Introduction: A Valentine for Debby

Picture of A Valentine for Debby

Josh and Debby sitting in a tree K I S S I N G.
My son Joshua wanted to make a valentine present for his girlfriend Debby at Community Living.
So I helped him make a solar powered glow in the dark Valentine.
This is an easy project you can do with your family.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

Picture of Materials & Tools

Optical plastic from an LCD monitor, I should have photographed stripping the monitor.
Sparkle paint.
A Picture frame.
Aluminum foil
Duct tape red for Valentine’s Day.
Double sided tape.
AA battery holder from Radio Shack.
AA rechargeable battery.
Salvaged RGB & W solar garden light.

Utility knife
Steel rule
Paint brush & mixing trays
Cutting board
Soldering gun

Step 2: The Message

Picture of The Message

I had Josh write his message on the back of the Optical Plastic in sparkle paint.

The writing should be in reverse so that it will be forwards when you look at it from the front side of the plastic.

The back of the optical plastic is rough this helps the paint stick and the sparkles light up when the plastic is filled with light.

Step 3: The RBG & W Solar Garden Light

Picture of The RBG & W Solar Garden Light

As Josh is painting I make any repairs to the solar lights needed see Repairing Solar Cells & Making a 1 Watt Solar Array, and attach the AA battery holder.

Step 4: Testing

Picture of Testing
Once repairs are made test it to make sure it works.
When you cover the solar cell the light should go on and when you uncover the solar cell the light should go off.

This garden light has a switch to change from a white LED to a RBG LED, test the switch in both positions and make sure both LEDs work properly.

Step 5: Attaching the Solar Lights

Picture of Attaching the Solar Lights

Start by cutting two 1 inch squares of duct tape and two ½ inch squares of aluminum foil; place the aluminum on the sticky side of the duct tape shinny side out.

Tape the refractive sheets to the back of the optical plastic then attach the LEDs to the edge of the optical plastic with the tape squares with the aluminum foil so that the foil will reflect the light from the LEDs into the optical plastic.

Step 6: Mounting the Optical Plastic

Picture of Mounting the Optical Plastic

To mount the optical plastic in the picture frame place it in the picture frame and center it by trimming cardboard and placing the cardboard around the edges of the optical plastic.

Once you have the optical plastic centered tape it in place with the red duct tape.

Step 7: Mounting the Battery Holder & Solar Cell

Picture of Mounting the Battery Holder & Solar Cell

With the two sided tape attach the battery holder solar cell and switch to the back of the picture frame and cover the wires with more duct tape.

Step 8: Making the Stand

Picture of Making the Stand

Cut a piece of cardboard 12 inches wide and 3 to 4 inches shorter than the picture frame, fold it in three equal sections and tape the edges together.

With the two sided tape attach the stand 1 inch up from the bottom of the picture frame on the back of the picture frame and finish with a couple pieces of red duct tape.

Step 9: Displaying the Valentine Gift

Picture of Displaying the Valentine Gift

Place the Valentine in a window facing the sun with the back pointing out the window.
When the sun comes up it charges the battery and turns off the LEDs.
At night the LEDs come on and the battery discharges.


Pat White (author)2013-03-12


Kurt E. Clothier (author)2013-02-17

You know, I really like the concept behind this. I think I may make something similar for my wife but try to invert the painting (so the background is painted solid, but the wording design is left unpainted) with the back light behind the painted glass. That way, only the words would glow rather than a spot light on the whole thing. Thanks for the idea!

The pictures don’t do it justice it is much more impressive to the naked eye.

When my son took it to community living and gave it to his girlfriend every one took it into the bathroom and watched it change colors.

If you just use white sparkle paint it looks like there is nothing there until it lights up.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a photographer, a tinker, an electronics technology engineer, and author; I write short stories and poetry for the love of writing. I started ... More »
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