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A Clothespin Piano

Hey there, it’s another project! This one (like many others) can be found in the Brown Dog Gadgets Project Database. This is a piano (another one) but instead of buttons we’ve assembled our own “keys” using clothespins. It’s a Clothespin Piano! They’ve already got springs to snap back to a “closed/off” position, so adding a little bit of Maker Tape was easy. (And yes, we had lots of clothespins around from the Simple Coin Cell Battery Testers that we make.)

Here’s a nice illustration to show the connections and how to assemble it. You could print this page and use it as a guide, and we’ve also got a PDF that can be used with just the outline of the clothespins and and tape. (I actually laser etched some cardboard for my version, which made lining things up very easy.)

We used 1/4″ Maker Tape and 1/8″ Maker Tape. The former for the clothespins, just to get better surface contact, and the latter for the Crazy Circuits connections.

Worth noting is that these are “Normally Closed” switches (or “NC”) instead of “Normally Open” (or “NO”) switches, so we’ve reversed the logic in the code to handle that. (Also fun, if you disconnect all the keys it’ll just play notes all the time.)

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UFO Badge

Hey, it’s time for another badge! This time we’ve got a UFO Badge. It’s another Brown Dog Gadgets project that’s a great example of using Maker Tape.

The PDF file contains two pages you can print onto cardstock and then cut up and make into the badge. (Full instructions are in the Brown Dog Gadgets Project Database.)

These badges are fun, cheap, and easy-to-make wearables. They feature simple circuitry that requires no soldering, just a few components and some conductive tape.

(Note: This one doesn’t actually blink, but you can use whatever LEDs you like. The 10mm Jumbo LEDs at Brown Dog Gadgets have built-in resistors, which make them great for simple projects like this.)

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Campfire Badge

If you loved the Rocket Badge they you’ll probably like the Campfire Badge. And of course if you do like the Campfire Badge you can grab it from the Brown Dog Gadgets Project Database.

I started with this campfire from SVGRepo and with a few modifications, I think it works well for the badge. Above is the top part of the badge, and below is the bottom part with the circuit. You print both parts and do a bit of folding and taping to create the two layers.

The circuit consists of a red LED, a CR2032 battery, and Maker Tape to connect it all together. There’s also a paperclip that can hold the paper switch closed to keep it turned on.

This one has an extra illustration to show the layer assembly. I’ll admit, I’m not the greatest illustrator, but I’m getting better. Most of my work doing vector illustration in the past 10 years has been for technical drawings used for digital fabrication, not for… art. Creating these illustrations is a lot of fun though, and I’m glad I get to do it.

Like many other projects for Brown Dog Gadgets, we provide a full-color template and a black & white version if you want to do all the coloring and decoration yourself.

These are fun projects that can be done at home or in a workshop setting using cheap materials. More badges are coming…

Stay Tuned!

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Rocket Badge

This Rocket Badge is a follow-up to the Rocket Card I posted recently. It’s another Brown Dog Gadgets project that you can find on their project site.

I started with this illustration and made a number of changes, then designed a badge with it.

The badge has a front and back part, with the circuit between the two. The LEDs shine through the paper as well as out the sides. A paper switch with conductive tape and a paper clip is used to turn it on and off.

This badge uses a red LED, blue LED, a CR2032 battery, and some Maker Tape. There’s a full-color version as well as a black & white version you can color and decorate as you see fit.

I’ve got a few more badge ideas in the works, but if you’ve got an idea for one, let me know!

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Rocket Card

Here’s another project for Brown Dog Gadgets. I’ve been making a lot of paper circuits lately, including cards, and this is another template you can download and print, it’s a Rocket Card.

This one started with an illustration of a rocket from SVGRepo that I modified a bit. I changed the color scheme, modified one of the fins, added some thick outlines, and a few other embellishments.

I created two version, a flat version and a cut-out-and-stick-on-top version to add some dimension and allow for the LEDs to go under the rocket. (Besides the LEDs you’ll need a CR2032 battery and some Maker Tape if you want to make one.)

Each of the two versions also comes in full-color that you can print on a color printer, and an alternate version you can print on a standard black & white printer and then color or decorate as you see fit.