This instructable will show you how to make a glowing "playing card" so you can look just like the Ragin' Cajun himself! This is the first in a series of projects I will (eventually) be uploading in my continuing efforts to at least look like a superhero.
Pencil and Sketch Pens
3V Lithium Battery
100 ohm Resistor
A length of wire
A small momentary switch
Electrical Tape (optional)
Step 1: Start Sketching
If you want, you can just cut up some old playing cards, but I like to customize things. Take your cardstock and sketch out your design. Feel free to use references (I did!), but try to put a little of yourself into it. You need two cards of equal size, one for the design of the spade (or whatever card/suit you choose), and one to be overlaid and cutout later. When you've finalized the design, go over it with your sketch pens and, if you want it to really have staying power, go over it with an acrylic fixative or spray finish.
My design on the back incorporates the X-Men logo and Xavier School's name and motto; it'll be visible later in this Instructable.
Step 2: It's Sodering Time!
Soder together all of the little electrical whosits.
It's pretty simple, but beginners should keep in mind the following:
Red is positive, black is negative.
On the LED, the longer prong is positive.
On the battery, the flat side is positive.
On the resistor, the order of those little coloured rings is important! On a 100 ohm resistor, the gold band is going to be on the negative side.
Step 3: Plexiglas Preliminaries
Cut your plexiglas. It's a pain in the butt to do, but you can use either a jewelry saw (slow!) or a dremel tool (inaccurate!). I used a dremel, because I'm impatient. Plus, you'll need one for etching in those grooves for your wires and drilling any holes. When cutting, if you can't be completely accurate, better to have the piece be a bit too big than it be smaller than your cardstock cards.
Step 4: Stick It to 'em!
Stick the wires in the grooves and keep them there with hot glue. Then go over the whole bloody thing with a thing layer of hot glue to diffuse the LED, but don't go over the area of the spade design (you'll ruin it!).
Step 5: Putting It All Together.....
Place your cards and Plexiglas bit together as the images show. Make sure it all works/fits, and that you like how it looks. If all's good, proceed to hot glue the lot of it together.
Step 6: Take a Look at What You've Got.
Okay, look around at it, looking for any imperfections. Whoo-boy, that's a bit chunky. Well, that can't be helped. But imperfections in the relative sizes of the Plexiglas versus the cards can totally be fixed. Now try lighting it up; a little anticlimactic, isn't it? Hm... What do we do about all of that?
Step 7: Finishing Touches
Grind that Plexiglas down and fill any gaps in with hot glue. It'll make it look smoother and diffuse the light at the same time! Neat, huh?
Step 8: De Name Is Gambit, Mon Ami!
In bright conditions, it's nothing special, but in even a semi-dark room, it's enough to make you grin and laugh like a five-year old (if you're as immature as I am). Now, you're ready to done tights and a trench coat, a terrible Cajun accent, and take on the bad guys! Just remember, you've only got the one card, and it won't really blow up-- ! o.O Ooh.... Now I've gotta get started on my next Instructable!
Finalist in the
Let It Glow!