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.
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.
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.
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.
The led base is made from three pieces of wood glued together to form a slot for the led strip tape.
- LED strip 12 volts US Link Uk link
- Power supply 12 volys DC 1 Amp US Link UK link
- DC power connector US Link UK link
- A4 size acrylic mirror sheet – 201 x 297 x 3mm or in the US 8″ x 12″ x 1/8″ acrylic mirror sheet
- 2 x lengths of square planed wood – 300 x 21 x 25mm
- 1 x length of square planed wood – 340 x 95 x 18mm
- Wood glue
- 220 grit sandpaper
- Thin card
- Sharp knife
- Dremel engraving tool 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 (272 downloads)
Print the graphic onto thin cardboard
Cut out the letters with a sharp knife using a ruler to maintain straight edges.
How to engrave the acrylic mirror sheet
Reverse the template and tape it to the back of the acrylic sheet
The engraving process creates quite a bit of dust, so please wear a dust mask for the next step.
Using a ruler to maintain straight lines, trace around the template with the engraver.
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
For an A4 sized acrylic sheet cut the wood base to 340mm in length.
Round over the top edges of the wooden base with a roundover bit in a router.
Roundover the top two edges of the wood for the sides with a roundover bit in a router.
Taking the length of wood for the sides, route a chamfer on one of it’s bottom edges.
For A4 sized acrylic sheet cut the wood for the side pieces into two lengths of 300mm.
To improve the finish sand the base and sides with 220 grit sandpaper.
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.
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
Placing a ruler against the marked line, apply the led strip to the centre of the wooden base.
To find the position for the first side piece rest the acrylic mirror sheet on the centre of the led strip.
Place one of the wooden side pieces against the acrylic sheet. The chamfered edge should be at the bottom and facing the acrylic sheet
and then mark the position of the wooden side with a pencil.
Apply wood glue to the base and the side.
Clamp the side in position using the second second side for stability.
Wipe away any excess glue with a damp cloth.
For additional strength drill three pilot holes through the base and into the side.
Countersink the holes and screw the side in position.
Clamp the second side in place using the acrylic sheet as a spacer.
Drill three pilot holes through the base and into the second side.
Countersink the holes
and then screw the second side in position.
Remove the acrylic sheet from the base.
And then finish the base with varnish.
Putting the sign together
Remove the protective film from the acrylic sheet (Leave the last 2cm)
Insert the acrylic sheet into the 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.
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.