Introduction: Pixel Pumpkin

Picture of Pixel Pumpkin

Create a inconspicuous pumpkin that lights up from the inside in different patterns via a remote control.

Although the Pixels are multi-colored the pumpkin's thick skin will filter out everything but orange, so our pixel's colors are transformed into an "black and orange" grey-scale, perfect for Halloween.

Step 1: Gather Supplies and Tools

Picture of Gather Supplies and Tools

-Medium Size Pumpkin

-52 Thumbtacks

-Small Drill with 3/8" and 1/4" Drill Bits

-Electrical Tape

-Large Serving Spoon

-Large Knife

-Small Knife

-One String of 50 WS2811 Waterproof RGB Pixels

-WS2811 Compatible Pixel Controller

-5v Power Supply - 3 Amps

Step 2: Open and Clean Pumpkin

Picture of Open and Clean Pumpkin

-Start by cutting a ring around the top of the pumpkin, then remove the lid by pulling up on the stem.

-Use a large spoon to remove the seeds and pulp.

-Using the spoon, scrape the sides into a clean uniform surface.

BONUS - Roast the pumpkin seeds at 300°F for 45 minutes; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Prep Lid

Picture of Prep Lid

We'll be using the lid of the pumpkin to hold the pixel controller, and running the IR-receiver through the stem, so that we can change the programs.

-Using a 1/4" drill bit, drill a horizontal hole through half of the stem.

-With the same bit, drill a hole vertically from the bottom of the lid though the stem, until the hole meets with the first hole.

-Insert the IR-receiver into the hole.

-Using thumbtacks, attach the pixel controller to the lid.

Step 4: Drill Hole for Power

Picture of Drill Hole for Power

-Using a 3/8" drill bit, drill through the bottom-center of the pumpkin.

Step 5: Layout Pixels

Picture of Layout Pixels

-Using 50 thumbtacks, layout the placement of each LED on the inside of the pumpkin.

Step 6: Prep Drill Bit and Drill Holes

Picture of Prep Drill Bit and Drill Holes

The idea is to drill from the inside as close as possible to the outer edge without going all the way through.

-Use electrical tape to build up a stopper 1/2" from the end of a 3/8" drill bit.

-Remove the thumbtacks one by one, as you drill each hole from the inside of the pumpkin, being careful not to pierce the outer skin.

You may not be able to get the drill in the right position for every hole:

-Use a small knife to manually "drill" any holes that remain.

-Use the spoon to remove any remaining pumpkin pulp.

Step 7: Insert LED Pixels

Picture of Insert LED Pixels

Make sure you start with the first pixel on the MALE side of the string.

-Insert each LED pixel into the drilled holes, starting at the bottom-most hole.

-Continue inserting each LED pixel in a clockwise spiral motion. The last LED pixel should be in the hole closest to the top.

Step 8: Wire Pixels to Controller and Power Supply

Picture of Wire Pixels to Controller and Power Supply

-Run the 5v power supply cable through the hole drilled in the bottom of the pumpkin.

-Attach the 5v power supply cable to the LED pixel controller.

-Attach the female JST connector wired to the first LED pixel to the pixel controller.

-Replace lid.

-Plug in power supply.

-Use remote to turn on and select program!

Comments

_Amelia_ (author)2016-11-07

Cool! I like how you've used the pumpkin to diffuse the lights!

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-10-31

Fun pumpkin lighting system. LEDs are great because they let you make a design that changes.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Theatrical Lighting Designer
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