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Binder Clip Bling is an update on the classic LED Throwie. By using a binder clip, you can turn off your LED bling by removing and separating your LED and battery circuit. Remember, the battery will run out long before the LED stops working!

LED binder clip bling-ring

The binder clip also provides a great way to attach your LED light to your person or your clothes. Use a chenille stem (formerly known as a pipe cleaner) to create a ring, bracelet, or light for your bag. Alternatively, glue the binder clip to a pin or barrette for a light-up wearable that’s easy to take on and off. Just make sure the binder clip’s metal wings are folded back when you glue your connector, or it will be very hard to open.

This project is based on Digital Bling, developed by The Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

Steps

Step #1: Make a circuit

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  • Slide 1 to 3 LEDs onto a coin battery. The longer lead goes on the + side. No light? Flip the LED around.
  • Cut a foam rectangle. Make it large enough to cover the battery when folded in half.
  • Hold the battery, LED, and foam together with a binder clip.
  • Test to make sure it works, then take it apart. Time to make it interesting.

Step #2: Decorate your circuit

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  • Cut out foam shapes to make your bling. Attach pieces together with hot glue or glue dots. Make holes for LEDs with a pencil or by folding and cutting a tiny line at the fold.
  • Add LEDs to your foam creation. Slide the battery back in. You may need to bend the leads a little to get it into the binder clip.
  • Hold everything together with a binder clip. Add layers, add colors, and make it your own!

Step #3: Attach your bling

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Use a piece of chenille stem to attach your bling to your hand, clothes, backpack, or anything you like! Or glue it to a pin or barrette for an easy to attach light-up wearable.

Jessica Henricks

Jessica designs art, making, and STEAM experiences for learners of all ages. She's developed and produced hands-on workshops, public programs, video media, project guides, and PD resources for organizations like Maker Media, the Exploratorium, and Franconia Sculpture Park. She holds a BFA in Sculpture from RISD and an EdM from Harvard.

She's shared hands-on activities with attendees at Maker Faires since 2007.


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