Overview

Crystal Gems will always save the day!

Create a stunning paper craft crystal from laminated cellophane wrap. Add NeoPixels and watch it sparkle!

We've included two different build sizes in this tutorial -- one crystal large enough to house a Circuit Playground Express, and one with a single NeoPixel illuminating the crystal. This project can be run from a battery for cosplay applications (the crystal on Gandalf's staff perhaps?) or plugged in to the wall via USB for a more permanent installation.

We've also included a Steven Universe Warp-Pad 3D printable base, so your Crystal Gems can be displayed in style. The possibilities are endless!

Large Crystals

This is a simpler build that requires no soldering -- the Circuit Playground fits inside the gem and provides all the light. 

Materials Needed

  • Circuit Playground Express
  • Iridescent Cellophane gift wrap (from the craft store)
  • Laminating machine & two 3mm pouches
  • Utility knife or Vinyl Cutting Machine & accessories
  • Super glue
  • 3D printer for the base
  • Battery or USB cable for power

Circuit Playground Express

PRODUCT ID: 3333
Circuit Playground Express is the next step towards a perfect introduction to electronics and programming. We've taken the original Circuit Playground Classic and...
$24.95
IN STOCK

Lithium Ion Polymer Battery - 3.7v 150mAh

PRODUCT ID: 1317
Lithium ion polymer (also known as 'lipo' or 'lipoly') batteries are thin, light and powerful. The output ranges from 4.2V when completely charged to 3.7V. This battery...
$5.95
IN STOCK

USB cable - USB A to Micro-B

PRODUCT ID: 592
This here is your standard A to micro-B USB cable, for USB 1.1 or 2.0. Perfect for connecting a PC to your Metro, Feather, Raspberry Pi or other dev-board or...
$2.95
IN STOCK

Smaller Crystals

This build is a little more complicated since you'll be soldering individual NeoPixels together to illuminate the crystal. You can make multiple crystals and string them together, and the NeoPixels will animate in concert with each other.  It's fun to make multiple crystals in slightly different sizes to create a gorgeous sparkling art piece.

  • Circuit Playground Express
  • Individual NeoPixels (1 for each crystal)
  • Soldering Iron & Accessories
  • Iridescent Cellophane Gift Wrap (from the craft store)
  • Laminating machine & 3mm pouches
  • Wire or ribbon cable with 4 strands
  • Utility knife or a Vinyl Cutting Machine & accessories
  • Super glue
  • Battery or USB cable for power

Flora RGB Smart NeoPixel version 2 - Pack of 4

PRODUCT ID: 1260
What's a wearable project without LEDs? Our favorite part of the Flora platform is these tiny smart pixels. Designed specifically for wearables, these updated Flora NeoPixels have...
$7.95
IN STOCK

Silicone Cover Stranded-Core Ribbon Cable - 4 Wires 1 Meter Long

PRODUCT ID: 3892
For those who are fans of our silicone-covered wires, but are always looking to up their wiring game. We now have Silicone Cover Ribbon cables! These may look...
$1.95
IN STOCK
This guide was first published on May 14, 2019. It was last updated on May 14, 2019. This page (Overview) was last updated on Jul 16, 2019.