An infinity mirror is an optical illusion that you can put up in your home as a fun and interesting décor item. It’s made in a shadowbox frame with a mirror in the back, some LED lights around the middle, and a partially reflective mirror in the front. The light between the two mirrors gives the illusion that the lights trail off to infinity, even though the mirror may not be actually deeper than a couple of inches. Making an infinity mirror is simple, as long as you follow the right steps in order. When you’re finished, you’ll have a cool piece that your guests will admire and envy!
Setting up the Frame and Glass
Purchase a wooden shadowbox frame at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) in depth. A shadowbox is an enclosed glass front picture frame that is wide enough to hold and display items. You can purchase one at most craft stores, and you can choose any size that you prefer for your space. Make sure the frame you choose should is at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) in depth in order to accommodate the LED lights you will use later.
Disassemble the shadowbox and remove the glass. Once you have the shadowbox frame you’re going to use, turn it around so it’s face down. You will see some small metal tabs around the perimeter. Move each one up and out of the way so you can remove the wooden backing of the frame. Then, remove the glass and set it aside.
Obtain a sheet of silver 80% reflective film and cut it to fit the glass. For this project, you’ll need a sheet of silver reflective film to make the glass slightly reflective and to get the full effect of the illusion. Place the glass on top of the film, trace the outline with a marker, then cut on the line with a pair of scissors.
Clean the glass and wipe it with a microfiber cloth. Before applying the film, make sure your glass is clean. Spray it with glass cleaner and wipe it with a microfiber cloth. Turn it over and clean the other side as well. When you’re finished, check that there is no dust or streaks on the glass. Complete your cleaning on a large flat surface, and rub gently to avoid breaking the glass.
Peel the film and spray it with soapy water. Grab one corner of the film and start to slowly remove the backing. If you do it too quickly, the film might tear. As you peel, wet the film with soapy water from a spray bottle. This will help to prevent the film from sticking to itself as you unpeel it.
Spray the glass with soapy water and apply the film to it. Before placing the film, spray your glass sheet with the soapy water. This will help to ensure a smooth application. Place the film over the glass, making sure it is centered. Then, use a credit card to smooth the film on the glass and squeeze out any creases and air pockets.
Let the film dry for 2 hours, then place the glass back in the frame. After fitting the film to the glass, you’ll need to let it dry completely before putting it in the frame. When it’s finished, put your shadow box frame face down and put the glass back inside. Make sure the tinted side of the glass is facing upwards so it faces the mirror at the back of the frame when you put it in.
Placing the Mirror and the Lights
Obtain a mirror and polish it with glass cleaner. Purchase a plain mirror tile without a frame at a home furnishing or craft store. Make sure it has the same dimensions as the glass sheet in your shadowbox. Spray the mirror with glass cleaner and wipe it with a paper towel or microfiber cloth so it is streak-free.
Measure the interior frame of the shadow box and cut the LED rope to fit inside. Using a ruler or measuring tape, determine the length of the inner 4 sides of the interior frame. Jot down the dimensions and cut the LED lights to fit. Then, unpeel the backing of the lights and stick it inside the edges of the inner frame where you just measured.
Replace the interior frame pieces in the shadowbox. Put the frame pieces back in the shadowbox so they will sit between the glass and the mirror. Be gentle when putting them back in the frame so you don’t mess up the lights you just placed.
Create a gap in the frame for the LED external wire with a saw. Your LED lights are attached to a wire so they can be plugged in and light up your infinity mirror. Find a spot in the bottom corner of the frame and use a saw to make a gap wide enough to fit the wire. This will allow the wire to fit nicely and the frame will sit evenly on the wall. To use the saw, hold it with your dominant hand and use your other hand to hold the frame steady. Then, slowly move it back and forth until you create a gap at least 5 centimetres (2.0 in) wide.
Place the mirror in the shadowbox frame. You’re almost finished! Grab your mirror and place it in the shadowbox frame. Make sure the solid side is facing upwards and the reflective side is facing downwards toward the LED lights and glass.
Fold the metal tabs to close the shadowbox. Once your glass and mirror are in place, make sure to close the back of the shadowbox. Most frames have small metal tabs that can be pushed in to secure the back of the interior pieces. Replace those tabs that you moved previously to disassemble the shadow box by folding them down over the back of the mirror. When you hang your shadowbox up, the contents will stay in place. Then turn on the LED lights and enjoy your infinity mirror.