Shine a little light.
LED light up cards? Yes!
I love interactive cards and the latest cool thing to take paper crafting by storm is creating your own LED cards.
I couldn’t by more excited to share a sweet creation with you today that features this fab technique. MFT Stamps is pairing up with chibi-tronics for this fun feature. The MFT DT will be sharing lots of ideas over the next couple weeks and I’m excited to be kicking it off along with a few other of the designers. It takes a little know-how but it’s really easier than it looks. I’ll be sharing a few tips today and the chibi lights set comes with an instruction book as well as lots of great product to have you creating some brilliant designs.
First of all let’s take a peek at what’s behind the front panel. If you take a look at the first image in this post, you’ll notice that all the electrical components can’t be seen. It really just looks like a regular card. I’ve created this layer by die-cutting a front panel using the largest Blueprints 13 die and then stamping on it. This allows me to plan out exactly where I want my lit up areas. Once I decided that I lined up the layers and marked out where I’d like my led lights directly onto the white card base.
Next step is to add in the copper tape. This allows to the electricity to flow from the battery to the lights. The easiest way to “wire” your project is with one light. I like the look of more so you need to “wire” them in a series so that all the lights will be lit. This calls for a double copper tape to each LED. You need one side to be positive and the other negative. If you’re already glazing over, take a deep breath. You really CAN do this. I’m the daughter of an electrician and also the wife of one and trust me…I totally tune out when it comes to electrical. I want nothing to do with it. BUT I did do this on my own with no help. It really helps to look at the pictures and I’ve included a couple snaps above. I’m sorry for the poor picture quality as they are shot on a cell phone. I really meant to get out my good camera but got so excited putting it together I forgot to get the good shots.
Anyway…the first picture is of the kit components and the second is of how I added in those strips of copper tape then added the LED lights.
The bottom right section of the card holds the battery. A simple fold mechanism holds the battery in place and allows the copper tape connect the battery when pressed. I highlighted the area on the card front with a sweet little stitched heart die-cut from the Stitched Heart STAX Die-namics set. You can see how it lights the wreath up and perfectly coordinates with the brightening my day sentiment.
This picture in the dark shows up the lighting better although it wouldn’t usually look so distinct.
Tips for Creating Cards with the Chibi-lights:
- plan out your design and press marks with a stylus to the lower layer to enable proper placement of the lights
- cut your copper tape in half to make it go further
- smooth down the tape well with a bone folder
- firmly apply the led lights making sure the positive side is one way and the negative side adhered for a connection over the negative
- create a little folded paper flap to allow the positive copper tape connect to the battery and vice versa
- 2 layers of foam tape around the edges of the panel lift the top layer to prevent the battery from buldging
- use a light colored top top layer to allow light to show through better
- if you add extra die-cuts (like the little stamped flowers) make sure they don’t cover the lit areas
- designate the battery/button area with some sort of detail
- check all connections before putting the card together
Quick Tip: Don’t be afraid to try something new!
Lastly, a little about the stamp set. It’s called Spring Wreath and it’s a gorgeous wreath set. By changing up the colors you can make it work for any season you want. I chose it for a few reasons. One: I love the set. Two: I wanted to do something a little different than a scene or a candle that would definitely have a light to it. Why? Because this is a great technique and is wonderful for more than just the obvious. Three: I love how the sentiment I used from this set adds to the technique.
Ready for some more ideas featuring Chibi? Stop by the MFT Stamps Blog to for lots of inspiration!
Keep it creative!