I love reading all the different instructables. So when I saw the contest for holiday decorations using LED lights I thought perfect since I had already made one with lights and another one for a gift without lights. The first one was actually just a test to see how the LED lights and different textures would work with the epoxy. Happy to say the lights were just fine. I winded up making another one with the LED lights for my daughter since when she saw mine she asked if she could have one. Only problem was when I was able to get to craft store it was slim pickings so I bought what ever I could find and told her to pick what she would like. Next season I will get to the craft store much earlier.
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Step 1: Part 1: Step 1 Gather Items
LED light strand that is battery operated ( You can use as many lights as you would like)
Wooden plaque with open back
Sand Paper or paint stripper (optional)
Stain or paint (optional)
Drill and bits
Painters tape or packing tape
Small objects for your design
Step 2: Part 1- Step 2: Prepare Your Box
Start with wooden plaque with a open babk.
I try to find them on clearance, or you could make one. If you like what is already on the plaque don't remove and go to the next step. (usually if they are on clearance the picture is damaged.)
Remove the picture on the front and sides by sanding or striping using 220 grit sand paper or paint stripper.
Now that you have a clean slate you can paint or stain whatever color you would like. Following manufacturer instructions.
I used a dark stain so it would look like it was night when the lights are on.
Step 3: Part 1 Step 3
Measure the distance between two LED lights on the strand and subtract enough wire so when you fold the wire to push into the hole so the holes won’t be too far apart. Make sure you account for the depth of the wood.
Lay out a rough version of your design on the front and put a mark where you would like the LED lights to be and make a mark. Drill the holes just large enough so the lights fit snug when pushed into the hole. Now you are ready to put the lights in, as you put each LED light in, tape each one with small pieces of either packing tape or painters tape making sure the tape is small enough so it doesn’t cover any empty holes, but large enough to seal the hole so none of the glue and epoxy doesn’t drip through to the back.
Step 4: Part 1 - STEP 4 CREATE
When finished turn over and put enough Elmer’s glue in each hole to seal any air pockets. On the one’s shown, I put snowflakes over each LED light, drilling tiny holes in the solid snowflakes so light would come trough, but would still cover bulbs so they would not be as visible when LED lights were turned off.
Continue gluing down the rest of your design making sure you allow everything to dry completely before moving to next step.
Step 5: PART 2 - STEP 1
Items needed for part 2:
3ml plastic sheet
Small chip brush
Plastic measuring buckets ( or small pre-measured plastic cups) Depending on the size of your project is how much epoxy you will need.
Digital Timer ( I use the one on my phone)
Blocks of wood smaller then your project to hold it up so epoxy drips off edges
Step 6: PART 2 - STEP 2 Prepare Workspace
Bring the temapture up to 75 degrees or above. This is very important for epoxy to cure correctly.
Cover entire work space with plastic, then place your plaque on the wooden blocks stacked high enough to allow epoxy to drip off edges. Don't forget to cover your blocks with plastic also.
Step 7: Part 2 Step 3 Apply Epoxy
Now it’s time to apply the epoxy, follow the manufactures instructions exactly,
There are many different types of epoxy, I used Ultra Clear Best Bar Top Epoxy.
You will need to do a seal coat first, only mix a small amount of epoxy for this step.
I used 3 ounces total for mine but they are small (7" X 7"), waiting 4-10 hours before you pour.
This epoxy self levels to 1/8” depths for each pour.
Waiting 4-10 hours between each pour, this is where the time comes in.
After finishing the last pour allow to cure for 72 hours.
Step 8: FINISHING TOUCH
When epoxy is finished curing remove tape, sand off any drips, dust off and hang and enjoy!