Have you ever gotten a singing, musical greetings card for your birthday and wondered what to do with it? Wonder no more! In this Instructable we will show you how to extract the electronics from old greetings cards and transplant them into a plush toy to give it the gift of singing. Interested? Then let's go to the next step for a list of materials!
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Step 1: The Things We'll Need
To make our singing plush toy from an recycled musical greetings card, we'll need:
- a musical greetings card with a press-button - you might have received one for your last birthday, or you can ask around!
- a plush toy - you might not necessarily want to sacrifice your favorite childhood plushie, so keep an eye out at yard sales or second-hand stores for cheap, cute ones. Extra points if they fit the color theme of your card!
We will also need:
- a pair of scissors to cut open both the card and the plush toy
- a pair of needlenose pliers to run the card's electronics through the plush toy more easily
- needle and thread to close up the plush toy once you're done (you can also use a hot glue gun if you're not too confident in your sewing skills)
And of course, a nice clean surface to work on. Once you're all set, we can get started!
Step 2: Opening Your Card
Now to open up your musical card: your best bet to extract the electronics inside without damaging them is usually to cut along the edges of the card to open it up. Once that's done, you can probably peel the electronics off the card pretty easily - they're usually kept in place by double-sided tape or sometimes a dab of hot glue.
Once that's done, take some time to make sure your electronics still work and identify each part, what they do and how they are connected: mapping out where to transplant everything in your plush toy will be that much easier!
Step 3: Laying Out Your Electronics
Taking some time to lay out your electronics against your plush toy before cutting it open is a good idea for three reasons:
- it helps choose where to place your electronics based on the wiring of the card;
- it helps figure out where to cut your plush toy to insert the electronics and
- it helps figure out in what order to transplant your electronics into your toy.
For this project, I figured the speaker should be in the nose of the dog, the switch in one of its paws and the main electronics board in the core of its body. This means we'll only make two cuts: one around the seam line of the left paw and the head.
You can also tell from the picture in what order the parts will need to go: we will start with the speaker in the dog's head, before threading the press button through the arm into the paw, followed by the main electronics boards in the body of the plush.
Once we've figured out how to lay out our electronics and in what order to put them in, it's time to break out the scissors and make some cuts!
Step 4: Opening Up Your Plush Toy
The easiest and cleanest way to open up your plush toy is to cut at the seams. Take your scissors and cut along the neck seam, then cut along the paw seam. It's generally a better idea to cut just what you need or a little less: it's always easier to cut something a little more if you really need it, than to sew a longer cut than what you needed, so measure your cut against the parts you're going to implant and stop when you have just enough space.
When your cuts are just the right size, it's time to implant your electronics!
Step 5: Inserting Your Electronics
And now for the big part: implanting your electronics!
- We'll start with the speaker. We want to be able to hear the birthday song as clearly as possible, so we'll push the speaker as far up to the nose as the wiring allows.
- Next, the switch. Run the needlenose plier from the paw through the arm and grab the button, then run it back out and put the switch in the paw.
- Finally, the main electronics board: this one we can just run in the body, possibly in the middle of the plush stuffing if you have some wiggle room
- Finally, test everything to make sure your electronics still work after all this pushing and pulling! You wouldn't want to close up your plush toy only to discover your electronics aren't working anymore.
You're almost done - now you just need to close it all up!
Step 6: Closing It All Up!
Time to make your plush toy look perfect again! Thread your needle and close up your cuts. If you need any help with sewing, check rlciavar's Sewing instructables collection at https://www.instructables.com/id/sewing-2-3-4-5-6/ to boost your sewing skills!
Alternatively, if you're pressed for time or just not confident in your sewing skills, you can use hot glue instead. Just dab some hot glue to close up your cuts and press firmly as the glue cools down.
Congratulations, you're done!