Introduction: LED Christmas Tree Lamp...from a Ferrero Chocolate Box!
Don't throw the box of the Ferrero Collection chocolates away! If you did, expect notes written in blood at your doorstep. Stuff the box with LEDS and you have a moderately easy LED christmas decoration! And take note that this is a very good excuse to eat Ferrero Rochers.
Enjoy, and please, please take that one minute to rate, comment and vote!
Step 1: You Will Need:
Ferrero Collection Christmas tree box
People outside Australia, I'm not sure where you can buy this. If you can't find it at any stores, your best bet is probably to order online. I got mine from Myer. You CANNOT get this outside of Christmas time, unless you can still order online or off eBay.
I got a $12 Digitor 50 pack of 5mm LEDs from Dick Smith Electronics. Again, you Americans can probably get LEDs from RadioShack or something. You can use whatever kind of LEDS you like, as long as it isn't IR.
Batteries to suit your LEDs
If you're using 5mm regular (not super bright, flashing or RGB) LEDs, you could just use 4 AA or AAA batteries connected in series to make 6v. Depending on your combo of LEDs and batteries, you may need to buy resistors.
Electrical or masking tape and clear sticky tape (not pictured)
Medium to fine grit sandpaper (not pictured)
Either a small metal rod (I used an ear cleaner) or a soldering iron (not pictured)
A needle or thumbtack (not pictured)
Blu-tack or hot glue (not pictured)
32 lengths of about 15cm long, thin wire
Step 2: Prepare Casing- Frosting
Open the case and eat the chocolates. Chocolaaaaaate...SO ANYWAY! Eat the choclates and take out the cardboard back. Take off the sticker on the front as well (you probably should run it under hot water to make sure no adhesive residue is left). Keep the tray that the chocolates were in and tear off a small piece of medium-to-fine grit sandpaper and sand the inside of the lid you just took the sticker odd, keeping the outside flat on the floor . I tried to do it holding it in the air and it broke, so I had to use the bottom tray, which had a best before printed on and 'Ferrero' embossed into the bottom. It was madness, madness I tell you...for the love of God, Space Monkeys, DON'T DO IT!!!
Okay! Now that the inside of the lid is nice and frosty, turn the gold tray upiside down and lightly scuff the insides of the 'cells' with a new piece of sandpaper. Now the side of the tray which was facing the bottom of the casing when it was packaged before will be referred to as the top. Now to test how diffused the light is, connect one of your LEDs to a battery. Then place the case which you just sanded on the top of the tray. Place your glowing LED in one of the 'cells', making sure there's about 5mm-1cm of clearance. It should come out nice and diffused (the camera makes it look like there's a yellow spot, that normally won't be there).
Step 3: Wiring
The next few steps will leave you in no end of frustration- wire barbs, short circuits, loose connections and shortage of wires. But moving on now! 15 of your wire lengths, stripped at both ends and preferably a different colour to the other wires. Look for the negative end of your LEDs- usually has a shorter leg and if you look closely at the inside of the LED, there's two metal tabs the legs are connected to. The larger one is the cathode, connected to the shorter end, that's the negative end. The other is the anode, that's the positive end. Twist a wire length around the negative end as close to the acutal LED as possible. Then either solder it on or wrap electrical or masking tape around it. Make sure that they're fully covered and VERY VERY tight. Oh, you'll want to cut corners and not insulate a couple of them or just wrap it around once and leave it; 'It's only one, it'll last.'. Then it'll short circut, or loose. Then you have to go back and do it again. You'll spend the next few years of your life stuck in your house, isolated from the outside world, muttering, "Why, God, did I short circuit those LEDS!?!? WHY!?!?!". I speak from expreience.
But anyway, repeat this process for all the other LEDs, and for the positive end, too. At the end of this step, you should have 15 LEDs with two wires connected to them.
After this, use a needle or a thumbtack to poke holes (as pictured) in the walls of the 'cells'. Speread the legs of LEDs and fit them in the holes. Use a blob of blu-tack or hot glue to secure it. As you're doing this, twist all wires you connected to the negative ends of LEDs together. Do the same for the positive. Then take two other lengths of wire and twist one onto the negativeend and another on the positive. The boring frustrating part is over! Have a cookie! (:;.)
Step 4: Making a Case
Heat up a soldering iron or a thin metal rod (in this case, an ear cleaner) on a stove and poke two holes in the back casing, one for the positive wire, and one for the negative.
Step 5: Assembling
Feed the two wires through the holes you made and press the case onto the back. Apply clear sticky tape to the sides to keep the lid down. Attach more wire to the ends if it isn't long enough or you spaced the holes too far apart.
Step 6: Making a Battery and Testing
To make a battery, just wire four AA or AAA batteries together in series, so positive to negative. It's a lot easier to buy a battery holder that takes four AA or AAA batteries that has a switch, though. My makeshift switch was a bit of tape on a wire end. Tape the other wire's end to a battery end. Test in a dark place. Then just tape the battery to the casing. Done? Congratulations, Space Monkeys! Have a pie!
Step 7: Adding Stuff!
Use this Instructable as a guide. You don't have to adhere to all my instructions. You could...
-Use flashing LEDs!
-UV! (if that works)
Participated in the
Homemade Holidays: Holiday Decorations