I created this project to add a little sparkle to the dining table when having a romantic meal with the girlfriend at home. Taking inspiration from the Enchanted Rose in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, it consists of a block of ice with a real rose encased inside. The ice is illuminated by a short strip of LED lighting enclosed in a 3d printed light base enclosure.
This is a relatively quick project to build, I did the whole thing in around 8 hours (including the time to freeze the water).
The light is remote controlled and can be set to static colors or to change light effects automatically.
Step 1: Assembling the Uplighter Base
To assemble the base you will only need a few items:
- The 3d printed uplighter base (STL file provided below)
- Small sheet of 3mm clear acrylic
- Lighting Ever Multicolor LED strip light kitor equivalent
- Hot-melt glue and glue gun
- 100mm Hole-saw
The 3d printed base is designed to be as slim and as compact as possible, so in order to allow the LED circuitry to fit inside the strip-light controller needs to be removed from its enclosure.
I used one section of the strip light (3x LED's), hooked everything up and tested that it all works before assembling into the 3d printed base.
The 3mm sheet of clear acrylic is cut to size using a 100mm hole-saw, you can either remove the centre pilot drill-bit from the hole-saw to keep your acrylic sheet water tight, or simply seal the pilot hole with hot melt glue afterwards.
Glue the light strip across the centre of the acrylic sheet, pack the rest of the electronics and wiring into the enclosure (making sure that the PCB's DC jack aligns with the cut-out in the bottom and that the IR sensor is facing upward) and then hot-melt glue the acrylic to the rim of the printed base.
The base includes a drip tray around the outside, you'll also notice that the section of the base that houses the electronics is higher than that of the drip tray. This means that in the event of the drip tray over-flowing, water will not make it into the electronics.
Even though this is a low-voltage electronics project, common sense always needs to be applied when dealing with water and electronics, make sure you have a good bead of glue between the acrylic sheet and the rim of the base to waterproof the enclosure.
With the base finished you are now ready to move on to the main ice feature.
Step 2: Making the Frozen Rose
To make the frozen rose ice feature I used the following items:
- Plastic drinks bottle (I used a 1.5L Cola bottle)
- Red rose
- Water (ideally distlilled or filtered, but I used tap water)
Polystyrene (to hold the rose while it freezes)
The ice feature is made using a plastic drinks bottle, with the top section of the bottle cut away and filled with water.
Get your rose and poke the stem into the piece of polystyrene, this will hold the rose in place. Drop the rose (upside down) into the water, resting the polystyrene on the exposed rim of the bottle, then place in the freezer.
How long it takes to freeze will depend on how cold your freezer is, the starting temperature of the water and the volume of water you have in the bottle. The height of your ice feature will be determined by the amount of room you have in your freezer, so check it all fits before you get too carried away!
When frozen, simply take care to cut away the rose stem that's exposed from the ice and gently remove the ice cylinder from the plastic bottle. If you struggle to get it free you'll find that running some water over the outside of the bottle will help to free it more easily.
For tips on improving the ice feature by producing clearer ice check out the following two instructables:
If you don't have the time to encase your rose in ice, you can put almost anything transparent on the up-lighter, white wine, vodka, rum, water.. pretty much any clear liquids work well. Thanks for reading!