Making It Festive

It's that time of year when snow is falling (here, anyway!) and friends are calling. It's the holiday season! So, we've gone to our local craft store and purchased a rather plain wreath with plans to spruce it up!

For this project, you'll need:

  • A wreath, or anything you'd like to decorate!
  • 2 x Circuit Playground Bluefruits
  • 2 x Circuit Playground Enclosures (optional)
  • 1 (or 2) NeoPixel strip(s) with alligator clips
  • 420mAh lithium ion battery
  • 6600mAh lithium ion battery
  • A handful of zip ties, including one long enough to fit around the 6600mAh battery
  • A strip of double sided tape

Gather everything together, and let's get started!

Assembling the Wreath

Place the Circuit Playground Bluefruit boards in their enclosures.

If you're using one NeoPixel strip, connect it as shown in the first image and described in the Single NeoPixel Strip section of the Assembly page.

If you're using two NeoPixel strips, connect them as shown in the second image and described in the Two NeoPixel Strips section of the Assembly page.

Lay out the wreath and flatten the branches a bit to make a place for the strips to lie. The way they are designed, the strips will not want to lay flat on their own, so we'll need to zip tie them in place. This also makes the project more permanent. Arrange the strips on the wreath.

Starting at the top, begin to place zip ties along the strips, holding the strips flat as you tighten the zip tie. Line the zip ties up so they sit between NeoPixels - we don't want to lose any light if we can avoid it!

Continue to zip tie the strips in place until you've secured them all the way around the wreath.

Slip a zip tie through the slots on the back of the Circuit Playground Enclosure of the NeoPixel Animator Circuit Playground Bluefruit and secure it to the wreath. You may need to arrange the alligator clips around the strips to settle the NeoPixel Animator CPB as flat as possible.

Now it's time to attach the 6600mAh battery to the wreath. Make sure the zip tie you're using will fit around the battery. If it doesn't, you can connect two zip ties together to make one longer one.

Flip the wreath over and slip a zip tie through the front behind the NeoPixel Animator Circuit Playground Bluefruit.

Place the battery so it's centered behind the foliage, and zip tie it down. Tuck the wire around to the front where it will be plugged into the NeoPixel Animator CPB.

The battery may move around some as it's only attached at one point, but there were no issues on our build. As long as the zip tie is tight, it's not going anywhere.

Assembling the Remote Control

Use the double-sided tape to attach the 420mAh to the back of the Remote Control.

Stick the tape to the battery, and then stick the battery on the back of the Circuit Playground Enclosure on the Remote Control Circuit Playground Bluefruit.

Plug in both batteries, and you're ready to go!

As a final touch, you can arrange the branches of the wreath to cover the LED strips for a more subtle look. Or leave them uncovered, whatever you like best!

This guide was first published on Dec 14, 2019. It was last updated on Dec 14, 2019. This page (Making It Festive) was last updated on Jan 11, 2020.