Introduction: Valentine Day Heartbeat Card

Picture of Valentine Day Heartbeat Card

This instructable was created as part of the Instructables Build Night with Chibitronics at MakeICT.

We received Chibitronics peel-and-stick electronics for crafting circuits for an Instructable Build Night. These circuit stickers allow anyone to add effects to just about any item you can think of using lights (LEDs). Included were effect and sensor stickers so the lights could do more than just being on, they could be animated.

It was almost Christmas time, and everyone was taken care of. The next holiday to give cards was in February, so I decided I would make something personal for my special person. I like the idea of the Heartbeat effects sticker, what better effect could be added to a Valentine Day card?

Step 1: Collecting Your Supplies

Picture of Collecting Your Supplies

For this project you'll need:

The effect sticker has three corners that stick to the copper tape: one corner is positive (shown as+), one corner is negative (shown as –) and the third corner is called the signal that generates a light pattern. The signal is pre-programmed to affect the lights connected to it on based on what a heartbeat pattern looks like.

Step 2: Designing Your Heartbeat Effect

Picture of Designing Your Heartbeat Effect

We are basing the heartbeat circuit on the effect sticker template that Chibitronics has created. The space between the lines where the LED stickers go is just 1/4" and using the template has the right spacing. The effect stickers are a little bit trickier when laying out the copper tape since they are farther apart and have three corners.

I drew my circuit from hand. With the battery on the paper, I used a pen and made a circle where the battery would go.

Applying the copper tape:

  • Start at the + battery terminal until you reach the corner where the tape will turn.
  • To make a clean, flat corner, fold the tape away from the desired direction. The sticky side will be up.
  • Now fold over the tape, the sticky side will get folded on itself, causing a tight, square corner once you flatten where the tape turns directions.
  • Cut the tape when you reach the + corner of the sound sensor location.
  • Continue until you have covered all the shaded lines of the circuit.

Applying the Chibitronics circuit stickers:

  • The LED wide side is the + and the pointed end is the - and easy to get right as the template is labeled
  • Pay close attention to the + and - when you place the hearthbeat effect on the copper tape

Testing the circuit:

  • Place the - side of the battery on the - battery location
  • Fold the paper over
  • Attach binder or paper clip
  • It should light up with a heartbeat pattern

Step 3: Putting Your Heart Out There

Picture of Putting Your Heart Out There

This project was designed to show you how to add the heartbeat effect to a Valentine card. There are many card examples on Instructables that may be perfect for what you need or you may have your own idea. The card you see on this project was created to show a simple design with the heart location set to where the LEDs are mounted on the circuit underneath.

Assemble the Valentine card:

  • Turn on the Heartbeat circuit
  • Verify it lights up, leave it on so you can work on the correct placement of your heart that will pulse with a heartbeat
  • You may want to cut a small hole around the 3 LEDs where you will mount the heart so they illuminate the heart from behind
  • I did not use red LEDs because I think the white ones are brighter
  • Continue to construct your card only adding the circuit when the card is done
  • Use the glue stick or invisible tape to attach the circuit to the artwork
  • Leave the battery corner of the circuit loose so there is easy access to the battery

Thanks for putting your heart out there.

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