Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Ultimate Bling

I was a scrapbooker for over ten years but moved on to card-making in a newer digital age. I continue to make cards but have also added collage and mixed media to my repertoire. The challenge I face now in my card making is how to make UNIQUE cards. I think I've found something that fits the bill.

I have never been much into "bling" on my cards. I will use rhinestones and pearls a bit, maybe some sparkly embossing powder or metal touches but never Glitter. I do love a metallic shimmer or a pearlescent glitz but glitter and flocking and so much. Even this new trend of Gold Foil Everything is just not my thing. But I have found a bit of bling that even I can get behind.

I've seen the light.

Or rather, I've discovered the lights...the sticker LEDs from Chibitronics.

Yea, baby.

Wanna see?


Blue-eyed Robot:  I took the photo above in low light in order to show off the main feature of this little card and that's the light-up eyes. My finger is pressing down on the card to make the eyes light up. Stinkin' cool, ain't it?

Here's a few more photos of the card in various stages and how I made the card. For greater detail as to how the circuit works, go to Chibitronics and review their cool videos. They have a basic starter kit (which is what I have and used!) with straight-forward directions that can get you going in the right direction.

Step 1:  Make a side-folding A2 (4.25 X 5.5") card from white cardstock. Stamp robot image on the front. On the inside of card, stamp the image again in the same place as it is on the cover. (You could use some kind of stamp aligner here like the Misti tool or a stamp-a-ma-jig or you could measure it.) You now have a card with the exact same image on the front and the inside.

Step 2:  Now you need to set up your circuit, lights, and switch. I just followed the handy guide in the Starter Kit which gave me insight as to how a circuit works, what the lights need, and how to add a switch. Place your LED stickers where the eyes need to go. I had to trim my lights to get them close enough together so that he didn't appear to be looking one way. (I didn't do a perfect job but it's as close as the lights can get and still work.) To trim, I just used scissors to cut the pointy end of the sticker along the pinholes that are already there.

Step 2-A:  Part of this step I actually did while planning my circuit and the other part was an afterthought (which really should have been in the planning!). I planned where my battery was going to be. You need to connect both the top (+) and bottom (-) of the battery to the circuit (the copper tape) so the battery needs to be placed on the fold. So when the card closes, the card has it's power source. (Again, go to Chibitronics to find out more.) Where I should have planned was in the switch. In the photo, you see a piece of copper tape on the inside opposite my main circuit. That is my switch. When that piece of tape connects to the circuit, the lights come on.

Step 3:  Decorate your card front however you would like. Color in the images and add any embellishments you want at this point. I colored in with Distress Markers and finished stamping a border around the edges. I also attached the battery to the inside of the card. I just glued it down, careful to avoid the copper tape connections. The binder clip holds it in place. I added double sided tape around all the edges and effectively taped the card shut. I didn't want my circuit to show or my card to open. So what would normally be found on the inside of the card would be on the back. (kinda like a postcard)

So when the card is finished, it looks like this. Pretty cool. But you can make the robot come alive!
When holding the card, if you hold it in the lower left corner (where the battery is), and pinch the card in the middle (about where the robots buttons are), you can make the eyes light up. Or you can lay the card on a table and press both places to do the same.

I added the switch to my card so the lights wouldn't always be lit up and drain the battery. In my small tests, before everything was taped and glued down, it seemed that when the card closed, the lights came on because the connection was complete. After everything was glued down, the lights didn't come on...and I realized that the battery wasn't making a proper connection to the copper tape. Hence, pressing in two places rather than one. But it's pretty easy to correct and since this is my first time using these cool effects, I'll chalk it up to a learning process.

I honestly can't wait to make my next one!
"It's alive!" ---Dr. Frankenstein, from the movie.


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