Although this post technically has nothing to do with web design, I thought I would share it with you anyway.

I made a color-morphing Christmas ornament with my Arduino this year. The first step was to prototype it with my old Radio Shack electronics lab.


The covering is an origami balloon made out of tissue paper. It actually does a really great job of diffusing the light.

I then made the permanent circuit with some salvaged Christmas light wire, a breadboard, and tons of Gorilla tape. Just in case anyone is planning on making this themselves, you should probably use solder or crimp connectors instead, but I didn’t have any on hand.

The wires run from the Arduino to the branch the ornament is going to hang on. The LED goes through the blow hole in the paper balloon. You can see my wonderful taping job here:


I bent the tree branches to hide the wires, so the final result looks like this:



I put the Arduino and breadboard in a box at the base of the tree, and then wrapped it to make it less conspicuous.


If you want to do this project yourself, the Arduino code and schematics can be found on GitHub. An important thing to keep in mind is that the LED has to be common-anode for the program to work. If you want to use a common-anode LED, besides changing the wiring you will also have to change the red, green, and blue functions:

void red(int v) {
	analogWrite(11, v)
void green(int v) {
	analogWrite(10, v)
void blue(int v) {
	analogWrite(9, v)

About Mark Fischer, Jr.

Mark is a web developer and programmer. He likes reading classic novels, listening to classical music, skiing, and eating donuts.

Filed under arduino, hardware