Time to build a holiday diorama! This isn't any old stagnant diorama. This one moves. That's right Rudolf and his crew hop up and down through the night sky thanks to our friend CRICKIT! Along with CRICKIT and a Circuit Playground Express, we'll use some cardboard, leds, pipe cleaners and a DC motor to bring this festive diorama to life.

Diorama. Image: https://pixabay.com/en/diorama-model-train-model-railway-2840721/

Prerequisite Guides

Reading or at least skimming through these guides before beginning will save you a lot of headache in the future. You can always refer back to them if you need help!

Adafruit Parts

1 x Circuit Playground Express
Circuit Playground Express is a great introduction to electronics and programming
1 x Adafruit CRICKIT for Circuit Playground Express
Crickit: Creative Robotics and Interactive Construction Kit is an add-on to Circuit Playground Express
1 x TT Motor DC Gearbox
200 RPM 3 to 6VDC
1 x USB cable
USB A to Micro-B
1 x Small Alligator Clip Test Lead (set of 12)
For powering LEDs and capacitive touch moon
1 x Snap-on Hub for TT Motor
For attaching turning mechanism to motor
2 x M3 Screws - 25mm long
For mounting the motor to the box
2 x M3 Hex Nuts
For mounting motor to box
1 x Silicone Cover Stranded-Core Ribbon Cable
For wiring red LED nose discretely
1 x Diffused Red 3mm LED
For Rudolph's nose!

Tools and Materials

  • Medium to large width corrugated cardboard - need at least 1 sheet sized 10 cm X 24 cm with the same thickness
  • Adafruit shipping box
  • Scrap pieces of cardboard (to make character cutouts and various smaller parts)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Hobby knife
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun + 2-3 sticks of glue
  • Aluminum foil
  • Assorted colored construction paper
  • Glue stick
  • Mini bamboo skewers
  • Fake spider web (for Adabot's hat and beard)
  • White paint
  • String or twine
  • Black pipe cleaners

Optional but recommended: 

  • Cutting mat (for cutting cardboard)
  • Wire cutter (for cutting pipe cleaners)
  • Black plastic straws (instead of pipe cleaners for holding up characters)

This guide was first published on Dec 03, 2018. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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