Do you have issues with dying a lot? or do you just happen to want something nice on your mantle? Either way, this instructable might be for you!
Based off of the designs used in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, I bring you the fairy in a bottle. This cute little guy features 2 Pink LEDs with a toggle switch to turn it on and off.
Approximate completion time: 3 Hours.
Approximate cost: ~$10
This instructable is entered in the Game.Life Contest! Vote for me!
Step 1: Materials
You will need the following materials:
1x Bottle, preferably a former milk bottle, with cork lid (I found mine at Goodwill for $1.50. Secondhand stores work best).
1x Ping Pong Ball; it is important that this be white and have no brand markings/labels. As such, the dollar store is your best bet.
1x Clear Plastic Folder and/or similar thin but dextrous plastic.
1x Button Cell battery. I used a 1616 with tabs for easy soldering. A 2032 will likely last longer, if you wanted to.
1x Resistor, 12ohm. (optional; it probably isn't necessary, but it didn't hurt to put in the circuit)
1x Ultra mini toggle switch.
2x Pink LEDs, preferably diffused***
Thin cardboard, such as that of a soda box
Thin wire, higher than 22 gauge.
You will also need the following tools:
Drilling implement (Hand drill, Power Drill or Drill Press) with the following bits: 5/16th" and 3/16th".
Scalpel and/or Scissors
Soldering Iron + Solder
Center Finder (optional)
Ink writing implement.
PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION WITH THESE TOOLS, AS WELL AS COMMON SENSE. STAY SAFE, WORK SAFE.
***for a complete guide to diffusing your LEDs, go to https://www.instructables.com/id/how-to-defuse-an-LED/
Step 2: Prepping the Cork 1
Before we can get to the fun parts (read: annoying/difficult parts), we have to prep the bottle for installation. While the glass itself won't be getting any work done to it, the cork will need a few modifications. The easiest way to put the switch in is to drill a hole through the center. The switch will sit snugly into the hole; I don't advise you glue the switch into the hole.
To start, find the center of cork. If you have a center finder, this will make life easier. If not, you can try measuring from side to side. Regardless, try your best to find center.
Next, we will drill the hole for the switch. Assuming you are using an ultra mini toggle switch, a 5/16th" bit should be just big enough. Carefully drill a hole through the center of the cork. Make sure you go slow enough to not damage the cork, and stop often to empty out the debris. Proceed until you pass through the other side.
Step 3: Prepping the Cork 2
The next step will be making a slot for your button cell to fit into. This slot will be made in the BOTTOM of the cork (towards the inside of the bottle).
Start by measuring your button cell. Once you have this number, trace a large line of the same length onto the cork, near the center hole. Using your 3/16th" bit, carefully drill along this slot, starting at the outside edges and working towards the middle of the slot. You do not want to go to deep; just enough for the button cell to fit into. You may need to manually cut out some pieces of the cork with your scalpel to ensure a good fit.
Next, with your button cell in the slot, carefully trace out approximately where your tabs/prongs will extend out. Using your scalpel, cut out these lines, until your button cell is able to sit deep into the cork, and flush to the bottom.
Step 4: Prepping Your LEDs (optional)
While clear lens LEDs can be used for this, the best effect comes from using diffused LEDs. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible to get diffused LEDs in pink. As previously mentioned, the best instructable I've seen for diffusion is found at the following, made by guyfrom7up:
Kudos to him, I hope it serves you well.
Step 5: Ping Pong Ball Preperation
The next thing that needs to be prepped for building is the Ping Pong Ball. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that the ball be white and label-free.
Starting at the seam, you can use a push pin or your scalpel to poke a hole into the ball. When you pierce it, expect a good shot of air to escape from it. Using your scalpel, carefully carve a hole with slow rotations and mild pressure. Continue until the hole is large enough to insert an LED with ease.
Test your LED, to make sure it is diffused enough.
Put your Ball aside for the time being.
