Edge - lit LED sign

LED nativity holiday decoration

This was a fun little project. Pretty basic carve, but I got to incorporate wood, acrylic, and LEDs all in one piece. The link to the project above has a full YouTube video embedded with some details, and a link to my wife’s blog, where she documented the whole mess.


Great project :smile:

And I think that the use of different materials really shows the X-Carve’s strength.



Nice work! I’ve been wanting to do something similar to this, so I’m glad to see it’s quite doable. Thanks for posting!

Thanks! This was a fun one. It’s got me thinking about what else to do, for sure.

Beautiful project, Steven! Excellent tutorial as well!!!

Nicely done. For a different effect, try sticking some colored tape (blue masking) on the bottom edge of the plexi for the LEDs to shine through.

Hi Steven,

Fantastic job!! Great instructional video!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

@StevenPaxman, I liked your project so much I shamelessly copied it! Thank you for posting it, I showed your pictures to my wife and she pretty much demanded I make her one.

Here is how mine turned out.

I modified the base a bit so that it would be just one solid piece (with a small door on the bottom) I cut the slot to hold the acrylic in the top, then flipped the piece over and carved a slot for the light to pass through, a pocket for the wire to exit and then a .25 inch deep rectangular pocket for a base piece that I glued the LED light strip onto. Then I just press fit the .25 inch thick part into the base.


@AllenMassey This looks great. The one I made I sent to my sister (who has a collection of 150 or so nativities), and her granddaughter has a great time with the remote control making the LEDs flash and dance a bit.

Your idea for the base is very good. That removes a kind of tricky step of having to re-glue the bottom to the top. Nice work.

Interesting idea, I am just not sure how clean of a profile cut we can get from the acrylic. I purchased the my acrylic sheet already cut to size just so I would not need to mess with the edge cuts.

Yes, so did I. I just went to a local plastics store (I was a little surprised to find that we have a local plastics store in Portland!), and had them cut the rectangular blocks for me there. They routed it out on some huge machine in a few seconds for me. Not sure I can get them to cut out a fish shape for me. :slight_smile:

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I think it’s not too hard to flame polish, but that the temperature of the flame (so which fuel you use) is important. Polishing like this was one service they offered at my plastics store for a few more dollars. But yeah, to profile out some interesting shape, I think it would be an interesting experiment. I actually have a scrap bit of acrylic, maybe I’ll give it a shot. I was trying to carve an edge-lit sign on it when my bit broke after just a few seconds of carving, so I had to start over with a new piece. That might be just the piece to try to cut through and see how the edge comes out.

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@StevenPaxman - If you bought the same roll of LED strip lights that I did then you probably have an extra 50 feet like me.

I found these connectors on Amazon that make it easy to connect power supplies to the cut end of the strip

Also found this pack of 12V power supplies

I made the mistake of posting a picture of the finished project on my Facebook page, now all my friends are asking for one so this stuff will help get it done.


Thanks for the great project idea! I ended up making 3 of these for Christmas gifts. I used @AllenMassey’s suggestion of carving a pocket and using an 1/8" plywood insert to hold the light strip. I also used a little hot glue on the light power cable to help hold it in place and hopefully relieve some stress from the LED strip.

I got my acrylic from Amazon and cut it on the miter saw. I put the factory edge down (toward the lights) because it was the most smooth and touched the other edges up with some 80 grit to remove any melted burs. http://amzn.to/1mfznXq

Here’s the pocket base before the 1/8" plywood was press fit in:

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Do you want to share the NC file so that I can cut him with my 3018. thank you

Should be easy to replicate.

The clipart is no problem haha I ment the base of Allen Massey.
I’m new with this but I figure someting out allready :smiley: