Home 6 High Tech Tutorials And Kits For DIY Holiday Decorations

6 High Tech Tutorials And Kits For DIY Holiday Decorations

The holidays are the only time of year that it’s perfectly normal to have blinky light-up electronics featured prominently around your home. What better occasion to build your hacking skills and try out a new hardware project?

We’ve collected a few different tutorials and maker kits that will make your holiday decorations really stand out.

Color Changing Tree Star

Brilliant multicolored LEDs are cheaper than ever, and the simplest possible hardware project using the Arduino open-source computing kit is to construct a blinking light circuit. This project walks you through assembling five LEDs on an Arduino Uno and shield to turn your tree into a light show. 

See also: Easy Arduino: Two Projects To Help You Get Started

Even more impressive—the tutorial creator is the teenage CEO of tech company Qtechknow.

Star Trek Pez Menorah

Just because you buy the kit doesn’t mean you have to follow the rules to a T. Joyce and Kaufman modded a $14 LED menorah kit from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories with Pez dispensers for a decidedly kitschy Hanukkah centerpiece.

littleBits DIY Ornament Kit

This kit uses littleBits snapping technology, so there’s no soldering or breadboard wiring required. It lets builders of any age create one ornament that blinks or glows with very minimal technical know-how. For $29 you get a kit that makes just one ornament.

3D Printed Ornaments

You don’t need to be an engineer to print gorgeous ornament designs with your 3D printer. That’s because the Smithsonian and the White House are sponsoring a design challenge, and all the finalists have put their designs up on Instructables for anyone to try out. The winning designs will grace a Christmas tree at the White House, so if you print from the finalists’ designs, you could have the same ornaments as the President.

WiFi Controlled LED Christmahanukwanzaa Tree

If you build this all purpose holiday tree tutorial from Adafruit, you won’t need ornaments to complete the look! Powered by an Arduino YUN, this project by Adafruit contributor Tony DiCola makes it so you can control the NeoPixel lights through a Web page to create a light show on command.

Raspberry Pi Christmas Tree Light Show

Since the tiny Raspberry Pi is a fully functional computer, it can program more powerful projects than the Arduino. For example, take this light show, in which the Pi syncs with music and blinks different colored lights on a Christmas tree accordingly. Of course, the one downside of the Pi’s power is that this is the most complicated DIY project on the list! Based on Osprey22’s video of it in action, however, it certainly looks worth it. 

Photos via Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, littleBitsLeandro Rolon and Tony DiCola

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