Introduction: MS Office Clippy Office Lamp

Make yourself a character lamp featuring the Clippy/Clippit office assistant from Microsoft Office(Ye Olde Version).

Formed from a strand of neopixel LEDs, you can have it run light animations to make it extra lively.


You need some minimal supplies, daresay make this an office supplies challenge...

Tape, clear packaging tape

Stiff wire, to form the backbone and support for the LED strand or string. The wire should be longer than your neopixel strip so that it can also form a stand for the lamp.

Cardboard to make a base, you can get all fancy and turn this into a monthlong woodworking project.

Microcontroller and a strand of neopixel/addressable LEDs(really, any string of lights will do)

Large googly eyes or ping pong balls to make the eyes.

Marker, paint or paper scraps for eyeball pupils and eyebrows.

Step 1: Be Flexible in Life

I left my neopixel strand still encased in its silicone sheathing.

Tape the wire to the strand. Wrap tape around the wire and the strip in several places so that the strand remains flexible.

Form the wire/neopixel strip in the shape of Clippy. Use care to bend the wire and then nudge the more fragile neopixel strip into shape, expecially around the bends so that you don't strain and damage the strip.

Bend the wire so that it goes across the back so you can fix the springy shape of the paperclip.

The excess wire is bent to form the stand for the lamp.

I had glued two pieces of cardboard together to make a large flat base.

Plug the wire into a hole in your cardboard base. Use an awl or something pointy to punch the hole. Bend and tape the end on the underside of the base so it does not move.

Step 2: Eyeballing It

I didn't have a set of googly eyes the right size to match the lamp.

I cut out some black paper discs and used double-sided tape to affix the pupils to the ping pong ball eyeballs.

The eyeballs were just taped to the lamp. There are probably more permanent and robust ways to attach the eyeballs but this works to get them stuck on the lamp.

Cut out a pair of eyelashes to add to the lamp.

It's your Clippy, and like a Mr/Mrs/Ms Potato Head, you can add more character by making more accessories or shape and angle the eyebrows to convey certain emotions.

Step 3: It's Lit

Neopixels or addressable LEDs are available in long strands. I have a length of about a meter worth which contains 60 individual neopixels which can be controlled with a microcontroller board.

There are many so many different microcontroller boards out there that can be used to drive the animations on the lamp. There is even a variety of coding to use from Arduino, Python or more beginner friendly block type languages like that used for MIcroBit boards.

I am using CircuitPython to run a fire/flame animation, a random rainbow animation, making it glow brighter and dim.

Use a string of fairy lights to make a Clippy lamp if you do not have a microcontroller/neopixels/leds setup. Just let there be light!

Do you own take on the lamp by using the newer LED strands that mimic Neon tube or EL electroluminescent wire lighting.

More advanced users can add sensors, switches for different lighting modes, or connect to an app for remote control or use it as a display for data or notifications sent to it. There are so many possibilities...


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