Indie Jams Light Box Sign
Indie Jams in Los Angeles, CA makes delicious jams from scratch. They needed a sign for their market and show booths, so they reached out to CollaBrewate to build one for them!
Tools and Materials used:
STEP 1: the frame
The frame was cut into strips using a table saw. The corners were also mitered on the table saw, with the blade tilted at 45 degrees (1st & 2nd photos below show the pieces laid out and the mitered corners). In order for the acyclic sheet to be held in the frame, a shallow track was cut on the table saw about 1/4" in from the front of the frame, to allow the acyclic sheet to slide into. The outside edges (except the back edge) of each cut piece were then painted with their first coat of glossy white paint. After the paint dried, the frame was pieced together around the acrylic sheet with wood glue in the mitered corners, then held together with brad nails (nail gun). For extra stability, the scraps cut from the mitered corners were glued and tacked with brad nails onto the inside corners of the frame (3rd picture below). This sign will have a handle on the top for carrying and will be frequently transported to different events, so stability is important. The corners against the acrylic had to be chiseled out to prevent unlit triangles in the four corners of the front of the light box (red triangle in 4th picture below shows where the wood was chiseled out).
STEP 2: making the lEDs brighter
To even out the glow of the LEDs, a reflective surface was created using foil tape. It was applied to the back panel and frame sides. The foil tape was laid down in strips to completely cover the inside surfaces, except on the acrylic sheet where light shines through ;) As each foil strip was applied, a squeegee (or a plastic card works) was used to flatten out the strip.
STEP 3: testing the lEDs
As any project comes along, testing is the funnest part!!!! .....holding your breath that everything is going to work out. So the box was temporally closed with the LEDs thrown in and SUCCESS!!! They glowed very nicely through the acrylic and at a good brightness.
STEP 4: Cutting the letters
The laser cut letters were hot glued to a wooden stick in order for them to be spray painted (they were not painted on the backs for welding purposes as done in Step 6). With the giant letter sword in one hand and spray paint in the other, time was saved by spraying them all at once. This probably wasn't the easiest thing to do, because this letter sword was pretty heavy. So in the future, I would probably do half the letters at a time instead of all of them. And of course after you finish painting the letters and they're dried, more testing, the letters fit!
STEP 5: wiring the lEDs
First layout all your LEDs and do a test fit to see where your LEDs need to start and stop, keeping in mind where your electronic box/controller needs to be. The frame of this sign was edge lit with LED strips attached to the inside sides of the frame. There were extra LEDs; so we decided to make a loop on the back panel to make this sign even brighter. After making a plan of attack on where the LED strips will go, start at where your electronic box/controller will be. This LED strip had adhesive backing which made application really easy, just remove the backing and stick it on. If more LEDs are required, you can get a connector to extend the LEDs. In the case of this sign, connectors were used as a break to prevent the LEDs from overlapping. The controller box was screwed into place on the bottom right corner of the box. To allow access to it, in order to plug into power, a door was cut into the back panel and held in place by magnets imbedded into the frame. (click images below to expand)
STEP 6: Final details
To finish this light box sign, the frame was painted with a second coat of glossy white paint to match the shiny acrylic and letters. A simple white handle was secured to the top center of the frame with two screws that went all the way through the frame and bolted from the inside. This made for a very secure and sturdy handle for transporting to and from events. The back of the sign was left raw wood and tacked onto the back of the frame with small nails and a hammer. Lastly, the black letters were welded onto the white acrylic sheet with acrylic weld.
STEP 7: Take to events and have fun!
Meredith Lockwood (center) with Danielle W Carter and Katie Ferrara, both performed on the Indie Jams stage
Indie Jams booth at Artisanal LA!
Meredith Lockwood (center) with J. Casty and Marissa Lauren, each performed on the Indie Jams stage as well