Instructables

Light Up Your Friends Name- for Christmas, Valentines or Any Occasion! Edge Lit Freestanding Card

Picture of Light Up Your Friends Name- for Christmas, Valentines or Any Occasion! Edge Lit Freestanding Card
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This instructable will show you how to make a free standing, or hanging, light up display.
Your friends will be amazed to see their names in light.

The author wishes to fully credit the folks over at Evil Mad Scientist for inspiration.
http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/edgelitcards
Their instructions are totally awesome, and I hope you will consider getting your supplies there as well.

I added two improvements to their Christmas Edge Lit cards which serve to take the original idea beyond "card" status. My main goal in making these improvements was to make the display stand (or hang) on its own, rather than being inserted into a card.

While you can make just one, the time required to gather all the materials, and costs is better suited to a dozen or so. In this way, each individual display will cost less than a dollar, and be completed in less than half an hour.

For all your work, you get to watch your friends faces light up. Priceless.

 
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Step 1: Gather Supplies Part 1- Electronic Throwies

Picture of Gather Supplies Part 1- Electronic Throwies
The LED lights and batteries needed are part of the "throwies" kits, except that magnets are not needed.
Be sure to check the comments at Evil Mad Scientists for purchasing possibilities
http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/edgelitcards

I bought mine from Buy LEDs Online
http://buy-leds-online.com/Throwie.html
because they allowed me to select any quantity of colors (I prefer diffuse) and the battery prices were excellent.

Red is my favorite, and whatever you don't use at Christmas can be used for Valentine Day.
Buy one LED (10mm) and one battery (Type 2032) for each card you intend to make.

Of course you should allow a little play time when the package arrives. It's absolutely stunning how the LED and battery fit together to make such a bright light in such a small package.

Step 2: Gather Supplies Part 2- Plexiglass aka Acrylic Sheet Plastic

Picture of Gather Supplies Part 2- Plexiglass aka Acrylic Sheet Plastic
Your local home improvement center should have sheets of Acrylic Sheet Plastic in a variety of sizes. For beginners, I wouldn't recommend a sheet larger than 18" by 24". This could make 18 if there are no mistakes or cracks.

You will also need electrical tape (festive color optional), exacto knife, ruler, and straight edge in later steps.
losgray4 years ago
Shrinky Dink plastic, shrunk or not, works well and is easy to cut and etch.
twighahn4 years ago
i wonder how it would turn out with etching powder rather than carving
twighahn4 years ago
i dont understand how the single led lights up the whole thing if the led is wrapped up in tape
flaco15 years ago
Very nice! Sometimes a modest project can have profound results. 
alex695 years ago
will upload a pic when i fix it (little brother sat on it
)
Nice job.  I've been wanting to try that with some 1/4" lexan to see it if would give me that result.  Now you've solved the problem for me!  IF I get time to do it, the cutting will be done with a dremel or a milling machine.  A 5mm LED should just fit in it.   No laser cutter here either....
alex695 years ago
funnily enough i make these at school all the time i get to use a laser engraver though
edmondslibrarian (author)  alex695 years ago
Awesome! I've wished that I could try one.
If I could, I would probably carve a notch for the LED and for the battery instead of cutting off the whole corner. No risk of shattering the piece with a laser cutter. That would also allow a smaller corner, and larger drawing area. I suppose you could repeat the pattern in multiple corners on an even bigger piece.
Do post a picture if you have the chance.
happyman5 years ago
A small bandsaw works great for cutting the bigger sheets down. If you dont have one it is also a good excuse for buying one they are like $99 at lowes or HD 
Justinph55 years ago
HAHA that's exactly what I've been working on for Christmas gifts. Mine are taking longer though, since I'm dremel'ing traced letters and using illustration board and foam core as a frame.