There are many ways you can create a mat and frame for your HalloWing to turn it into the Tiny Museum Tour device.  Here we'll show one method that uses a small stretched canvas and basswood strips from the hobby store. So long as your frame and mat are large enough to hold the HalloWing, speaker, and battery, the dimensions and style are not critical, so feel free to personalized yours!

Screen Hole

The screen on the HalloWing is about 30mm wide by 35mm high. Cut a hole in the center of your canvas that is just this size or even a tiny bit smaller to fit the screen through while hiding the main board.

Find the center of your canvas by drawing two diagonal, intersecting marks with a straight edge from corner to corner.


Use a try square to measure 15mm out from center to either side, and 17.5mm from center toward the top and bottom of the frame (the speed square shown here is in imperial units, but I used that small black Adafruit PCB ruler to find the metric measurements before marking lines).


With a hobby knife and straight edge, cut out the screen hole.


Cable Port

I marked a spot for the USB cable to enter the top of the frame and then used a saw and chisel to remove some of the wood as shown here.






To hold the HalloWing in place I used both hot glue and small basswood strips cut to size and glued into the frame.









Extra Depth

This step is optional if you don't plan to hang the frame on the wall, or if your canvas frame is already deeper than the HalloWing and battery will require to lay flat.

To add extra depth I cut four lengths of 3/16" x 1/2" basswood at 45° angles with a mitre box and saw, and then glued them and clamped them to the back of the canvas frame.





Battery and Speaker

Time to plug in the speaker to the white speaker port on the left side of the board, and the battery into the battery port at the upper right of the board.

You can use some blue tack (poster putty) or double stick foam tape to secure them in place.

Build a Decorative Frame from Scratch

Here's a fun technique for making your own frame stock from scratch! You can take different sizes of basswood strip and lay them out on a piece of card stock to find an interesting geometry. Glue them down to the card stock and when it dries you can cut your custom material on a mitre box!

First, try out some arrangements to see what pattern you like. This allows you to adjust the scale of the frame to fit your screen and canvas as well.

Next, glue the strips down on card card stock using wood glue or white glue. Apply pressure to keep the strips tight to each other and flat while they dry, then cut the card stock with a hobby knife.





Cut to Length

Measure the top of the canvas and transfer that measurement to the top of your frame stock. Then, cut this first strip out on your mitre box with a saw.

Cut out the remaining frame sides this way.





Dry fit the pieces to make sure you get right angles! You can use sandpaper to remove material carefully from one end to adjust fit.

Then, lay the pieces out and glue them onto another piece of card stock.





Hold the frame tight in place for a minute to let it start to dry -- proper clamping can be a challenge at this small scale!

Once it is dry, cut the frame from the card stock with a hobby knife.

Fix the Gaps


You may have some gaps in the frame -- these can be filled in with wood paste.


Collect some sawdust from your mitre box and mix it 1:1 with wood glue.


Use a small putty knife or other flat tool to fill in the gaps.


Wipe off any excess from the frame.


Use some medium and fine grit sandpaper to clean up the surface. You can also add some chamfers and bevels to the frame strips if you like!






I decided to hit the frame with a few coats of gold spray paint, to give it that fancy art gallery feel! Basswood is very absorbent, so it will take a few coats, or you may want to use a sealer on the wood first.

Affix Frame to Canvas

Once your paint is dry, use some white glue to affix the frame to the canvas. Use a couple of heavy objects to hold it in place while it dries.





Capacitive Touch Strips

We want to be able to advance or reverse the images on our Tiny Museum Tour Device by tapping the sides of the frame. To do this, we'll run wire and copper tape from the outer "teeth" of the HalloWing.

First, solder two strips of wire to the teeth as shown (if you want to avoid soldering you could use alligator clip leads instead), then create copper strip pads for the wires to each touch on either side.





Next, we'll program the Tiny Museum Tour Device with Circuit Python and add media to the HalloWing.

This guide was first published on Oct 19, 2018. It was last updated on May 21, 2024.

This page (Build the Display Canvas and Frame) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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