Introduction: Infinity Mirror - Simple and Cheap
I love the concept of infinity and I’ve seen some instructables for making a beautiful infinity mirror, but most of them seemed to be way too complicated for my taste. So I looked around to see if I could make one out of materials I already had. You can probably imagine how surprised I was to find that I can turn one of my mirrors into an infinity mirror with just a couple of minutes of work and for less than $10.
Step 1: Understanding the Theory
Whenever you’re trying to do something you haven’t done before, I think it’s a good idea to understand the theory at least on a basic level. This type of infinity mirror consists of 2 surfaces and a light source between them. The surface behind the light is fully reflective (i.e. a mirror) and the one in the front will reflect some of the light and let some of it through. As the light bouncing back from the mirror is going toward your eyes, some of it passes through the front layer but some of it will be reflected back onto the mirror, and then some of that light will pass through when it’s coming back your way again, and some will be reflected back onto the mirror again, and this just keeps going on and on, creating that nice infinity effect.
Step 2: The Materials
I looked around to see what I could use for the front layer and found some 13x18 cm photo frames from IKEA that used to go by the name “NYTTJA”. They’re great because instead of glass there’s a cheap thin plastic sheet in them that reflect more light than glass normally would. Any photo frame with a plastic sheet should work, and you can usually buy these frames for less than $3. Try and experiment with some different ones to see what works best for your purpose. If you want to use more than one frame (either in front of each other or next to each other) you’ll need something to keep them together. You can use duct tape, glue, nails, screws, or some other means. I made a couple of 3d printed ‘U’ shapes bent in a 45 degree angle.
You’ll need a mirror that is at least as big as the frame(s). You can use a bigger one, turning only a part of it into an infinity mirror, like I did.
You’ll also need a light source to put between the two layers. I decided to use some scented candles, so not only do they create a nice atmosphere but they also smell great.
Step 3: Prepare the Frame(s)
You can use as many frames as you’d like, just remove the back and keep the plastic sheet where it is. You can multiply the infinity effect by putting a couple of the frames in front of each other or next to each other in some angle. Play around and see what works for you based on the amount of space you have. Once you’ve found an arrangement you like, secure the frames together. Whatever you end up with, make sure it won’t catch on fire by accident.
Step 4: Infinity Awaits
Light some candles or put a small lamp between the mirror and the frames, and lose yourself in infinity. Take a moment to appreciate the fact that the light you’re seeing travels at 300.000 kilometers (186.000 miles) per second(!!!). How big might the universe really be if it takes light from our sun 2.5 million years to reach the nearest galaxy, which is just one of the 100 billion galaxies out there?