6. Wire it up.
Cut a 3' piece of 24-gauge wire, fold it in half, and
hook it over the positive prong of the LED farthest
from the battery (check your template). Wind the
wire between the LEDs in overlapping figure-eights
until you’ve connected all the positive prongs, then
bend the prongs over the wire with pliers, squeezing tight. Repeat this process with the negative
prongs. If an LED pops out, push it back in, finish
wiring, and reglue it. Make sure the clear epoxy
seals all the way around, or else black resin can
seep in later and obscure the light.
At the end of the positive line, cut the wires off
1"– 2" beyond the last LED and twist the ends with
1 end of the resistor. Place the switch and battery
holder where you want them, and twist-connect the
rest of the circuit with more wire: resistor to switch,
switch to battery (+), and battery (–) to negative
line. Trim any excess wire. You can super-glue loose
connections to hold them until the final cast.
Carefully flip the switch on, and make sure all
the LEDs light up (Figure F). Fix any that don’t. Mix
more epoxy adhesive and put a dollop over every
LED. Keep the LEDs on and watch them while the
epoxy sets; sometimes epoxy will slide between
wires and take out a connection, but then you can
turn the light back on by pushing with pliers or a
toothpick. Again, make sure it’s all really, really dry.
7. Pour the last layer of resin.
Mix up ½oz or more of dyed black resin and pour it
into the mold to cover the LEDs and fill in under the
switch and battery holder. Make sure you don’t pour
in so much that you disable the switch or make it
impossible to remove the batteries. Let it harden.
8. Unmold, turn on, and admire.
Carefully pull away the sides of the mold and flex it
until your light pops out. Handle it gently; even after
the resin seems hard, it can take a few days to set
completely. You might lightly sand the resin walls
in back, but otherwise your light is done (Figure G).
You can also cover the back with felt, secured by
glue or velcro. Enjoy your new cosmic night light!
Kris DeGraeve is a full-time artist, designer, and maker.
She posts about her current projects on technoplastique.