Introduction: Valentines Gift Idea
I've always been keeping myself busy with strange creations that will fit in with a "man cave" situation so I thought it would be great to try and go out of my comfort zone and into a different and softer direction. This instructable serves as a gift to that someone special in your life and also as a great decoration anywhere you choose. Yes!!! even in the man cave!!
If you read this instructable and you like what you see, please check out the contest its registered for.
I based the idea for this instructable on a beautiful love sculpture made by an American artist named Robert Indiana. Please check him out at http://robertindiana.com/
Ok....Lets get started
Step 1: Items You Will Need
- Wood. I used balsa wood because it is a very soft wood and easy to work with but don't be to hard on it because it bruise easily........see what i did there, the soft wood represent the relationship between.......OK I'll stop.
- Acrylic sheet
- Sanding paper
- 4 Push buttons
- 18 x 5 mm Blue LEDs 3.5V 20 mA
- 18 x 5 mm White LEDs 3.5V 20 mA
- 100 ohm resistors. In this case only 2
- Barrel jack plug 6 mm
- Adjustable power supply with a matching barrel jack connection
- 8 magnets. Circular 12 mm x 3.5 mm
- AAA 1.5 V battery holder for three batteries
- Scroll saw
- Soldering iron
- Glue gun with glue sticks
- 4 x 4 mm nuts with bolts
I know its a lot of material but just bare with me. You will most definitely reap the benefits once you completed this project.
Step 2: Cutting Out the Fonts
- Take the image above and resize it to fit on the wood you have,. If you see Image no 3, the piece of wood is about 17 cm across and the print about 13 cm.
- Stick the printout on the wood leaving a 1 cm shoulder from the sides of the print out to the sides of the wood.
- Cut one more wooden piece with the same dimensions of the wooden piece with the printout glued to it. NOTE# Use glue that does not dry quickly. The remaining paper has to come off after the cutting is done.
- Stick the two wooden pieces together. NOTE# Do not use quick dry glue. the two wooden pieces has to come apart after the cutting is done
- Make a hole in the wooden board in any of the letters. see image 3 (hint: L) The scroll saw blade will go through there.
- Cut along the dotted line.
- In the LOVE sign 3 small pieces to be cut out separately. The oval inside the O, the small triangle below the oval shape that forms part of the O and the Triangle shape inside the V
- In the AMOR sign there will be 5 small pieces. The triangle shape inside the A, the two triangle (kind of) in the M, the oval inside the O and the D shape inside the R
- After cutting you should have the same, or even better, result as in image 5 with out the small pieces. Note# Remember to separate the wooden pieces from each other and to remove the paper after cutting
- Image 6 is an example of all the components together.
- Cut one acrylic square for each sign with the same dimensions as the wooden square. Do not cut out the letters on the acrylic sheet.
Step 3: Assembly
The glue gun with glue sticks will be used to combine the sign's wooden frame, acrylic sheet and the remaining small pieces.
In image 2 you will see a complete assembly. You can also watch the video provided above to make the assembly more clear and on this link ( https://vine.co/Hermias )
For the LOVE and AMOR sign the assembly steps are the same.
- Take another print out of the LOVE/AMOR sign ,same dimensions as used for the cutout, and place it on a flat surface. This will only be used as a reference.
- Place the sign's back on top of the printout and line it up with the letters.
- Apply hot glue along the sides of the wooden sign and place the acrylic sheet on top of the wooden sign. NOTE#do this step as quickly as possible because the glue hardens rather quickly
- Apply hot glue to the sides of the acrylic sheet and and place the front wooden sign on top of it while also aligning it with the bottom wooden sign.
- Place something heavy on top of the sign while it is on a flat surface and leave it for about 2 hours to let the glue properly dry.
Step 4: Frame
For this step you'll need a 45-90 degree drafting triangle.
- Cut a couple of 2 cm strips of wood. The length is up to you because i used a lot of wood because i had to redo this a couple of tomes
- You want the frame to rest on top of the sign and not along side the edges of the sign. Check the images for references.
- Once you have decided on the position of the frame you can start to give each corner of the frame a 45 degree angle so that when you assemble the frame you will have a square shaped frame with the corners fitting each other
- You can now, with the use of a glue gun, stick the frames on the back and front of the sign.
