Introduction: LED Pet Memorial Plaque
Recently my future Daughter in Law had to say goodbye to her beloved dog Mollie due to cancer. Mollie had been a treasured member of the family for many years, so her passing was very heartbreaking for the family. She was always there, whether you were happy, sad or even on the Loo to offer unconditionally love. So to honour her beloved Mollie, I wanted to make her a Pet Memorial Plaque as a keepsake and a tribute to their time together. I thought it would be more personal than a photo in a frame in her lounge. The idea for this project was inspired by a LED headphone stand I made a few years back.
Step 1: A Few of the Light Settings.
I knew from that project that the combination of the perspex and LED lights would look great. Once the lights are switched on, the colour from the lights projects through the perspex giving off a stunning effect. The lights can be static or flashing with a few colours to chose from.
Step 2: Make a Base
I wanted the base to look like steps with the memorial plaque on the top. To make this project I used scrap wood from an old drawer front I had lying around at home. I started by sanding all the old stain and varnish off the wood using an orbital sander and 220 grit sanding disc.
Step 3: Glue the Base
The wood for the memorial plaque was cut to the following sizes.
1 x 280 mm x 170 mm
1 x 210 mm x 100 mm
4 x 60 mm x 60 mm
for a better cosmetic look, I used a router with a round-over bit to remove the corners from all the pieces of wood. Not too sure what wood this is, but I knew I did not like the colour. Dark mahogany wood stain is one of my favourite colours for wood, so I went with that. I stained all the wood before they were glued together, it is just easier and you get into all the nooks and crannies. The smaller piece of wood is added to the larger one first. I did not want to wait for the glue to dry so I added some nails to the bottom to hold the wood in place so I could carry on with my project. I did stain the next piece of wood before I glued it together.
Step 4: Add a Groove for the Perspex
I hindsight I should have cut the groove into the wood before I glued the pieces together, but the process is the same. The centre of the wood was marked with a pencil on the bottom of the wood. I used a table saw to cut the groove, but a router can also be used. The blade was set to the depth of the groove that was needed. I made two passes on the table saw to get the correct width of the groove needed for the perspex to fit inside. To position the feet correctly I marked the wood with a pencil and glued the feet in place and secured them with nails from a nail gun as above. My wood looks messy because it is recycled but you will not see this in the final product
Step 5: Seal the Stand
The stand was sealed with 2 coats of spray polyurethane. You can use any finish I just chose spray because it dries quickly and I am always impatient.
Step 6: Making the Photo Frame
The frames can be bought from Amazon, I got this one from my Sister who makes wedding bouquet memorial charms. I found a suitable photo of Mollie and printed it on photo paper. I used Diamond glaze glue to seal the picture behind the glass. On my first attempt I did use Mod podge, but it smudged the ink in the image.
Step 7: Creating the Design Using a Cricut Vinyl Cutter
To create all the text and the design of the plaque I used a Cricut Explore Air 2 vinyl cutter. These machines are incredible and have so many uses if you are into crafting and DIY home decor. The Cricut has its own easy to use design software. It is as simple as typing out your text and choosing the font you want. The graphics used in this project were all free from the clipart library. Once you are happy with the design it can be cut out into the vinyl.
Step 8: Cutting the Vinyl
Cricut also has a large range of materials that would work great for this project, I chose to use a self-adhesive bronze foil. If you own a Cricut you will understand all the paw prints around the design. This is to use up the foil so it is not wasted. Load the self-adhesive foil onto the cutting mat and let the Cricut do its job. I have found working with the foil that you do need to tape the foil to the mat to prevent it from moving during the cutting process. Next, weed the design which means removing all the excess foil you don’t want in the design. This is how the design will look after you have weeded it.
Step 9: Transferring the Text to the Pet Memorial Plaque
To transfer the foil decal you need to use transfer tape. The tape is placed over the design and rubbed with a scraper until the foil sticks to the tape and peels off the backing paper. The foil is placed in the position that you want on the wood and rubbed with the scraper. This will transfer the foil onto the wood. The transfer tape is then peeled off. Repeat this step with all the images.
Step 10: Cutting the Perspex to Size
For this project, I used a 6 mm perspex which I cut to size using a jigsaw. To remove the rough edges left by the jigsaw, you can use a 320 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. It is a good idea to leave the protective film on the perspex as long as possible to prevent any marking on the perspex. The size of the cut perspex was 205 mm x 185 mm.
Step 11: Transfer the Foil Onto the Perspex
The text was transfer to the perspex using the same transfer method described above. The photo disc was glued in place using a clear multi-purpose glue like E6000.
Step 12: Adding the LED Lights
I used a strip of LED light which was placed into the slot cut for the perspex. Because the lights were self-adhesive I was able to just remove the tape and push them into the slot. To hide the wires from the lights, I drilled a hole in the stand and the lights were pushed through from the bottom. The connection for the wires is hidden under the stand. The perspex plaque sits on top of the LED lights, which will shine through the perspex when switched on.
Step 13: Cleaning the Perspex
Just a footnote about cleaning the perspex if you do get fingerprints on the surface. Do not use Windex or any other abrasive cleaners. Warm soapy water and a microfiber cloth will work great. I hope you like my LED Pet Memorial Plaque, please feel free to leave a comment and share this post. I know she will love it and it will get pride of place in her home.
Step 14: More Projects You May Like
DIY Horse racing game, can be made large for groups outside or a smaller version to play around a dinner table while in lockdown.
Step 15: Steampunk Mixed Media Mirror
Participated in the
LED Strip Speed Challenge