BY J. RONALD and LYNNE R. EYTON
■ FIGURE 3. One end of
the Valentine’s Day gift
box can be opened to put
in batteries and insert a
present (after bending the
wires out of the way).
a 4. 5 volt power supply
(three AA batteries). A
one watt, 33 ohm
dropping resistor wired
in series with the
batteries was used to
reduce the brightness. A push
on/push off switch ( www.allelectron
ics.com; CAT# PB- 21) attached
through the side of the box allows the
gift giver to turn on the LED just
before the present is presented.
The paper gift wrapping on one
end of the box was carefully cut
so that a flap can be opened
and closed. After cutting the gift
wrapping and cardboard box to
create a flap, the paper needs to be
completely taped to each edge of
the box to prevent tearing and
fraying. The flap access allows the
interior of the box to be wired
(see Figure 3), allows for the
insertion of batteries, and allows for
enclosing the contents of the gift.
The wires shown in Figure 3 can
be bent to one side to accomplish
all of this.
The heart/standoffs assembly was
then glued in place over the red LED.
A RadioShack Prewired Musical Song
Player (Catalog # 276-720 and avail-
able online at www.radioshack.com
for $1.47!) was added to the top
of the wood heart. The unit comes
in three parts: the electronics
board/speaker, a tactile switch, and a
two AA battery power supply. One of
the five song chips (Let Me Call You
Sweetheart) was used for this project.
The tactile switch and the music board
were glued to the top of the
heart; the battery power supply was
fastened to the inside of the box using
a Velcro strip.
Turn on the red LED heart, start
the music, and make your presentation. Figure 4 shows only a poor
facsimile of the real world result.
No matter how many different
photos I took of the illuminated heart
using both film and digital cameras,
not one was able to correctly capture
the bright red halo surrounding the
heart and the soft red wash covering
the entire top of the package at the
■ FIGURE 6. A “turned-on” birthday gift
wrapped package with glowing blue EL
wire and a green backlit name tag.
The electroluminescent (EL) wire
used to wrap the present shown
in Figure 5 was obtained from an
auto parts store (Stringlight made by
Quest Industries, Inc., is a five foot
blue EL wire used for accenting
the interior of cars). An equivalent
product can be obtained from
www.allelectronics.com as CAT#
■ FIGURE 7. Silver paper wrapping and
18 white silk flower tea roses were used
to create this anniversary gift box.
■ FIGURE 4. The Valentine’s Day gift
box with the red LED under the heart
■ FIGURE 5. The birthday gift wrapped
box is shown with a blue EL wire ribbon
and an LED backlight panel name tag.
December 2006 37