So, I have been making stuff. I never stop making stuff. I just haven’t been posting about it all. 🙂 Too busy traveling the world as a Mermaid, I think.
But this one is so much fun I want to share!
This necklace reminds me of the sparkly in the Secret of Nimh cartoon. I mean, I’ve always wanted a Sparkly for my very own… hasn’t everyone?
I started with a neopixel. I did a resin cast, embedding the neopixel inside. Then I glued a small neopixel ring on the back of the hardened resin jewel and wired it up to the embedded pixel. I love the neopixel rings, but trouble is that they leave a dark spot in the middle, so adding a single neopixel in the center makes the whole thing glow more evenly.
I wired it all up to a beetle board. These are super cute and teeny tiny, though they are a bit fiddly and sometimes I want to smash them with a shoe.
I tested lots of different LED code effects before I found this one on the FastLED forum and tweaked it so it gave me the look I wanted.. clouds, sparkles, fades, and the whole thing slowly cycles through the rainbow, giving me every color over the course of several minutes. It runs on a small LiPo battery glued to the back of the beetle board.
I looked through my “steampunk junk” drawer and found the little pocket watch blank — I probably got it at Michael’s or a halloween store at some point. I took off the back and the flip cover and used a dremel to rout out the inside metal tabs, and the whole necklace assembly fit perfectly right inside. (I was tempted to leave the flip cover on, because a flip cover pocket watch necklace would be super cool too, but I decided it’s better in it’s constantly open state and who wants to walk around with a covered up LED necklace anyway?)
The new thing, the bit I’m proudest of, is the magnetic clasp / switch. This has always been an issue for me with making LED necklaces. Well, two issues — one, where do you put the switch so it’s not visible or rubbing against your neck, and two, how do you have an open-able clasp if the wires are going around your neck? With this solution I fixed both problems in a most elegant way.
The magnetic clasp is a super simple solution, and much less expensive than buying an on/off switch. I’m considering adding a non-wired magnetic clasp in there too, in case I want to wear this necklace when it’s turned off… but.. why on earth would I want to do that?
Before you ask.. yes, I have considered making these for sale. But, my MO for any type of thing I make seems to be this:
1. Make a whole bunch JUST FOR ME until I have way more than I can use
2. Make them for my friends as gifts / giveaways until my friends get sick of them too
3. Make them for sale, if I’m still excited about the process and if I can guarantee they won’t break.
That’s the issue with LED clothing, costumes, jewelry, etc… it breaks! It breaks all the time. I’m convinced that this is why it’s taking so long for cool LED glow fur and costume bits to make it out to the retail stores.. I have to fix on my LED costume bits so often, and the fixes are usually pretty tricky and involve soldering irons and replacement wires and parts, that I just couldn’t justify selling this stuff until I feel super confident it won’t just fall apart.
Here’s a picture of the guts. I might add some kind of cover back there eventually but then there’ll be issues with plugging it into the charger, so I’ve just left it techie-looking for now. 🙂 And it’s nice and smooth on my neck, and doesn’t seem to want to spin around, so maybe I’ll just leave it.