Valentine’s Day, MakerSpace Style!

Happy almost Valentine’s Day!


Last week, some of us interns were getting restless and started talking about Valentine’s Day. We decided we should not just talk about it, but do something about it. After all, what is Valentine’s day but an opportunity to show your significant other, undefined relationship partner, platonic friend or anyone how awesome electronics are?!


So we decided to make some Valentine’s day cards using the skills we learned in the paper circuits MakerSpace and then taught at Lentil Festival.

Some of the Valentine's Day cards that we made.
Some of the Valentine’s Day cards that we made.

Once we found the paper circuits materials, I found the template book and went searching for ideas. I liked the idea of the flickering LED from the book made by Jie Qi.

The flickering led template from the Circuit Sticker Sketchbook by Jie Qi.
The flickering LED template from the Circuit Sticker Sketchbook by Jie Qi.

I decided to take it one step further and turn it into a physical slider tab that doesn’t just flicker an LED, but changes which LED is on depending on how far out the tab is. The circuit consists of 5 LEDs in parallel that have a break in the circuit. Rather than having a slider just based on pressure it also has a tab that changes which circuit is completed, a slider switch. The slider has a battery attached to it and copper that puts the positive side of the battery on one side of the tab and the negative on the other.

The inside of my card. You can see a bit of the circuit.
The inside of my card. You can see a bit of the circuit.

Since it was for Valentines Day, I decided to make my card feature my dog Jericho because he’s adorable, and nothing is more romantic than a card with puppies on it. It’s a little finicky but it works!

My valentines day card working. If you click on the image it will open a gif that shows the led's changing.
My Valentine’s day card working. If you click on the image, it will open a GIF that shows the LEDs changing.

The piece of cardboard sticking out of the right side of the card is the slider. Kind of like the sliders in kids books that make paper characters move.


Another fellow intern, Josh, made a card using a simple LED circuit, with one battery and one LED. But electronics has a lot in common with love, and what seems simple in theory doesn’t always work out in actuality. So he had a circuit that almost worked, which turned out to be the perfect card for that almost love.

Josh's card.
Josh’s card.


The circuit inside Josh's card, that almost works.
The circuit inside Josh’s card that almost works.

Holly, one of the newest members of the Digilent family, also made a card with us. She is the new voice behind our various social media outlets (including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). She also made a card with a single LED circuit. This was her first experience with paper circuits and I got to help her through it! The result was pretty amazing.

The circuit inside Holly's card.
The circuit inside Holly’s card.
The inside of Holly's card.
The inside of Holly’s card.
Holly's card.
Holly’s card.

If you are interested in trying out paper circuit Valentines for yourself, check out my paper circuit Valentine Instructable. There’s still time to make some for Valentine’s Day tomorrow!

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