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

If you don't have a cutting machine or a laminating machine, you can buy a pre-cut crystal gem kit here.

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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
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This guide was first published on May 14, 2019. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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

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