Step 6: Cut Your Wire
Because of how delicate higher gauge wiring is, it is best if you prep it and strip it before the next step. You will need 3 lengths of wire; I used a 12cm, 10cm and 5cm. Carefully strip the ends.
Step 7: Wiring It Up!
Here comes the fun part: wiring your circuit together!
We will be using the LEDs in parallel, with the 12ohm resistor attached to them. A schematic has been included for a general idea (forgive the primativeness of my paint skills). Test often to make sure everything functions like it should!
You will want to make sure you solder the leads of the LEDs close to each other, so that they can fit inside the ping pong ball. Make sure to mark the positive/negative leads, it could get hard to tell.
Afterwards, attach the resistor, again with the leads close to the LEDs. It can be attached to either the positive or negative lead.
Next, connect the positive leads of your LEDs to the positive tab on your button cell using your 10cm wire. While you're at it, solder the 5cm wire onto the negative tab of your button cell. Also, solder the 12cm wire to the negative leads of your LEDs.
IT IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE THAT YOU FEED YOUR 5cm AND 12cm WIRES THROUGH THE BOTTOM OF YOUR CORK AT THIS TIME. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO ATTACH THE SWITCH PROPERLY!!
*Ahem* With your wires fed through the center hole, solder each of the wires to the leads on the switch. Test your circuit to ensure it works; if all is good, you can now seat your switch into the hole, and your button cell into it's slot. You can also try putting the circuit into the bottle (as I've done).
Put this aside for now.
Step 8: Building the Wings
Up next is the second most frustrating part of this project: building the wings. There are no fast or easy ways to do this, and you will be relying on your artistic skill. You just need to keep one thing in mind:
The wings must be small enough so that the fairy fits into the bottle!
Start by making a template of the wings on some thin cardboard. It may take multiple attempts, so keep trying until you are satisfied. I'd aim for 2-3cm main wings and 1-2cm tail wings. Cut out your templates when you're done.
Using your ink writing implement, trace your templates onto your clear plastic. You will need 2 of each wing type. Carefully cut these parts out using either your scissors or scalpel. When cutting with the scalpel, use multiple light passes for accuracy. When they are cut out, you can use a damp cloth to remove the ink markings.
Step 9: Attaching the Wings
Perhaps the most difficult part of this project, we must now attach the fairy wings to the Ping Pong ball.
If you have access to it, a large clip will help hold the ball into position.
Using the center seam as a reference, carefully super glue the main wings onto the back of the ball. Make sure you attach the main wings closer towards the hole we previously made (the top of the ball). You will likely have to hold the wings in this position for a couple minutes, until the glue sets.
Repeat the process with the tail wings, in line with the main wings. Be careful, your fairy will be fragile.
Step 10: Completion and Finishing Touches
Once your glue has dried, it's time to do some final things.
To make your wires less noticeable, you can (gently) twist the wires into a nice solid strand. A drop of super glue will hold the wires into this position.
Carefully insert your circuit (2 LEDs and Resistor) into the Fairy. You may need to enlarge the hole slightly. Once your circuit is in, arrange your LEDs into a position you are happy with. A drop of super glue onto where the wire enters the hole will help so that your LEDs stay in this position.
If you are not confident your button cell will hold, you can attach a small piece of invisible tape to it, to hold things up. Mine was snug enough that this wasn't necessary.
If you want to cover the hole in your fairy, you could fill the hole with hot glue. This is completely optional; the circuit will hold the ball up.
To fit your Fairy into the bottle, slowly lower it in sideways. You can use a pen, your scalpel, or even light shakes to position your fairy. If done properly, your Fairy should be hanging about 3-4cms from the bottom of the bottle.
Finally, test your switch to make sure everything is working okay. If the LEDs turn on, raise the bottle above your head; music will play and a description of your fairy will pop up in front of you**
**Music and description may not actually appear.
Finalist in the
Game.Life 3 Contest