Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

Hello everyone! Let’s start this month of LED goodness with the most famous reindeer of all and his bright red nose. Here’s just a simple crafty hack with 1 LED to get us started.

material

You’ll need:

  • 1 10mm red LED
  • A small canvas, or cardboard (I used A5)
  • Some paint
  • Conductive tape
  • A coin cell battery

Optional:

  • A golden marker
  • Googly eyes
  • Chenille wire sticks

1) Prepare your canvas

I’ve chosen to have a background with white and blue stripes; so I’ve prepared my canvas with some tape to paint the stripes.
canvas
paint

2) Drawing Rudolph

paper_reindeer
Next, drawing a reindeer is not easy as it seems. There are hundreds of different head shapes if you look for inspiration on Google.
Mine started looking like a cat, and after a few tries, it looked more like a cow (which is, I think, close enough to a reindeer).
So one advice; don’t draw directly on your canvas. Once I was happy with the shape of the head, I did a paper cut-out so I could draw the outline on the canvas with a light pencil.
I have deliberately left the antlers out since I’m going to use chenille wires to make them – but of course, if you’re not using any, you should draw them! 🙂

model

If you don’t fancy drawing and don’t mind getting your feet dirty, I found this example which I really like:
foot reindeer

Once your reindeer is painted, let it dry before proceeding to the next step.

3) The LED

Now pierce the canvas where the nose is supposed to be, in order to make LED’s legs go through; make a note of where the longest leg is (we need to connect this one to the + side of the battery, and the other one to the – side). Then, using conductive tape, link the LED and the coin cell battery together. You can make a paper battery holder, as explained here and stick it at the back of your canvas. The nose should be lit up!
If not, your LED might be the wrong way around. Be also aware that the sticky side of the conductive tape is often not conductive enough.
P1030120

4) Finishing up

Finally, let’s add the antlers, made of chenille wires (tape them to the back of the frame and twist them at your convenience), and some googly eyes (unless you’ve painted them beforehand).
Complete the painting with some touches of gold marker; and don’t forget to add a frame hanger at the back. And voilà! Here’s the result:

P1030125

I hope you enjoyed this first activity, come back tomorrow for a new one, with 2 LEDs this time!

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