Introduction: Light Up Christmas Card

Picture of Light Up Christmas Card

Description: Who doesn’t want a light up card for Christmas or any other winter holiday?
With a creative mind and good substitution of materials, you can create a cool holiday card. This one is an acrylic display card with LEDs and a switch. 

I was inspired winter of 2011, seeing all the acrylic cards on the web, so I promised to make one in 2012. As it turns out, being a high school student really drained my time, so at the last minute, before school went out for the holiday, I decided that this year was not going to be one without at least one light up card.

*I did not follow all the steps, as I planned as I went along. Following the steps will make your card much easier to make. Also, this was the first time I have ever made a light up or "switch" card before, as a matter of fact, I have never  even created an acrylic display before either. (sorry the process pictures are so limited- I was not planning on making an instructable. ALWAYS DOCUMENT YOUR WORK!) 

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Parts (non-electronic)
Medium-sized Holiday Card
Stickers
Acrylic or Acrylic CD Case
Foam (insulation foam- the pink kind or something similar) 

Parts (electronics related)
LEDs (I prefer RGBs)
Solder
Insulated Wire (22 gauge)
Watch battery or equivalent (CR2032)
Paperclip
Aluminum tape
Electrical Tape
Somewhat thin plastic- ex: from hard plastic packaging

Tools:
Soldering Iron
Scissors
Knife, industrial razor blades (multiple may be necessary)
Printer
Pen
Sharpie
Dremel/Rotary Tool Kit
Wire Stripper/cutter/needle nose pliers
Hot Glue Gun/Hot glue sticks
Ruler

Step 2: Preparing the Card

Picture of Preparing the Card

I must explain in words since I have no process photos to show.

1. First, decide how big you want the acrylic display to be. Mark 1/2 inches higher around the selected size with a marker. Next, cut it out around the area that you marked. (Use a razor blade to score it and quickly break to avoid cracking)

2. Take the card and cut out the desired shape on the back side of the card.

3. Print out an image that you would like to be displayed on the card (in the correct size)

4. Attach the printer image to the acrylic and use the razor blade to scratch in the outline or the shape.

5. Take the dremel with the correct tip and make sure you scratch up the desired area. (other instructables demonstrate this      process)

6. Tape it to the back of the card using electrical tape, but avoid taping the bottom of it.

Step 3: Electronics

Picture of Electronics

1. Take the card and cut a little slit for the plastic switch to go through.
2. Wire everything as shown in the wiring schematics. Tape/Hot glue everything down before soldering.
3. Slip the plastic switch/tab through the back and out through the inside of the card. Make sure it is a good length and allows for movement (on/off) and tape a sticker on the inside of the card to hold the tab in place. Place a piece of electrical tape (reversed) onto a piece of electrical tape, and place that on the tab, near the paper clip. This will prevent the plastic tab from slipping out.


Step 4: Final Touches

Picture of Final Touches

Card Backing
Print out a background for the acrylic display for the card to be viewed from the back. 
Paste that onto the a piece of hard material (ex: cardboard) 

Use insulation foam or some other material to insure rigidity of the card. (attach/surround it around the cards edges)
Attach the card backing to the card via some method that can be reversed so that the battery can be changed. 

Add on some additional stickers if necessary and decorate as you so desire.

Viola, you're done. Now give it to someone, or keep it for yourself. 

If I can do it, so can you. Took me 6 hours, but hey, you can probably do it in 1. 

Step 5: Video

Since I didn't document the process, I took a short video to show the features. 


Comments

Lorddrake (author)2012-12-23

Merry Christmas in Morse Code .. nice touch :)

jeffmazter406 (author)Lorddrake2012-12-23

Thanks! The person I was giving it to is a HAM Radio Operator, so I thought he would like it.

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