This music box can be customized to star any character you like in the position of the dancer. For this version we are using Adabot, a PDF of which is available below.

Scissor Time


Cut out a picture of your character.. 


The mirror images will create a character that looks good from any angle.

Glue both sides of the character together, sandwiching a straw between them.


Press between the pages of a heavy book. Let sit for 10 minutes for glue to cure.

Servo Stand


To create a stand for the servo motor, fold the ends of a long rectangle of cardboard 90 degrees, creating a small platform with legs.


Glue the legs of this platform to a base using two strips of hot glue.

Mark the outline of the base of the servo motor on the top of the platform.


Be careful to try to center the hub of the motor in the middle of the platform.


Cut a hole for the servo motor and use a line of hot glue on either side to hold it firmly in place.

Spring time


Glue a spring from a pen to the hub of the servo motor. A small dab of hot glue should be enough to make a firm connection.


Attach a short piece of a wooden skewer to the top of the spring using another dab of hot glue.


Slide your paper character onto this wooden skewer using the straw sandwiched in the middle. This will allow the character to rotate if necessary, and make it removable if you'd like to add a different character to your music box.

Hold Fast


Use small squares of double sided foam tape to hold everything in place inside the box.

Adding an Insert

Adding some colorful image or scenery to the inside of the music box can accentuate the dancer and highlight the rainbow lights even further. Follow these instructions to make your own box insert.

Using a sheet of paper, cut out a rectangle approximately the same internal dimensions of the box you're using. 


Add an inlet to allow room for the top of the servo motor to poke through and trace a circle where the Circuit Playground Express will poke through. This opening will allow the light sensor on CPX to "see" its light environment and detect  whether the box is open or closed.


Once you have verified that the cutout in this first insert are where you want them, you can use it as a stencil for other images you'd like to put inside. 

These example images of Adabot and other Circuit Playground friends all make fun inserts for this music box, but let your imagination run wild here.

This guide was first published on Jan 17, 2019. It was last updated on Jun 24, 2024.

This page (Music Box Construction) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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