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LED Popsicle Stick Picture Frame

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Recently my projects have been accused of being a part of some hipster arts and crafts movement.

Is it arts and crafts you want? Then it is arts and crafts you will get!

Here is my LED-enhanced popsicle stick picture frame. Just in time for the holidays.
 
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Step 1: Go get stuff.

Picture of Go get stuff.
You will need:
30 - Popsicle sticks
1 - Photograph of you and your Grandma (or relative of choice)
1 - Micro toggle switch (Electronic Goldmine part #G1827)
8 - LEDS
1 - 3V coin cell battery
1 - Small piece of copper foil
1 - 12" of very thin flexible wire
1 - 12" Magnet tape

tools:
- exacto knife
- hot glue gun
- soldering iron

Step 2: Prepare a three layer popsicle stick frame.

Cut three layers of popsicle sticks to match the diagram below.

Note that the three layers will line up upon the red dot (although the reason for "Layer 3" to be flipped horizontally may yet make sense).

Step 3: Carve the popsicle sticks.

With your exacto knife, carefully carve the popsicle sticks. The popsicle sticks need to be carved and or hollowed as shown in the diagram below. The grey area is the part of the popsicle sticks that needs to be hollowed. As well, when carving "Layer 3," please note that the red dots on the three layers need to line up and that "Layer 3" is flipped over.

The hollow area should be carved about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way into the popsicle stick. It should be deeper than your wire is high.
hcpitsch5 years ago
Does anyone know a way to be able to push each light to turn them on and off? Like a click on and off mechanism? I am sure each would need their own battery, but I can't find a switch for this. Thanks!
randofo (author)  hcpitsch5 years ago
There is no easy way to do that. They sell backlit toggle switches that have on and off states. You would still be able to run them off a single battery if you wired them in parallel, but it would be much too large to use for this project. If you incorporated a micro controller and some clever hacking, I can think of a few ways you might be able to fake push on/off LEDs for this project, but that is probably more trouble than its worth (and again probably be too large). It would be easy to create something where the LEDs light up when you push them down and turn off when you let go, but that is mildly pointless, since you wouldn't really see them light up.
cool project. question every time I see an led project they use resistors. why not on this one?
randofo (author)  oakironworker6 years ago
Well aside from not wanting to insert a resistor inside a hollowed out popsicle stick frame, the current from the coin battery is kind of low and I never keep it on for too long due to the limited life of the battery (being that its almost impossible to replace). Those two factors, in combination, allow me to get away without a resistor. If you want, you can add a 200 ohm resistor, but it won't make too much difference. Anyway, LEDs provide a little bit of resistance and with a low power source, it should be just about enough to get away with. For instance, if you put 4 (or so) LEDs in series with a 9V battery, the LEDs will provide too much resistance for current to pass through them and illuminate.
russtang7 years ago
inductive charging with a supercap! Hack one of those shaky flashlights for a power source. Replace magnets with rare earth models to hold up your heavy frame.
im NOT insulting your idea, that was a typo
yeah throw it at a metal wall so those dumbasses in New York think its a bomb, again. im insulting your idea it would just be funny, lol
randofo (author)  Yerboogieman6 years ago
That was Boston.
susie7 years ago
I love this. For some reason it's making me laugh hysterically but I might try it!
why dont u try wireing the circuit so that it blinks, im shure you can find instruction on the internet........somewere
You can use blinking LEDs. The other way would be to put in a 555 chip, but those are kind of large relatively speaking.
stshores247 years ago
I like! I'm actually considering doing some of these with my little girl for Christmas. She can glue the sticks, Daddy can do the electronics. Thanks for the great idea!
CMPalmer7 years ago
Very nice project! When I saw the bottom of your diagram, I thought it had a gravity switch, which made me think that a tilt switch (like a mercury switch - can you still get those?) would be a good idea. You could make it so that it only lit up when straight, so you could tilt it a bit to turn it off. I think your design is tight and elegant, but I would want a replaceable battery...
randofo (author)  CMPalmer7 years ago
Yes, the battery is the big problem. For version 2.0 I'm considering either a simple slot where the battery can be slid in and out or a rechargeable battery connected to a small solar cell.
rockyt7 years ago
very nice and creative. Will you give it to grandma for xmas?
Crash21087 years ago
Badass in a second grader kind of way.
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