There is a castle on a cloud
I like to go there in my sleep
Aren't any floors for me to sweep
Not in my castle on a cloud
- Castle On A Cloud, from Les Miserables / Claude-Michel Schönberg
Build your own castle-on-a-cloud from recycled glass bottles and make it glow with NeoPixels. Each bottle is topped with a whimsical, electrically conductive clay sculpture. We've wired all the sculptures to a capacitive touch pad sensor and speaker, so each bottle lights up and sounds a pretty tone when it's touched. You can play this castle like a musical instrument! And if you touch the small bottle near the entry, the castle will play a song for you, with a lovely LED animation accompanying it.
The full build is fairly complicated, with a lot of wires and soldering and fiddling, but the end result is absolutely breathtaking. Get ready to dig in and become a song castle virtuoso.
If you love the idea but aren't a musician, we've also included instructions for a simplified lights-only version that's really easy to assemble. It's not interactive, but it's still going to show off your bottle artwork beautifully.
If you're making the capacitive touch musical version you'll also need:
- Glass bottles in varying sizes - my castle has 11 bottles
- 1/8" or thicker acrylic or polycarbonate sheet for the base. Mine is 6.5" x 35"
- Base frame material - I used leftover wood siding
- Air-dry clay - you can find this at any craft store or online
- Powdered graphite - often available at art / craft stores, or online
- Metallic gold paint and/or metallic gold spray paint
- Mirror Spray Paint by Rustoleum
- Colored glass, shells, jewels, cellophane wrap, shiny vinyl, or other decorative findings
- Clear packing tape - 2" wide
- Zip ties
- E6000 Glue
To make the lights-only version, you'll need a screw driver and wire cutters / strippers.
For the capacitive touch version, you'll also need a soldering iron and accessories.
You may also find it helpful to have a heat gun, a hot glue gun, and a saw or woodworking tools for building the frame.