Creating the “Portals”

This… I have little to no expertise in speaking on. I happened to mention to one of my friends, Steve Gilbertson, what I was trying to do, and he, with his engineering wisdom, began sketching up plans, saying that it could actually be done (hooray!)

Mind you, I know that dozens of people have made infinity mirrors of their own, and there’s tons of Youtube videos showing how, but I DARE you to find me one where they make an oval infinity mirror. Such a tuitorial doesn’t exist. And you know why? BECAUSE IT IS SUCH A PAIN IN THE BEHIND!

I mean my goodness, I don’t think either of us realized what we were getting ourselves into. With a square or circle mirror, you can find everything pretty standard… standard frames, glass, mirrors, LED strips, etc. Little to no construction necessary! But with wanting to re-create a Portal look… EVERYTHING had to be custom-made. I had to order custom-sized glass and custom-cut mirrors. We had to make our own frame and glue it all together. The standard LED strips were all the wrong sizes, so we had to buy the individual bulbs and solder them all together individually. The wiring, one-way reflection, and switch… everything was made from scratch.

Eventually he’s going to do a more in-depth guide as to how we put together the Portals at (he’s getting married soon, so he’s pretty busy dealing with all that planning stuff currently), but for now you can be entertained with some in-progress photos!

The Materials

Yes, we actually did use the “For Sale” sign… it was actually the perfect material to make the LED strips.

The very basic part of the frame

Checking to make sure the “strip” would fit within the portal frame.

Making the frame

One of the many pieces we cut for the frame… I had no clue what he was doing here.

Frame Close-Up

A close-up of where we cut out to install the switch and power cord later

The wiring

Staring the soldering of the many many LED bulbs. Oh, and we had to sand them first… guess who’s fun job THAT was!

LED in progress

About halfway through with the soldering for the orange portal…

2012-09-15 22.01.54

Orange LED strip FINISHED.!

Gluing the frame

Once the LED strip was done, we could glue the frame together… clamped it together with wood glue for 24 hours.

The completed portals

Both the orange and blue portals done… the orange is “on,” the blue is “off” for comparison purposes on how stinkin’ cool it looks!


Aaaaaand we have portals. FOR SCIENCE!

6 thoughts on “Creating the “Portals”


  2. It’s mindblowing! 🙂 But i don’t quite understand how the ilusion of a portal works. Is it the reflection of the leds bouncing between glass and the bottom?

  3. No, it’s just 2 mirrors with the LED strip between them. only the upper mirror is a one-way reflection mirror, like the ones in police stations. So it creates an infinity on the inside that you’re able to see from the outside. It’s so clever I love it! Wish they were for sale!

  4. This could be a new revenue stream for you, definitely a niche market but I bet people would go for them! They’re are stinkin’ awesome!

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