Introduction: RGB LED Picture Frame (Music Controlled)

List of needed Supplies:

  1. Picture Frame (I got mine at Wal-Mart for about $8)
  2. Hot Glue Gun
  3. Glass Etching Cream (Most hobby shops have it. Mine was $10 at Hobby Lobby)
  4. Craft Vinyl (Again, hobby Lobby has this)
  5. Tape Measure
  6. Knife
  7. RGB LED Tape/Controller (I paid about $15 for my setup)

Needed Items not pictured:

  1. Vinyl Cutter (Cricut or Sillhouette work great. I used my USCutter MH 721)
  2. Rubber Gloves (To apply Etching Cream)
  3. Scissors (If you need to cut your LED strip)
  4. Mod Podge
  5. Picture Hanger

Step 1: Measure Glass Surface

I am using an 8x10 frame, and the glass happened to be exactly that size, but your glass may be slightly bigger or smaller than the size of picture it holds.

Step 2: Create a Design File

Create a file that is the exact size of your glass. I use Illustrator for all of my cutting, but you can use whatever software you have for your cutter. If you use a Cricut, you can use cartridges to create your design. You can create a box that is the exact size of your image (I used 4x6) to place in your file and design around.

Step 3: Cut the Design Out of Vinyl

Again, using whatever methods that you would normally use to cut vinyl, cut your design.

Step 4: Weed the Interior Pieces Out of the Vinyl, Leaving a Stencil

Use the knife or another sharp object to carefully lift the unneeded pieces off of the backing

Step 5: Cover the Stencil With Transfer Tape

I use painters tape and overlap the pieces about 1/8". As long as the tape covers the small pieces, it will be fine.

Step 6: Apply the Stencil to the Glass

Peel the backing off of the vinyl and press the vinyl evenly onto the glass. Any bubbles can be pressed toward the edge with a plastic card.

Step 7: Carefully Peel Off the Transfer Tape

Peel off the transfer tape in reverse order. Be careful not to tear the stencil while peeling up the tape.

Step 8: Apply the Etching Cream

Apply an even coat of glass etching cream to the exposed areas of the stencil. If your cream has tiny crystals, (like mine does) you should spread the cream with your finger and make sure every spot is covered. Let the cream sit on the glass for 3-5 minutes.

Please wear gloves for this step

Step 9: Rinse Off the Etching Cream in the Sink

The cream will not hurt your sink. Just rinse it of and wipe it down (wearing gloves).

Step 10: Peel the Stencil Off of the Glass

Once you peel away the vinyl stencil, you should be able to see (and feel) the etched design on the glass.

Step 11: Attach a Picture to the Glass

Use tape to mark the necessary position for a picture to be centered. My frame is 8"x10" and my picture is 4"x6". That leaves me a 2" border on all sides (10-6 = 4. 4/2 = 2, etc.). Apply a thin border of Mod Podge around the edge of the photo and place it in the corner that you marked with tape.

Step 12: Place the Glass Back in the Frame and Add Led Strip

The LED strip can be cut to size if needed. My strip fit nicely inside the edge of the frame. With none of it hanging past the back.

Step 13: Use Hot Glue to Secure the LED Strip and the Glass in Place

Try to make the glue attach the led strip to the glass as well as the frame itself. This will hold the LED strip and the glass in place at the same time.

Step 14: Attach the Frame Hanger to the Frame

Mark the center of the frame and attach the photo hanger to the frame. Plug the controller into the LED strip and the battery to the controller. Your frame is ready to hang.

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