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Making a Holiday Card using Bare Paint

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Picture of Making a Holiday Card using Bare Paint
In this tutorial we will show you how to make a Holiday Greeting card with LEDs! To do this we will use some Bare Paint, a battery, and some surface mount LEDs.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Materials

Bare Paint
Brush
A4 Coloured Paper
Scissors
Glue Stick
Glue Gun
Pencil
Ruler

Components

Surface Mount LEDs US: Digi-Key
                              UK: Farnell
3V Coin Cell Battery US: Digi-Key

Step 2: Download and Print your Templates

Picture of Download and Print your Templates
Download the template for the card. In this tutorial we will be painting our circuit with a brush, however we have provided a template for you to silkscreen the cards as well if you like. For this tutorial you will need to print pages 1 & 3.

*Use page 2 if you're going to screen print the cards.

Print page 3 of the template on a colored piece of paper. This will be the main body of the card. Once printed just fold it in four, making sure the text is on the inside as shown.

Step 3: Cut out your image

Picture of Cut out your image
Select the card you want to make, and cut it out. In this tutorial we will be making the Christmas Tree.

Step 4: Trace the Circuit with Bare Paint

Picture of Trace the Circuit with Bare Paint
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Draw over the dashed lines with your Bare Paint to complete the conductive circuit. Put this aside and wait for it to dry.

When attaching the LED, make sure there is a gap for it to sit. Don't paint all the way through as this will cause a short circuit! Also, make sure to note the polarity of your LED so that you put the battery in the right direction. In this case I have put my positive (+) legs facing left.
I'm currently playing with my conductive paint, not trying to do anything decorative, just seeing what it will and won't do, but i'm struggling to get it to be very, well, conductive... I've only done a very simple LED circuit (3V battery and LED), but It's barely lit - could I be doing something wrong?
BareConductive (author)  lucylollipop2 years ago
Hi Lucylollipop,

I'm glad to hear you got some Paint, and sorry to find out you're struggling with the product! The most common reason for the paint having high resistance tends to be that people don't apply enough of it. Is the area you've painted very thin, narrow, or long? Try making a thicker line (whether in width or circumference doesn't matter). A thicker line will have lower resistance and allow your LED to glow more brightly!

I hope this helps. If not, drop me a line at: isabel@bareconductive.com and I'll be happy to answer any more questions!

Good luck!

Isabel

Thanks. I left it all wired up with the battery attached over night, and when I saw it this morning it was much brighter having dried out fully - Testing it with slightly thinner lines now to see what I can get it to do!
BareConductive (author)  lucylollipop2 years ago
Glad its working! Yes, I forgot the most basic part, which is that the paint is most conductive when completely dry. Definitely play with the line thickness and length and explore how the resistance changes...you can develop some cool effects just using this basic material property.
Syd0the0kid2 years ago
These are pretty cool. Does the paint come in different colors? This is such a great idea, I think I'll use it for birthday cards.

Could you possibly put up a link to see the finish cards at a high resolution? It's hard to see how they light up cause the pictures kinda small.
BareConductive (author)  Syd0the0kid2 years ago

Hi Syd0thekid,

Unfortunately the paint doesn't come in different colors. But you can paint over it if you like! We're glad to hear you're planning on improvising and making your own designs with the material, feel free to send us images to info@bareconductive.com so we can post them on our site!

If you want to see better images of the cards you can go to our site at http://www.bareconductive.com/make-a-christmas-card.

Bare Conductive
Hi, I was curious if painting over the BARE paint extends its life at all? I saw another 'commenter' asked about 'over-folding', and the reply stated at some point the paint will crack. Would coating it in a pliable, acrylic paint help keep the conductive paint from wearing away so quickly- just wondering... maybe I can do some testing... Unless you already have...
So, I was just curious...
J
PS it is cool to see there is a BARE Skin paint- I can imagine a temporary 'LED Necklace" painted around my neck, connected around the back, tape down a small battery pack, and have an awesome accessory for a night, wash it off and do another one another night- just save all the LEDs for later...fun, fun...
electro2 years ago
Nice 'ible.....but what is a holiday card, surely you mean a Christmas Card ?
Broom electro2 years ago
Why? Is there some reason it wouldn't work for Channukah? Or the Festival of Lights?

LEDs are parve, AFAIK.
waynesl2 years ago
Nice 'ible, Bare. The Digi-Key link for the LED fails, though. And of course, all us geeks are wondering when your paint will be coming out in colors...
BareConductive (author)  waynesl2 years ago
Unfortunately we don't have any color versions of the paint yet, just black...but you can paint over the material with other colors!
Hard to tell that the LEDs are glowing. Can you post a photo in low light, or close up?
BareConductive (author)  hellolindsay2 years ago
Hi, you can check out our website at www.bareconductive.com to see some better images!
mdeely2 years ago
This is really cool. How durable is the barepaint? ie. If the card get's folded in the wrong place will the circuit break?
BareConductive (author)  mdeely2 years ago
Hi Mdeely, the paint is pretty durable so it should withstand some folding. Having said that, if it gets too much abuse it will eventually crack, however it won't break just from one mistaken fold. Enjoy!
BareConductive (author) 2 years ago
Hello, I realize a few of you have mentioned that the LED link is not working. It seems that Digi-Key are no longer stocking this item so I have provided a link to a different LED. Hope this is helpful!
apender2 years ago
The surface mount LED digikey link returned a "part not found" for me. Today.
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