Introduction: Rudolph Christmas Crafting

Hi everybody,

I'm preparing a little Arduino Christmas workshop these days and thought why not turn it into a instructable ;)

A simple Arduino starter kit should contain everything you need. Plus you need some basic crafting tools like glue and scissors.

This instructable is suitable for Arduino beginners since it handles basics only. But you should have worked with a Arduino before and have the Arduino IDE up and running.

You can find and download all the Arduino sketches, images and other files in the GitHub repository.

Have fun!


The Rudolph image is public domain and can also be found here.

The hardware designs where made with a cool program called Fritzing.

And last but not least, I got inspired by those websites, take a look for more details:

Arduino blink tutorial

Arduino photoresistor tutorial

Arduino button tutorial

Arduino melody tutorial

Jingle Bell with a Arduino and buzzer

You can also find more christmas melodies in this forum.

Feedback is appreciated ;)

Step 1: Introducing Rudolph

We need a print of Rudolph, cardboard, a scissors or a knife and a bit of glue.

We are going to glue Rodulph on the cardboard, but need to drill a little hole for the LED first.

Center the print on the cardbord and take a look at where Rudolph's nose is going to be, then make a little hole in the cardboard big enough for the LED. Now you have two options. If you are sure you have found the right spot for the LED just glue Rudolph on the cardboard. If not, just use the paperclips to give him a temporary home for now.

Step 2: Light Up That Nose

We need the LED, a 220Ω resistor, a breadboard. wires, tape and scissors.

Prepare some pieces of tape so you have them ready for later.

Then we carefully bend the legs of the LED until we have it kind of L-shaped.

Extend the legs of the LED with wires and set up the breadboard as shown on the picture.

Now put the LED in the hole of the cardboard and use the tape to fix it in place.

Open the "Step 2" sketch from the linked GitHub projekt with the Ardunio IDE and upload it.

Watch Rudolph's nose blink, well done :)

Step 3: Hear the Christmas Spirit

We need more wires and the passive buzzer.

Rudolphs nose blinking might got you in the christmas mood already but we are going to step it up a notch.

Take a look at the breadboard and wire everything as show below.

We use the passive buzzer to play a little tune for us ans Rudolph. Contrary to a active buzzer that we can just activate and that will play a tone, a passive buzzer allows us to control the tone.

Upload the "Step 3" sketch and listen.

Well done!

Step 4: Take Up the Reins

We need a photoresistor, a button, two 10 kΩ resistors and lots of wires.

At the moment Rudolph will blink and play his tune in a loop until we unpower the arduino.

A good strategy is to have him blink in the evening and make him play a tune as soon as something is happening.

We will use a simple photoresistor to make his nose blink when it getting darker. Add it to the breadboard as shown in the picture.

A photoresistor is a analog sensor, it gives you not only a 0 or 1 signal but a range of values depending on what it measures.

Upload the "Step 4" sketch and open the serial monitor in the Arduino IDE.

You can see the sensors reading, place your finger on top of the photoresistor and the readings will change. Now set a threshold so Rudolph will blink in the evening. That treshhold will vary with the light you have in your room and even with the brightness of the moon if you have your Rudolph standing on the window board.

Next we need something to trigger the tune. You might use any sensor you have, just experiment a bit. I will give you a simple example with a button.

Connect the button as shown in the picture, it will give you a simple 0 or 1 for an input. Push it and Rudolph will play a tune.

That's it, Rudolph is ready for Christmas. Wohooo \o/ :D

I hope you had fun with this little project. Fell free to add more LEDs, play another melody or add different kinds of sensors.

First Time Authors Contest 2016

Participated in the
First Time Authors Contest 2016

Arduino Contest 2016

Participated in the
Arduino Contest 2016