Admittedly the sign is no longer “floating,” but I modified last week’s Weekend Project, the Floating Glow Display, using an empty CD jewel case, and these are the results. I wanted to be able to swap out the “sign” element of the Floating Glow Display, so the flip-lid of the jewel case allows me to do this (CD covers and inserts are an industry standard 12cm x 12cm). The image is printed on paper, and creates a “sunset” like effect. I can imagine printing the image in reverse so the sky is black and it would be the icon or image that shines. You can see in the picture below that I drilled a 15/64″ hole using a brad point drill bit (for plastics), which my LED fit snug into. To help reflect light inside the case, I lined the back with a piece of aluminum foil. And I got rid of light seepage at the CD lid hinge by simply gluing a piece of dark craft paper there (you can’t see it in the dark, anyhow).
For my first sign, being a Queens resident, I chose a local icon, the Unisphere (which also inspired the World Maker Faire logo).
This project can be modded into many cases and designs. Just make sure your LED is bright enough to fill whatever object you use. Other mod suggestions include a sensor that turns the display on automatically in low-light, and of course an on/off switch. Email us your own mod designs and suggestions, and subscribe to the Weekend Projects newsletter to stay informed of clever hacks just like this one!