Create a perspex lightbox filled with natural bark to bring a bit of the great outdoors inside. You can it even in your bedroom but remember to turn it down when you go to bed. This step is necessary to allow your body getting ready to relax and fall asleep faster. If you have sleep problems, check out
Quick project guide
Hard labor 2/10 (an extra pair of hands is necessary
Skill level 2/10 (requires the use of basic tools)
Time needed – about one hour Do it yourself for ±R750 (excluding rope light).
We used one 5mm clear perspex for this project.
You will need
• two 500mm x 50mm (short sides)
• two 1490mm x 50mm (long sides)
• one 1490mm x 490mm (front panel)
• one 1500mm x 500mm (back panel)
• fine grit sandpaper
• soft cloth
• brass polish
• chloroform (available at most pharmacies)
• syringe and needle
• 7m long rope light
• cable ties
• 5mm thread rod
• washers and dome nuts
• hollow tube (preferably aluminum)
• epoxy adhesive
• measuring tape
• cordless drill and 3mm and 5mm drill bits (slightly blunt bits work better as they will not bind as easily)
• electric drill and 5.5mm masonry drill bit.
1. Use the fine sandpaper to smooth the edges of the perspex pieces, then polish them further with the soft cloth and brass polish.
2. Place the back panel (1500mm x 500mm) onto a flat surface or workbench (that you can drill into). Measure and mark point 50mm from each corner as well as midway along each long edge. Use the cordless drill and 5mm drill bit to drill holes. Repeat the process for the front panel but measure and mark the positions for the holes 45mm from the corners and edges.
Leave the protective film in place while you work. Remove it at the end.
Drill the holes at a slow speed and do not push down but allow the weight of the drill to do the work.
3. Construct the box by adhering first one of the short sides, followed by the long sides and, finally, the last short side to the edges of the back panel. Place these sides flush with the outside edge of the back panel before slowly injecting a small amount of chloroform along the seam. The chloroform will draw into the seam. Hold the sides firmly in place for a couple of minutes until they fuse with the back panel. Then do the same with the seam where the short and long sides overlap.
4. Snake the rope light within the box. Drill 3mm holes either side of the rope where the loops converge in the middle and at the outer points of the loops. Fix the rope light in place by threading the cable ties through these holes and fixing them around the rope light. Drill a 5mm hole for the cord at the very bottom of the box.
5. Cut six 150mm sections of 5mm thread rod. Then cut twelve 50mm sections of aluminum tube to act as spacers. Thread the dome nuts onto the ends of the thread rod sections, followed by the washers and spacers. Fit these through the back and front panels, as shown. The six remaining spacers will help keep the lightbox suspended 50mm from the wall when the unit is mounted.
6. We filled our lightbox with chips of bark (obtained from any nursery) to bring nature indoors in a dramatic lighting display. The lightbox could also be filled with pieces of fabric or any other lightweight objects.
7. Use the electric drill and masonry bit to create corresponding holes for the thread rod sections in the wall where you want to position the light box. Fit the unit to the wall by fixing the exposed thread rod sections in place using an epoxy adhesive.
We placed our unit on the wall close to a wall socket, so the unit can easily be plugged in.
When lifting the box after it is filled with bark, lift the top corners evenly to prevent the lightbox twisting, as this may cause the side panels to separate.