This is a fun project to create your own magic staff. I used a found tree branch and a simple soft circuit to create my staff. I made a pressure sensor as a switch.
- Found branch or any long stick you want to use
- Copper tape
- Super bright LEDs (I used 7 of the blue ones)
- 3V battery
- Battery holder
- A thin piece of sponge (for creating the pressure sensor)
- Plastic coated paper
- Bendable metal wire
- Small pieces of fabric
- Hot glue gun and glue (for creating the fake branches)
- Solder (to make the connections more stable)
Step 1: Making the Circuit
Place the battery holder somewhere in the middle of the branch and stabilize it there using hot glue. Try to avoid using the hot glue on the metal parts on the side, since you will be soldering the copper tape there.
Stick a piece of copper wire that goes from one end of the battery holder to the top end of the branch (or wherever you want to put your LEDs). Solder the connection between the copper wire and the metal on the battery holder. If you have any disconnections on the copper tape., solder these parts as well to keep the circuit more stable.
The pressure sensor switch:
Do the same thing for the other end of the battery holder with another piece of copper tape, making sure that the copper tape is not touching the previous one. This time, the copper tape should not go up to the end, but to the point where you want your pressure sensor to be. Cut a small piece of sponge with a hole on the center and stick it on the end of your copper tape, where you want to have your switch. Make sure that the copper wire is exactly under the hole you make on the sponge and it does not exceed the sponge.
Now stick another piece of copper wire that goes from the top end of the branch (on the opposite side from the first piece you put) until the end of the sponge. Stick it on top of the sponge. It should not touch the copper tape underneath when its released, they should touch when its pressed. This is your pressure sensor.
Cut another small piece of sponge, the same dimensions with the first one but with no hole. Stick this sponge on top of the pressure sensor you made, to make it more stable.
Now go to the top end of your branch, where you have two separate copper tapes on opposite sides. Determine which side corresponds to negative and positive and place your LED legs on the corresponding side. Solder the LED legs to the corresponding copper tape .
Follow the same procedure for any extra LEDs and put additional pieces of copper tape if you have multiple small branches on your whole structure. Make sure the LEDs are connected in parallel, so that the brightness will be the same for each LED you add. To make sure they are all in parallel, you can have two central copper tapes (one connected to the positive side of the battery holder and the other to negative) and connect any additional copper tape to the corresponding side (positive to positive and negative to negative). Again, solder all the cuts on your copper tape circuit.
Once your circuit is complete, put in your 3V battery and light up your LEDs by pressing your pressure sensor switch.
Step 2: Additional Branches
Since there are not many small branches on my structure, I decided to create some fake branches to make the staff look more interesting. I used some bendable wire to create some small branches for my taste. I used 3 layers of wire, bended them and covered them up with the plastic coated paper. You can stick the paper on the wire structure using a hot glue gun. It's better to use plastic coated paper because it's more elastic and durable. Once you created the fake branch, you can stick it on your real branch.
I also created small additions to the already existing small branches where I placed the LEDs and glued them on the branch, trying to avoid touching the LEDs or the copper tape. While you are doing this part, try to avoid covering the branch with too many layers of paper, since you want the LED light to be visible over it. The plastic coated paper I used was translucent, so it worked perfectly. Avoid using thick paper that would not allow any light through.
When you are done with the branches, cover up the whole structure with the same paper, except for the pressure sensor and the battery holder. When the rest of the structure is fully covered, take the fabric pieces and tie them over the pressure sensor part and the battery part to cover them up. Do not glue them so that you can open them up easily when you want to change the battery or if there is a problem with your pressure sensor that you may want to change it.
Step 3: Do Magic
Now that you have your staff ready, you can decide on what you want to use it as. You can have a regular staff (LEDs off), which you can use as a walking stick or an accessory. Or you can use your staff to do MAGIC with the pressure switch pressed (LEDs on)!