Edge-Lit Christmas Cards

I recently saw this project from Evil Mad Scientist Labs and decided to give it a go this year.  I won’t go into all the details in this post, so if you’re curious check out the original.

If you’re going to try it, here’s a word of advice: make sure you get the proper materials. At first I tried to make them with some stuff I had laying around, some smaller batteries which I doubled up and various LEDs which all ended up not being bright enough. After a few failed attempts I ordered some red, green, and blue LEDs from Super Bright LEDs and got the CR2032 coin cell battery they recommended.

I also went through a couple of variations on the design. Initially I was taping the acrylic to a piece of card stock as in the original project but I found that was too flimsy for my purposes. I ended up using some “artboards” I got from Jerry’s which is just down the street from me. These worked out well as they were about as thick as the batteries and acrylic and allowed me to create a pretty sturdy frame for the whole thing.  The other difference this introduced is that the light around the edges was not blocked out and ended up creating a kinda cool glow around the frame of the card (at least while the batteries were still high on juice).

I then used some card-stock folded in threes with a window cut out.

I made a number of different designs and a certain Loony Ladybug helped out with some embellishments.  Note: these photos are a little bleedy, in reality there isn’t nearly so much glow around the bottom of the cards.

I made five cards in total with a few partially completed ones as well.  It was a fun project and I’m definitely planning on doing it again next year.  Now that I’ve got the basic design down I’ll be ready for some improvements.  I played around with some switching mechanisms to extend battery life but didn’t come up with anything I liked.  I think a current limiting resistor would be a good idea as well.  I did do one multi-layer one but I felt like it was too bulky.  I’d like to experiment with some multi-layer designs next time.


2 Responses to “Edge-Lit Christmas Cards”

  1. 1 Jennifer December 28, 2009 at 3:34 am

    You forgot to mention how much everyone *loved* their cards!! Total success.

  2. 2 Michaux Kelley December 28, 2009 at 3:54 am

    Nicely done! I know what mom’s getting for mother’s day!

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