No fairy costume is complete without a glowing pixie dust bag. This one uses a touch sensor to cycle through colors on the beautifully twinkling NeoPixel rings, all powered by a tiny GEMMA microcontroller. This sophisticated-looking, rechargeable prop is easy to build with just a little bit of soldering.

This guide was written for the 'original' Gemma board, but can be done with either the original or M0 Gemma. We recommend the Gemma M0 as it is easier to use and is more compatible with modern computers!

You'll need:

  • Gemma M0 or Original Gemma (M0 type is recommended!) - can also substitute Trinket M0 or Trinket Mini
  • RGB NeoPixel LEDs - two Flora pixels, one 12 x ring, and one 16 x ring
  • Small translucent fabric pouch
  • Scale model scenic snow in small plastic bag to diffuse pixels (or tissue paper, styrofoam beads, or another diffuser)
  • 500mAh rechargeable lipoly battery and charger
  • Tactile on/off switch
  • Momentary capacative touch sensor
  • 10k Ω resistor
  • Heat shrink tubing or electrical tape
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Solid core or stranded wire (20 to 26 gauge)
  • Helping third hand tool
  • Wire strippers
  • Flush diagonal cutters
  • Solderless breadboard, hookup wire, and alligator clips for prototyping
  • Double-sided foam tape
  • Needle and thread

This guide was first published on Oct 22, 2014. It was last updated on Apr 19, 2024.

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

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