Miniature LED TARDIS Throwaways




Introduction: Miniature LED TARDIS Throwaways

About: Bit of a background in various electrical and mechanical fields, obscure sense of humour and typically willing to help...

This is an unusually Quick build, only about 30 minutes if you are not watching the paint dry.

I call them throwaways since they were created from garbage and will go back to random places to be enjoyed by others.

Along with iconic styling, each figure features a flashing beacon and magnetic base.

Step 1: Cut

I took some scrap 2X2 from a construction bin and cut the sections down to a measure 1 and a sixteenth square profile

Then several 1 and three quarter inch sections were cut from this.

Step 2: Sand

I chose to use a 15 degree angle on the table of my disc sander.

The "roof" was marked along the midpoints to get a rough approximation of the center then the roof slants were sanded off.

The eaves of the roof were then sanded off using the edge of a belt sander to give a rough approximation of the TARDIS profile.

The sides were then sanded by hand on the flat piece of 220 grit paper.

Step 3: Prep

I coated the entire surface with spray white primer to seal the wood.

Then "windows" were added to the primed surface using painters tape

The measurements in inches are 7/16 by 5/16 precut from tape and placed with tweezers.

Step 4: Paint

Painted blue!

I left the paint to dry then remove the painter's tape to reveal the windows

Step 5: Drill

I drilled a hole in the center for the light to be positioned then I hollowed the bottom to receive batteries and a magnet.

The hole was drilled with a 1/8 pilot then a 3/16 for the final.

The hollow was drilled 5/8 inch deep using a 1/2 inch Forstner bit and the stop on my drill press.

Step 6: Add Lights

I used a 5mm flashing led, short wire and 1 ohm resistor soldered together as shown.

The LED "legs" were electrically separated using heat shrink tubing.

The LED lens is then chafed using 220 grit paper to diffuse the light.

Step 7: Assemble and Test

I used dollar store batteries and a 1/2 inch magnet for power.

The stack is as shown.

The light assembly is fed from the top and the bare leg is coiled up using small pliers. the wire is formed to the outside on the drill hole then the batteries are pressed into the opening.

the bare end of the wire is pressed onto the bottom battery case and the magnetic force holds it in place making the circuit.

Step 8: Make It Promotional

I used this QR code Generated online to make small 1 inch square labels to cover the bottom of the figures.

Step 9: Make More and Distribute

More on the way. these should only take a couple of minutes each to complete since the design is now solidified in my head.



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    18 Discussions

    This is neat! I'm wondering if after putting the electronics and battery in, could you fill the inside of the TARDIS with some wood glue or white school glue like "Elmer's" or silicone to seal the works from little hands? You might try scuffing the battery case and soldering the wires then you could leave out the magnet.

    Anyways, responsibility lies with the parent. Well done.


    Lithium button cell batteries are extremely dangerous to small children. Children have a tendency to put brightly collored objects such as these lights directly into their mouths. Especially as they are attractive and look like toys. Make sure the batteries are not accessible in any way. A simple label may not be a sufficient gard to access. If they are swallowed, death may result. Please read.

    8 replies

    Let's also not forget that if you leave an ouiga board lying around, young children can rub their hand on it & accidentally open THE GATES OF HELL!

    Thereby causing the destruction of mankind as we know it.

    Responsible parents keep stuff like this put away.

    Eee, thank you for this critical reminder! Even just a bad stomach ache can be trial enough, but as this article points out, Death can result from swallowing just one of these attractive, tiny batteries!!! Dewny, even bright little kids often put things in their mouths (so please don't be snarky).

    And Random Canadian, excellent Instructabl4e - thanks!

    You are so welcome Bev. Heave a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Build it out of rubber with no light if you are that concerned. Responsible people are responsible. If you aren't then take up government it will suit you better.

    These are alkaline not lithium. But yes, irresponsible parents with half wit kids should take special heed.

    Unfortunately young children such as 2 and 3 year olds have not developed the wits we have as an adult. Most adults are not aware of this danger. Alkaline buttons cells are just as dangerous. Please see and read the link I had provided.

    As dangerous as any other small object. That is where irresponsible parents come in. Kids will be kids. This LED Tardis is no more dangerous than thousands of other things that are available people of all ages, 2 or 92.

    Please understand, it is not my intention to be rude or insult in any way. I hope you do not take my comments that way. You are correct about many products on the market using these type batteries. Manufactures of these products are required to have appropriate instructional markings and provide adequate enclosure when using these batteries. In the Instructables forum of DIY’ers, there are many folks with different levels of technical skills and knowledge. It should be welcomed to note safety or any information especially when health of small children is at risk.

    Interesting idea. You said "each figure features a flashing beacon" but what makes it flash? I see only LED and batteries.

    2 replies

    Great Idea!! Would there be any way to make this with paper instead if it's not meant to be touched?

    1 reply

    If you used a thicker paper or supported the light with the circuit. I'd worry about weathering outside.

    Very cool idea! Everybody loves the TARDIS so you'd need a lot!

    All it needs now it a sound module... ;-)

    Hears sound of TARDIS materializing in another room... Runs in slightly after the sound has stopped. Sees micro TARDIS, still blinking... Mind blown! ;-)

    these are amazing I want one