Introduction: Fun LED Place Card "Holders"
My bride to be and I are getting married very soon and during our engagement and wedding planning we came with a couple of fun ways to spice up some conventional wedding ideas with technology enhanced ones.
The premise is very simple, we wanted to take place card holders and change them up from the plain holder and card and turn them into something more interesting people would actually want to take home. While the LED's won't last forever (my batteries are... dead) the overall item we created will still be semi-useful to family and friends.
- Frosted glass candle holders (they don't have to be frosted but the glow they naturally create give them a nice look)
- LED's any color, 2mm-5mm for this application (diffused or non-diffused is personal preference)
- 3 Volt lithium batteries (last up to a week with a 2mm LED in my tests)
- Clear mailing labels (if you want print on the glass candle holder without too much extra work)
- Half inch ribbon (any color)
- Electrical tape
- One piece of thick craft paper or plastic projector sheets
- Hot glue gun/hot glue or super glue
- Computer w/ mailing label template
You don't have to have a computer or printer for this Instructable as long as you know someone who does!
Part of this Instructable was inspired by the LED Throwie Instructable on this site.
Disclaimer: All of my pictures were taken with my Droid Incredible 2 so they may not be the clearest and they do not do the LED's any justice with how bright they are when you are looking at them in person.
Safety: As always when doing any kind of project even using household materials protect yourself and use PPE.
Step 1: Materials
Pictures of the materials that I used.
Step 2: LED Assembly
I started off doing the LED build so that it would fit inside of the candle holders.
Pure simplicity was my goal and I wanted to build these a long while beforehand so that I wasn't in a rush just a day or two before the wedding so I placed the LED onto the battery (short prong negative, long prong positive). To keep the LED in place and still have contact with both sides of the battery I used electrical tape on the negative side of the battery, I did not tape the other side however which is how I was able to build these three months beforehand. (Taping the battery on the negative side still allows the positive prong to touch while it only touches a little the light is constant and doesn't fade in or out).
By placing a thick grade of paper or plastic under the positive side prong and sliding it all the way up to the led top was a cheap and simple way to "switch" the LED on and off, it seats very well and there is enough friction to hold it in place which then allows me to set these all up on the day of and just slip the pieces of paper out of the LED's and have them all fresh and ready to go with only 5 minutes of preparation.
Step 3: Frosted Candle Holder Assembly
The candle holders with the LED's inside looked awesome but there was one aesthetic that was kind of bothering me. While these will be placed at nearly eye level and you won't be able to see into the top of the glass you could still see the LED set-up through the frosted glass blurry at best but you can still make it out.
My better half then suggested putting a piece of half inch decorative ribbon around the bottom of the glass to hide this minor flaw. Using the glass as a ruler we cut the ribbon and then used super glue to fix it into position, you could also use hot glue but our old gun was on the fritz.
Position the LED to the back of the candle holder it seems to help distribute the light evenly when you are not using a diffused LED. We opted to use a small dab of Gorilla Glue on the bottom of the LED build to keep them in place and make it easier to pull the paper out without pulling the battery out along with it.
The matter of telling people where they are sitting was easy enough as well using clear mailing labels and a template we could just print each person or couples names with table number and place the label on the holder without it taking away from the frosted glass.
In my case repeat all steps 120+ times until your fingers bleed. We actually had a good system and built all of them in about 2 hours.
The pictures only show mock-ups/tests some of my labels were on crooked and had some bubbling but they get the point across I hope.
Once again the pictures with the LED on are not true to life, what I see in person is a nice even bright glow throughout the candle holder and the names are easy to read.
Step 4: Get Married!
If you made it this far, thank you for reading my first Instructable.
I have the picture of one completed but I plan on adding a picture of the entire table the 120+ of these will be on.
The price for each one of these came out to be about $1.00
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.