Step 5: Base
At this point the the sign is almost complete but you can stop here and just close up the sides without the base and LED lights. It already looks good without the other remaining stuff but if you want to install the base and LEDs you can read on.
- Place the sign, with the frame already attached, on the piece of wood you're going to use for the base. See image 1
- Trace the bottom side of the sign onto the wooden plank, the base to be. See image 2
- Measure, in my case, 8 mm to the inside of the traced of rectangle on each side. Now you should have a smaller rectangle inside the traced of rectangle shape. See image 3
- Measure 8 mm outward from the traced rectangle shape on each side. Now you should have a larger rectangle shape around the traced rectangle. See image 3
- With a scroll saw, cut along the lines of the large outer rectangle and smaller inner rectangle. See image 4
- Once you completed step six you can go ahead and make two more segments. See image 5 and 6. each segment I made about 8 mm bigger than the one on top of it
- Please note that the bottom segment, the biggest one of the thee segments, must have no inner cut out in it. Only the firs two.
- The middle segment center rectangle you can make as big as the top segment
- Combine the three segments together as seen on images 5 and 6
- Glue only the two top segments together with wood glue.
- Do not glue the bottom segment to the other two. I used magnets to keep this segment in plase
Installing the magnets in to the base may be the most difficult and frustrating part of this instructable and, if you can, use strong magnets.
- Place 4 magnets in the 4 corners of the bottom segment. Make sure to place them is such an arrangement that the don't stick out when you combine the top and bottom segment.
- Mark the place of the magnets with a pencil.
- Remove the magnets and carefully carve out the marked area for each magnet. when you install the magnet the magnet should be flush with the wood surface
- Do the same with the upper segment. the four magnets for the upper section and the four for bottom section should line up.
- The magnets can be glued down with a hot glue gun.
Step 6: Push Button
In the section of the instructable I used the push buttons. Each button activates a different color on the sign. I used white and blue LEDs. Each button will be activated with a bolt that screws through the sign base. You can use latching buttons which will make this a lot easier but I used these specific buttons because its got a story behind it and is got a lot to do with the type of work I do. So, when I give this gift to my special one it goes with her with a lot of memories and a cool backstory.
The two buttons is secured to the base by wooden parts. See image 2 and 3. I made two holes on the opposite side of the buttons and installed a 4 mm bolt in each hole. On the inside I secured a 4 mm nut for each bolt. The nuts is glued in place with super glue.
When the screw is turned in it pushes the button in and switches the LEDs on
Once all this is done you can sand off the rough edged for the base.
Step 7: LEDs Arangement
I each side of the sign, except the bottom, will get 6 LED. 3 White and 3 Blue. See Images
Follow the same sequence for each side. I used hot glue the secure the LEDs in place.
Step 8: Wiring
Before continuing you can glue the sign to the base. See image 1. For the schematic design I used http://www.digikey.com/schemeit. For Resistor/LED calculations i used http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz
- Connect all the negative pins for the blue LEDs
- Connect all the positive pins for the blue LEDs
- Connect all the negative pins for the white LEDs
- Connect all the positive pins for the white LEDs
- If you see image 3 and 4 I used a clear wire to connect the pins. I did not cut the wire to join to the LED pin but instead I only removed a section of the wire insulation and soldered the open wire to the LED pin
- I made two signs. One "LOVE" and one "AMOR". The LOVE sign I used battery power and the AMOR sign I used a external power supply
- See the attached schematic for connection between the switch, LEDs and power supply.
Step 9: Final Touches
The only remaining activity is to closeup the sides and sand away the rough edges.
Thank you for reading and possibly voting. If you have any questions you can post it in the comments below and I will try to answer you back as soon as possible.
If you decide to make this please post some pictures in the comment section. I would like to see this project from your point of view
See you on the next one..
Runner Up in the
Beyond the Comfort Zone Contest
Participated in the
Wedding Contest 2016
6 years ago
These are great! I love things that light up in this way :)
Reply 6 years ago
Thankyou. Me too (hehehe!) I appreciate your comment!