How to make an XMEN led edge lit acrylic mirror sign

In this post I am going to describe how you can make an led edge lit mirror. I have used an XMEN theme because this was made for my daughter who is an XMEN film fan but the design can be anything you wish.

Xmen led edge lit sign daytime Xmen led edge lit sign daytime Xmen led edge lit sign evening Xmen led edge lit sign evening

The sign is engraved on an acrylic mirror sheet. I have used an A4 3mm sized sheet which is common in Europe but in the US  8″ x 12″ x 1/8″ is a similar size.

Acrylic mirror sheet A4 3mm

The tools I have used to make the sign are relatively simple, if you have a cnc router or laser etching device then obviously you are going to use that but most people don’t, so I have used a Dremel 290 engraving tool instead. Another option is to use a Demel drill or other rotary tool and an engraving bit. The Dremel engraver is a bit easier to use than a rotary tool as it has a reciprocating action which makes engraving easier.

Dremel 290 engraver

Dremel Engraver

The sign is lit by a 12 volt led strip tape. These can be purchased in various lengths with wires attached or whole reels. The tape can be cut to length at the marked positions and then wires soldered to the contacts.

led strip tape cut to length at the marked position led strip light tape

The led base is made from three pieces of wood glued together to form a slot for the led strip tape.

Led edge light base wood profile Wood for led edge light base

Parts:

Tools:

  • Sharp knife
  • Dremel engraving tool  US Link    UK link
    • or an engraving bit for use with a Dremel drill    US link    UK link
  • Drill bit
  • Countersink drill bit
  • Mitre Saw & stand
  • Router & table

 

How to make an XMEN cardboard stencil

Download the stencil graphic  XMEN STENCIL GRAPHIC (177 downloads)

Print the graphic onto thin cardboard

Print the xmen stencil on thin card

Cut out the letters with a sharp knife using a ruler to maintain straight edges.

xmen cardboard stencil, knife & ruler Cutout the xmen stencil with knife Cut out the xmen stencil

How to engrave the acrylic mirror sheet

Reverse the template and tape it to the back of the acrylic sheet

Tape the stencil to the acrylic sheet

The engraving process creates quite a bit of dust, so please wear a dust mask for the next step.

Acrylic engraving dust protection

Using a ruler to maintain straight lines, trace around the template with the engraver.

Engrave acrylic mirror with Dremel Engrave acrylic sheet with Dremel

Remove the template from the acrylic sheet but leave on the protective sheet on the mirrored side.

 

How to make the LED edge lit base

Finished acrylic LED edge lit base

For an A4 sized acrylic sheet cut the wood base to 340mm in length.

Cut the wood base to length

Cut the wood base to length

Round over the top edges of the wooden base with a roundover bit in a router.

Route the base with a roundover bit

Route the base with a roundover bit

Rounded base profile

Rounded base profile

Roundover the top two edges of the wood for the sides with a roundover bit in a router.

Route the top two sides with a round over bit

Route the top two sides with a round over bit

Taking the length of wood for the sides, route a chamfer on one of it’s bottom edges.

Route the sides with a chamfer bit

Route the sides with a chamfer bit

The routed side chamfer

The routed side chamfer

For A4 sized acrylic sheet cut the wood for the side pieces into two lengths of 300mm.

Cut the sides to length

Cut the sides to length

To improve the finish sand the base and sides with 220 grit sandpaper.

Sand the sides and base

Sand the sides and base

The profile of the wooden pieces will now look like this with a V slot at the bottom of the sides ready to accept the led strip.

Led edge lit base wood profiles

Led edge lit base wood profiles

To find the correct postion of the led strip on the wooden base. FInd the centre line and then add half the width of the led strip. Mark this line with a pencil.

Remove the backing from the led strip

Remove the led tape backing

Remove the led tape backing

Placing a ruler against the marked line, apply the led strip to the centre of the wooden base.

Stick the led tape on wooden base

Stick the led tape on wooden base

Stick the led tape on wooden base

Stick the led tape on wooden base

Base with the led tape stuck on

Base with the led tape stuck on

To find the position for the first side piece rest the acrylic mirror sheet on the centre of the led strip.

Put the acrylic sheet onto the leds

Put the acrylic sheet onto the leds

Place one of the wooden side pieces against the acrylic sheet. The chamfered edge should be at the bottom and facing the acrylic sheet

Hold the side in place on the LED strip

Hold the side in place on the LED strip

and then mark the position of the wooden side with a pencil.

Draw a line along the side

Draw a line along the side

Apply wood glue to the base and the side.

Apply wood glue

Apply wood glue

Apply wood glue to side

Apply wood glue to side

Apply wood glue to the base

Apply wood glue to the base

Clamp the side in position using the second second side for stability.

Clamp the side in position

Clamp the side in position

Clamp the side in position

Clamp the side in position

Wipe away any excess glue with a damp cloth.

Wipe away excess glue

Wipe away excess glue

For additional strength drill three pilot holes through the base and into the side.

Drill pilot holes through the base

Drill pilot holes through the base

Countersink the holes and  screw the side in position.

Side in position

Side in position

Clamp the second side in place using the acrylic sheet as a spacer.

Clamp wooden side in position

Clamp wooden side in position

Drill three pilot holes through the base and into the second side.

Countersink the holes

Drill pilot holes

Drill pilot holes

and then screw the second side in position.

Screw the side into position

Screw the side into position

Remove the acrylic sheet from the base.

Remove the acrylic sheet

Remove the acrylic sheet

And then finish the base with varnish.

Varnish the base

Varnish the base

Putting the sign together

Remove the protective film from the acrylic sheet (Leave the last 2cm)

Remove the protective film from the acrylic sheet

Remove the protective film from the acrylic sheet

Leave 1 inch of protective film

Leave 1 inch of protective film

Insert the acrylic sheet  into the base

Insert acrylic sheet into led edge lit base

Connect the power supply

The led strip that I used required a 12 volt dc power supply. For this size of led strip a 1 or 2 amp 12 volt power supply is sufficient.

led edge lit base power supply 12 Volt power supply spec 12 Volt power supply

To connect the wires from the led strip to the power supply I used a dc power adapter socket which has a socket on one side and screw terminals on the other.

The polarity of the wires is important but if you get it wrong it wont damage the leds.

Dc power lead connector Dc power adapter dc power adapter

Other Led edge lit sign projects you might find interesting

How to make a Star Wars led edge light sign

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