underneath the sign to keep it elevated while painting. Really any piece of scrap wood you can place underneath will work fine. I used a flat black spray paint.

Step 6: Attach IR Controller and First Section of Lights

Picture of Attach IR Controller and First Section of Lights

Because of the shape I chose to make, I was limited with where I could attach the IR controller. I figured if I placed it in the middle, I could then wrap the lights around it. I centered the controller by eye and nailed it down.

Next up was to place the first strip of lights. The lights I bought have a self adhesive backing so I clamped them down for a bit to make sure they stuck. Peel off the backing and stick the string down. I also used a small piece of double sided tape and placed that under the end of the jumper.

Step 7: Continue Installing the Light Segments Using the Jumpers. Add Risers

Picture of Continue Installing the Light Segments Using the Jumpers. Add Risers

The jumpers I had were a little long so in order to get them to fit nicely, I had to staple them down. Be VERY careful not to staple through the wires! I found that folding the jumper wires back and forth and then stapling them down worked best for me.

After running the lights, I realized I needed to add some risers to other parts of the sign so it would lay flat against the wall when hung. The thickest part that was affecting how it hung is the IR controller. I measured how thick it was and cut a few scrap pieces and nailed a few on the back of the sign.

Step 8: Where to Put the IR Receiver?

Picture of Where to Put the IR Receiver?

Because this is IR, the receiver and remote control need to be line of sight in order to work. I decided to attach the receiver to the bottom edge of the sign. It is small enough that it doesn't detract from the design at all.

Step 9: Hanging and Lighting It Up!

Picture of Hanging and Lighting It Up!

I attached a small eye screw at the top of the sign so it could be hung on the wall. Hang and enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this instructable and found it to be useful. Any comments and questions can be posted in comments below. I'll answer what I can!

Comments

calumetwoodworks made it! (author)2017-10-21

Thisbis the first sign i made. Battery operated, one led color. Simple and straight forward. Its hanging proudly in my daughters apaetment in college.

Swansong (author)2017-10-18

That would be an awesome idea for someone in choir or band :)

It is! My son is in both and he has played the piano for the past 10 years. He chose the eighth note.

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Bio: I am a Linux/AIX system engineer for an international retail company. In my spare time I run a small woodworking shop, specializing in hand ... More »
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