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Tutorials / Handmade Glowing Christmas Card
« on: October 25, 2017, 04:22:42 AM »

As the Christmas is approaching, I found that we can make a glowing card by ourself. Craft a glowing card for friends and family this holiday season with paper circuits - no soldering required!*

Today I want to share a detailed project of how to DIY a glowing card. If you have any interests,please read it then start to make it by yourself!*This tutorial will guide you through how to create simple paper circuitry using only copper tape, a coin cell battery, a LilyPad Button Board, and an LED, and it will leave you with a basic understanding of how circuits work.

Paper engineer and pop up book designer*Robert Sabuda*allowed us to adapt some of his free templates for use with electronics. We’ll be covering the electronics build in this tutorial and linking to Robert’s instructions for the pop up cards.

Why Aren’t We Soldering?

You may have seen Nick’s awesome Father’s Day Card tutorial and are wondering why this one is different. In classrooms or homes where supplies or budgets are limited, using tape and craft supplies helps keep complexity down. The drawback is that the connections aren’t as sturdy/permanent with tape vs solder. You can always use these templates and solder components to the copper tape if you have the supplies on hand.

Materials and [size=78%]Tools[/size][/b]

Here is a list of all the materials and tools you’d need to follow along:
  • Copper Tape - 5mm width (~18" of tape per card)
  • LED*(2 for Christmas Tree Design)*
  • Coin Cell Battery - 12mm (CR1225)
  • LilyPad Button Board -or- LilyPad Slide Switch
  • Cardstock (2-3 pieces)
  • Vellum or Parchment Paper (optional) - creates a nice diffused effect for LEDs in window cut outs
  • Clear Tape
  • Gluestick/Glue
  • Scissors/Hobby Knife
  • Hole Punch/Screw Punch (optional) - to cut out holes in Christmas Tree Design
  • Decorating Supplies - stickers, markers, white out pen (for Gingerbread House ‘icing’)
A note on LEDs:

We recommend using the smallest LED you can find - 3mm work well because they don’t add too much bulk to your card when folded. For extra flair try using cycling RGB LEDs. We’ve also found that cutting individual LEDs from a set of LED String Lights works well - you will have to use a hobby knife to scrape the coating off of the wires before using. We’ll cover that process later in the tutorial. Feel free to experiment with different LEDs and find what works best for your project.

Step 1: Print Templates
Right-click the images below and choose “Save Link As” to download the templates to your computer. Each file has two (or three) pages which includes all pop up pieces and the circuit template.

Print your templates out on cardstock. If needed, adjust your printer’s margins or choose ‘Fit to Page’ in the print settings. The card template is slightly smaller than the paper, make sure to cut along the black border for the final card size.

Set the pop up pages aside for now. We’ll build our circuit first and then assemble the pop up once the electronics are all installed.

Print page 2 (pop up pieces) on brown cardstock for a great gingerbread house base, or print all on a light colored cardstock and color in when you are finished. Can also be used to create a winter cottage pop up.

Looks great if printed on green cardstock, or use light colored cardstock and decorate after assembling.

Use stickers or paper cut outs on vellum to create a festive silhouette scene in the window frame.

Step 2: Create Copper Traces
Time to create a path for our electricity with copper tape. The templates for both cards are fairly similar, so we’ll be demonstrating with the Gingerbread House template. Each has icons to help guide you in constructing the circuit.

Line A

Take a look at the template and find the circle marked A. Peel away a few inches of the paper backing from the copper tape and stick down along the grey line.

Cut when you reach the scissors icon.

Line B

Next we’ll place tape along Line B - but wait, what’s this corner?! To keep a solid connection of copper around corners, we’ll be using a folding technique to press the tape into shape.

Start by sticking the copper tape down until you reach the corner, then fold the tape backward on itself. Use a fingernail or pen to give it a good crease at the edge.

Then carefully move the tape down around the corner - you should see the fold forming - and press down flat against the paper. The neatness of the fold doesn’t matter that much, it will be covered by your pop up in the end. Finally, cut the tape when you reach the scissors icon.

Line C

The last copper tape line will also form a battery holder. We’ll start by folding ½" of copper tape onto itself, sticking the adhesive sides together to form a flap.

This allows the top of the copper to fold down over the coin cell battery - the positive side of the battery is the top and negative side is the bottom, which allows us to create a ‘battery sandwich’ with copper tape touching each side.

See the diagrams below to explore how this method works. We won’t be installing the battery until the end of our project, so set that aside for now. Fold the card in half along the dotted center line before moving onto the next step.

Step 3: Prepare and Place LED
Now that our copper is in place, time to add the LED. Each template has an LED symbol which shows a shaped wire - we use this method to help us remember which side is positive and negative on the LED.

Here’s excerpt from our Light-emitting Diodes (LEDs) Tutorial about LED polarity:

“In electronics, polarity indicates whether a circuit component is symmetric or not. LEDs, being diodes, will only allow current to flow in one direction. And when there’s no current-flow, there’s no light. Luckily, this also means that you can’t break an LED by plugging it in backwards. Rather, it just won’t work. The positive side of the LED is called the “anode” and is marked by having a longer “lead,” or leg. The other, negative side of the LED is called the “cathode.”

##As this article is so long,there are still 4 steps to go. Want to know the following parts, please go to this website(=>[size=78%][/size][size=78%]) and keep reading! I believe that according to this guide, you can make a perfect glowing holiday card! Thanks for reading.[/size]

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