Bling My Card - LED & conductive paint card making workshop
Bling My Card - LED & conductive paint card making workshop

Bling My Card - LED workshop by Natalia Buckley

02 January 2013

Lighthouse's resident technologist Natalia Buckley writes about bringing Bling My Card - a conductive paint and LED christmas card making workshop - to Lighthouse earlier this month. An event that sparked creativity with electronics, whilst bringing a festive glow and raising money for a local charity.

Bling My Card - LED & conductive paint card making workshop
Bling My Card - LED & conductive paint card making workshop

I have long been looking for an excuse to try out some of the conductive paint I’ve come across, which allows you to make electronic circuits on paper. I am also always trying to think up ways of getting more people to try their hands at making tech, so simplifying introduction to something a little geeky by making it crafty is just the kind of thing I like doing.

So I decided to organise a Christmas card-making workshop (called Bling My Card) and kill two birds with one stone. Actually three birds, because I figured the event could also raise some money for charity that way. Lighthouse very generously let us use their space, helped me set everything up, provided the Christmas tree and even made sure there was mulled wine available. The cards would be embellished with little lights (LEDs), thus making them brilliant. Everything is better with light on, right?

We had lots of sparkly paper, glitter and plenty of design ideas. The Christmas tree smelled beautifully, and the scent of spices from the wine was everywhere. In between the mince pies there were some brilliant cards made. Some attendees knew how to make a basic circuit, but others found out on the day, so I hope it was a little bit educational as well as fun.

Money we’ve raised is going to Rockinghorse. Rockinghorse buy specialist medical equipment to provide best possible care for children in Brighton’s hospitals. Thanks to all who came we’ve made £148 plus the contents of the donation tin (not yet counted).

I am now trying to find some other uses for the conductive paint during workshops, because it is a nice and gentle way of introducing some electronics without seeming very technical.

Natalia Buckley is a creative technologist, designer, developer, maker, and tinkerer. She came to the Lighthouse for the Happenstance project, during which she built Offbott with James Bridle. After that, she found it too hard to leave, so she stayed in the office and takes care of the Lighthouse’s website.

More pictures from Bling My Card can be found on Natalia’s flickr page



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