Festive Tech: LED Christmas Cards

By Amy Rutter

Last week I went to a curiously named crafting event called ‘Bling My Card’, which promised to teach a group of craft enthusiasts to make their own LED Christmas cards. Brighton technologist Natalia Buckley guided us through the process, while we listened eagerly, drank mulled wine and munched mince pies.

We were shown three different circuits that we could recreate using a type of conductive paint which allows electricity to pass through it. When painting a circuit with it that contains a battery and an LED bulb in a complete loop, the bulb will light up. You just need to make sure that the positive side of the battery goes to the positive side of the LED.

It was like a GCSE Science lesson all over again. Except with alcohol.

The trickiest part was thinking of a Christmas picture that I could fit the circuit into. I decided to put my circuit on the inside of the card so that the front would look a bit neater and I made a circuit with a paper switch. I left a gap in my circuit and then put conductive paint on a small piece of paper which acted as a light switch, so that when the paint on the switch touches the paint on the card, it completes the circuit and the light comes on. Naturally, I used a red LED and drew a (very childlike) Rudolph.

The evening was lots of fun and once I got the hang of it, was actually quite easy – I was only held based by my lack of skills in the drawing area.

If you're looking to create your own blinged Christmas card, the equipment for the evening was provided by Bare Conductive – you can find out more, buy paints and download tutorials from bareconductive.com and proceeds from the event went to Rockinghorse, a Brighton-based charity.

Image via Nat Buckley's Flickr

Mon, 10 Dec 2012 13:30 (GMT+00)
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