Sunday, September 5, 2021

A STEM Project: Making a LED Light Box Using a Dollar Store String of Copper LED Lights

LED Light Box with Foil Quilled Dandelion Design

A number of months ago, I purchased a Brother PE 800 embroidery machine and I have been exploring its usage.  I discovered an online computer program called Turtlestitch whereby beautiful designs can be coded with SNAP! These designs can then be transferred to the embroidery machine via USB.  These same designs created in Turtlestitch can be made into a SVG and downloaded to the Silhouette software. In this blog posting, I created an embroidery version for the PE 800 embroidery machine, a Foil Quilled Silhouette version and a Silhouette Sketch pen version. 

The inspiration for this design came from a fabulous group of educators who have helped me broaden my horizons using Turtlestitch through our weekly "Tea and Turtlestitch" meetings.  Portions of this dandelion design were coded by Margaret Low, a professor at the University of Warwick. The design was modified by Lan Heng and then I further enhanced this dandelion design. Here is my design on the Turtlestitch website. The design can be exported from this website to a Tajima/DSF file for your embroidery machine.

The string of 12 LED lights was purchased at Dollar Tree. Two AA batteries are required for the LED lights.

Here is the PDF.    I used 110 lb. cardstock for the light box (65 lb cardstock will work too) and a sheet of Park Lane "Heritage of Home" paper to frame the light box. I used vellum for the Foil Quilled version. I used Aleene's Tacky glue, scotch tape and Glue Dots in this project.

Here is the .Studio file.  

Here is the SVG.

Make the Light Box

Align all of the box edge pieces so that they are oriented in the same direction. 
Mountain fold all of the horizontal edges so that the pieces look as above.

Apply glue to the horizontal tab.  This tab is the shorter of the two horizontal edge tabs.

Adhere the glue by pressing down on the paper and exposing the bottom edge.  The piece will become flat.

Once the glue has dried, reorient the edges to make a rectangular box. Repeat the above three instructions for the other three box edge pieces.

The box side edges are different on each side.  On the right side, all the edges align.  Fold the two small tabs inward as shown above.

Apply glue to the two small tabs.

Adhere the one tab on the left side and then apply glue to the top of this tab.

Adhere the other side tab to complete the right side.

On the left side of this piece where the side edges are misaligned,  fold the two small tabs inward and then apply glue to the them.

Fold down the top tab and adhere. 
One side of the light box is completed. Repeat so that all of the sides look as the photo above.

In the photo above, I rotated the piece by 180 degrees from the previous photo.
Apply glue in the three corner areas as shown above. Each surface will adhere to different parts of the adjoining piece.

Adhere a corner of another side piece to the two glued areas and then fold up the tab to complete the corner.

Repeat for the other three sides.  Apply glue to the top of the inside of all four sides of the square.

Insert the LED Light pattern and adhere this piece to the glue. 

Apply glue to the inside edge of the four edge tabs.  Fold the tabs down and adhere to the box.

LED light panel completed.

Cut the vellum or embroidery to a 6 x 6 inch size and sandwich two borders on either side of the piece.

LED lights from Dollar Tree

Please note the caution on the back of the package.  As always, this project is intended with adult supervision and the LED lights should not be left on unattended as this could possibly be a fire hazard. 

There are 12 LED lights in the package. As I only needed six, I doubled up the lights in this project.

Thread the LED lights through the hole in the back of the battery holder piece.

Fold the battery holder piece as shown above.

Thread the tab of the battery holder piece through the slit in the back and glue it down.  Attach the bottom tab of the battery holder to the back by gluing it down also . The completed battery holder piece is shown above.

Orient the battery holder piece, the LED light panel and the design so that they are all aligned correctly when the lights are illuminated.

Attach the LED lights to the back of the LED light panel by pinching two LED lights together, threading them through the hole in the paper and taping them to the back with Scotch tape.

This is the view of the front of the LED light panel with the two LED lights illuminated.

Repeat for all of the other lights.  Above is a photo of all of the lights taped to the back.  I applied Glue Dots to the edge of the LED light panel and adhered it to the front of the battery holder piece.

The LED light box is ready for the embroidery or the Foil Quilled design to be attached.

The embroidery is attached with a pretty paper cover which is slide over the edge of the LED Light box. Fold the two tabs upward on the pretty paper pieces.

Glue the four corner tabs to create a cover for the box.

Lay the frame over the top of the LED light box.   

Slide the pretty paper frame over the top of the LED light box.

