Introduction: Hack a Picture Frame With Your Electric Paint Lamp Kit

About: Bare Conductive makes creative electronic tools for any designer, engineer or aspiring maker.

The Electric Paint Lamp Kit is a great way to get you started and creating projects with the Light Up Board and Electric Paint. But if you want to get creative with the Light Up Board, then this tutorial is a great place to start! In this tutorial, we show you how to hack a picture frame and light up a picture with the Light Up Board. We created a proximity sensor frame that lights up when your hand is near it. For this, we used the proximity setting of the Light Up Board and hid it, as well as the sensor, behind the artwork.

Step 1: Materials

Light Up Board

Electric Paint 10ml


mirror paper



copper tape



picture frame

cutting matt

USB cable

adhesive spray

Step 2: Prepare the Picture Frame

The first step is to choose and prepare your picture frame. We used a simple picture frame with small latches on the sides. Make sure to use a picture frame that has enough space between the glass and the backing of the frame, to fit both the Light Up Board and the artwork or picture.

In order to get the cable through your picture frame and to the Light Up Board later, cut a bottom corner of the picture frame backing.

Step 3: Prepare Your Artwork

In this tutorial, we are going to back light a small artwork. In order to avoid the Light Up Board shining through the artwork, we used mirror paper to reflect the light outwards. Additionally, it helps when the artwork printed on thick paper or card.

To start, attach the mirror paper to the artwork. We coated the back of our artwork with adhesive spray and placed it on the mirror paper. You can then simply cut away any remaining mirror paper edges. You should now have your artwork with the mirror paper on the back.

Step 4: Cut the Traces for the Light Up Board

Now it's time to work with the Light Up Board. The Light Up Board is going to be attached to a white backdrop. Like in the previous step, you need to use thick paper or card. We used paper with 200gsm.

Mark out where you are going to place the artwork on your backdrop. Then, using a template, cut the traces of the Light Up Board. You can use the exercise sheet, or any other templates from the Electric Paint Lamp Kit. Cut the traces slightly to the top of your paper, not directly in the centre. This will give you space to attach a cable to the board. Cut a long line beneath the Light Up Board within the frame. We are going to connect our cable through this slit. Twist the Light Up Board in and mark out the electrode positions E1, E2, E8, and E9. Also cut a small slit above E1, this is where we we'll thread copper tape, to connect the front to the back of the backdrop.

Step 5: Paint the Sensor

Next, with Electric Paint, draw the sensor for your board. We recommend to draw a sensor similar to the Proximity Lamp. In this case, with a pencil, we drew a rectangle with horizontal lines and filled them in with Electric Paint, as shown on the right. One line of the sensor should connect to electrode E9. Paint a connection from E8 to E2, and also paint a small line for E1, just below the previous cut.

When the paint has dried, twist the Light Up Board back in and cold solder the respective sensors.

Step 6:

Once the Light Up Board is securely attached, it's time to add the copper tape. First, thread a small piece of copper tape through the slit near E1 and stick the tape to both the front and back of the backdrop. Apply a bit of Electric Paint on the tape and the track to E1, to ensure a good connection. Connect a bigger piece of copper tape to the backside, leaving a little bit of copper tape to extend beyond the backdrop. We will connect this bit to the frame and use the tape as a switch.

Step 7: Attach the Cable

Thread the USB cable through the slit and connect it to the Light Up Board. We're nearly ready to put it all together!

Step 8:

To avoid the board being pressed against the artwork, you need to support your artwork with small pillars in each corner. We used small bolts and Blu Tack. Feel free to use a different material, like cork or plastic, to do this.

Step 9:

Now it's time to put it all together! Place your artwork over your Light Up Board and put both the artwork and backdrop inside the picture frame. Attach the copper tape to the top of the frame. Insert the backing of the picture frame and close the tabs, making sure to lead the USB cable through the hole in the corner.

Step 10: Light It Up

Connect the USB cable to a power source and wait 2 seconds. Now, when you touch the piece of copper tape on the frame and approach the artwork with your hand, it will light up the board behind the artwork. That's it!

We'd love to see your creations, too! Send us images either via email at or via Instagram or Twitter .