Conductive paint dries up pretty quickly, so
if you get a lot, pour a few tablespoons into a small containter, and work
with that small bit. I've heard you can redilute with some more water, but I
haven't been that brave to try.
If your brush dries up during/after use, just soak it in
some rubbing alchohol, and rinse off with water.
In addition to keeping things attached, craft/fabric glue is also good for
diffusing the lights from LEDS. A two-part epoxy would diffuse much better,
but this works alright.
First, arrange the sheet of glitter black felt over some foam core. In this
case we want a 12x9 inch frame; cut the felt so it's slightly smaller than the
foam core (about 1/8 inch smaller on all sides).
The color cardstock will be
used to create a 1-inch border so keep that in mind as you arrange the foam
sticker pieces. We'll embed lights under the stars and the wand.
Use a thumbtack or needle to poke through the felt and foam core to mark the
where the lights will be.
Now, arrange the electronic pieces, aligned with the holes in the foam core.
Mark the polarities of the connections you will make, according to the basic
diagram in the introduction
Essentially, the idea is to alternate the polarities of the LEDS, so that
Sparkle can turn on each one at different times.
Use a marker/pencil to trace out where the conductive paint will eventually
You can figure out the polarities of the LEDs by temporarily connecting them
to the battery switch.
After that's done, use a bit of fabric glue to hold all the pieces down.
Now, use conductive paint to make the connections between Sparkle, the
battery holder, and the LEDS.
Notice there is one place where where one trace will cross another.
We'll use a bit of tape to bridge this connection later.
Some components like the battery-switch and LEDs are flat and can be
connected with a thin layer of conductive paint.
Others, like Sparkle, are not entirely flat, so you'd have to make a
small mound. Generally, after the initial mound dries, it helps to reinforce
it with several more layers. Repeat at least 5 times to make sure its a
reliable connnection. You might even cover the connection with some fabric
This is how we bridge connections to prevent short circuits: cellophane
tape. It's important to use a plastic type tape (cellophane or electrical
tape), and not paper (like masking tape), cloth, or even acrylic paint.
Plastic tape is the surest way to prevent short circuits or bleed-through.
Turn on the battery holder to check out your connections. The paint needs to
dry before it becomes fully conductive. It's pretty cool to see the lights get
brighter as the paint dries. Likely you'll have to reinforce some areas with
a few more layers of paint.
When you're sure everything is working, cut or poke out small holes in the
glitter felt to let the light through.
Now apply fabric glue all over the foam
core. We still want to be able to exchange the battery, so don't put any
glue on the bottom right corner.
Cut the color cardstock into a 1-inch frame and apply glue. Again, leave the
bottom right corner bare.
Finally make small holes in the foam stars and place them over the LEDs. Now
is a good time to finish decorating.
Make sure you'll be able to lift up the felt to expose the battery for the
times you'll need to change it.
And there we have it! A sparkling art frame to decorate a child's room with.