Here is the embroidered frame.

Embroidered frame in the LED light box.

The three versions of the dandelion design, Foil Quilled design (top), embroidered design (bottom left) and a Silhouette sketch pen design (bottom right.) 

I think that the Foil Quilled version looks better then the sketch pen version as the colors in the pen version are not as fine and vibrant as the Foil Quilled version.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

A STEM Project: A Hand That Moves

Using Vellum and chipboard paper, I created a hand whose fingers move.  Vellum is a flexible paper, I created a cut-out pattern which allows the fingers to move consistent with the way normal fingers move.  I inserted a string looped around a small brad (fastener) in each finger.  When all of the strings are pulled in unison, the finger curls upward.

A hand that moves when the strings are pulled.  

The strings in this paper hand act like tendons.  In the human hand, the tendons are connected to the bone. When they are contracted, this causes the normal movement of the human hand.

Video of the strings in the hand being pulled.

Here is the PDF. I used vellum and Silhouette brand chipboard.

Here is the .Studio file.  

Here is the SVG.

To make the hand, cut out and glue each finger into a tube.  Insert a brad into the tube in the hole at the top of the finger.  Loop a 14 inch string around the brad (in the interior of the tube). Bend the two corners of the finger tip inwards and then splay the brad around the string.  Repeat for all of the fingers.  Glue the fingers to the vellum palm.  Glue the vellum palm to the hand.

Back side of the hand

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

A STEM Project: Another Beautiful Slice Form Flower Arrangement in a Small Slice Form Vase Using TurtleStitch(SNAP!) Coded Flowers

Turtlestitch Coded Flowers in a Small Slice Form Vase

 (I have included all of the cut files. No coding is necessary.  I would like the users of my blog to be inspired by the Turtlestitch coding.)

The flowers in this design were coded in Turtlestitch which is based on the SNAP! programming language. Turtlestitch is a program which can generate code for an embroidery machine. It can also create these same designs as a line drawing. Here is my code on the Turtlestitch website.  Try opening the project and running my code.  It's fun to see the turtle moving across the screen and to see the lines being generated. Each flower was coded in a block and named Flower 1-7.  To view the Flower 1 block code, right click on the Flower 1 block.  If you would like, modify the number of steps.  Have fun with it.  If you make too many mistakes, just close the program and start over. When you have made a new design that you would like to cut, export the design as an SVG using the new page icon in the upper left of the Turtlestitch screen and open the design in your Silhouette program. While you are at the Turtlestitch website, check out the other interesting designs that users have made.

The Flower 1 code block pictured above created the flower below with five petals in Turtlestitch. The size is variable so that the design can be increased or decreased without rewriting the code.

Notice in the photo above that the center of the flower has solid lines.  The Silhouette Cameo needs to cut just the outer edge of the design.  This can be done in two ways. Either by using the Cut Edge feature in the Send menu or using the Offset feature. The trick to maintain the same shape when using the Offset feature is to use an offset of a small distance like .005 inch and then do an internal offset of the same .005 inch distance. This procedure negates the offset and the original design is maintained.

The vase is smaller than my previous posting. The slices of the vase have been reconstructed to accommodate the smaller size.  Slice forms can not be resized as a whole as the width of the slits are dependent upon the thickness of the paper.  The entire flower arrangement is six inches tall as compared to the previous model which was nine inches tall.

Here is the PDF. I used 110 lb. cardstock for the vase and 65lb. cardstock for the flowers.

Here is the .Studio file.  I used 110 lb. cardstock for the vase and 65lb. cardstock for the flowers.

Here is the SVG.

Make the Vase

Bend the tabs of the buds at a right angle. Glue two of the vase pieces together.

The slice will look like the above photo. Repeat to make six slices.

Slide the bud slices onto the circle slices. There are five circles with three being small ones.  The order of the circles, starting from the top, is small, large, large, small and small

Completed vase

Make the Flowers

Cut out the flower pieces and curl the petals upward. 

Assemble the flower by gluing one flower piece on top of another as shown above. Glue this flower onto the circular bud area on the stem of the vase. While making this flower arrangement, I suggest that you have fun with its design.  Mix and match the different pieces to create unique flowers.

Assemble the flowers in a pleasing pattern.  I made six flowers in three different styles. While arranging the flowers,  I decided that the light pink flower with the frilly center was a little too big for the top buds.  I decided to eliminate the outer pink petals.  I think the result looks fabulous.