Introduction: Paper Masks With LED Eyes Using Conductak!
Add some flair to your masks with LED eyes and Conductak! Small 3mm LEDs leave decent visibility through eye holes, and since this technique is solder free you can add style to a wide variety of mask materials from paper to plastic and more! In this Instructable we'll go over two different methods of adding glowing LED eyes to a mask with Conductak.
Step 1: Materials
To make your Mask with LED eyes, you'll need:
x1 Mask with eye holes
x2 3mm LEDs (normal 5mm will work too, but you won't see as well)
x1 Lithium Coin Cell Battery
x2 Strips of copper foil tape (1/8" - 1/4"), 5.5" lengths will work for most masks
x3 Conductak pellets
x1 Paperclip (optional, used in Method 2)
Step 2: Method 1: Lay Down Copper Foil Tape
Method 1 is neater in my opinion, but requires a little planning and dexterity. Lay down 1 strip of copper foil tape along the top of the eye holes of your mask, leaving enough tape at the end to bend downwards along the side of an eye hole. The tape should look like a long division symbol or a sideways letter "L".
Lay down the second strip of copper foil tape along the bottom of the eye holes, leaving one end unstuck as it approaches the first strip of tape. Fold the dangling tape end onto itself, sticky side to sticky side. This free end should be able to intersect the bent-down section of the first strip of tape.
Step 3: Method 1: Attach the Battery
Halve one of the Conductak pellets. Use one of the resulting pieces to stick the negative side of the coin cell battery to the bent-down section of the tape tape strip. Stick the other half of the Conductak pellet onto the top of the battery, and stick the free end of the bottom tape strip to the battery. The free end can be peeled off and restuck onto the battery repeatedly in this configuration to act as an On/Off switch.
Step 4: Method 1: Attach the LEDs
Halve the other two Conductak pellets. Bend the legs of the LEDs straight outward, keeping track of the positive and negative legs (the positive leg is longer). Use the Conductak pieces to stick the LEDs in the eye holes, making sure to match up positive and negative. In this case, the positive side of the battery is connected to the bottom copper foil tape strip.
MAKE SURE YOU POINT THE LEDS OUTWARDS. If you point the LEDs inwards, towards your eyes, you're not going to be able to see very well and it'll probably be kind of painful.
Even with the LEDs pointed in the right direction, some light is going to go back towards your eyes. Just to be safe, take frequent breaks when wearing the mask. I haven't tried it, but you could probably cover up the back of the LED with a bit of electrical tape to eliminate the back light entirely.
Step 5: Method 2: Lay Down Tape, Attach LEDs
Method 2 is less elegant, but doesn't require as much forethought and tape finicking. Lay down your two strips of copper foil tape, one above the eye holes and one below. Make sure they're close enough for the LED legs to reach. Divide one of the Conductak pellets into fourths, and use the four pieces to attach the LEDs to the copper foil tape, keeping track of the polarity of the legs. Make sure that both positive legs attach to one tape strip, and both negative legs attach to the other.
Step 6: Method 2: Attach the Battery
It helps if you bend the paperclip a little bit, so that the paperclip can touch the paper and the top of the battery at the same time. Be careful not to leave any part of the paperclip sticking out very far, as it could poke your eye. Stick one whole Conductak pellet onto the negative side of the coin cell battery. Halve the last Conductak pellet and use a piece to stick the paperclip to the positive side of the coin cell battery. Find a position where you can stick the negative side of the battery to one tape strip, and the paperclip can touch the other. Stick the battery down to the tape strip, then use the leftover Conductak to stick the free end of the paperclip to the other tape strip. You can put the battery wherever you'd like, as long as the polarity matches the LEDs and the battery and paperclip will reach both copper foil tape strips. More flexible than Method 1, but it just doesn't look as nice, right?
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