I've been collecting up little plastic flower beads for a long time. The matte finish has a bit of a glow to it in ordinary daylight so I thought they would be perfect lit up. The fiber optic cable was a semi impulse buy (I've wanted to play with fiber optic since I was a little kid and my parents got me one of those glowing flashlights that were more effective at poking eyes out than anything.) The electronics are easy to get at any Radio Shack (though ordering them in is much, much cheaper) and the rest of it can be rounded up with a trip to the craft store.
I'm really proud of the way the battery access is set up. I've been working on a way to do that for a long time. The wiring is all wrapped in shrink tubing.
The finished light has a 3 by 3 inch base, and looks great on a bookshelf (where mine is) and would be fantastic in a little girl princess room as a nightlight.
Step 1: Materials and Tools List
- about 6 by 12 inches of 1/16 inch thick clear acrylic sheet
- black spraypaint
- 1 minute epoxy (be sure it's a plastic and metal friendly version)
- a switch - anything small enough to fit on a side wall
- a 9 volt battery
- a 9 volt battery snap
- 14 3mm LEDs - I used white
- a resistor appropriate to the LEDs you're using - this site is super helpful: http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz
- a few feet of 1/16 inch black shrink tubing (in the electrical department if you've never used it)
- around a foot of 1/8 inch clear plastic shrink tubing
- about a foot of 12 strand plastic fiber optic
- 24 gauge wire (mine is craft wire from wal-mart, use whatever you like)
- plastic flowers and leaves - I used about 35 flowers and 50 leaves
- plastic lacing in various greens and yellows - this is what 'lanyards' are made of, you know, the classic summer camp craft stuff
- heat gun
- needle nose pliers and wire cutters
- something to drill holes and something to drill into (to protect your workspace)
- something to cut acrylic sheet - this is thin, so an 'acrylic cutter' that scores and snaps will work - I use a dremel to drill holes and cut the hole for the switch
- masking tape