I am the designer behind TechnoChic Tech-Craft Kits – DIY kits that provide resources, inspiration and supplies for crafters to explore technology and techies to explore craft. I'm using my passion for arts and crafts and DIY tech to transform the way the world understands and creates with technology. I hold a BFA in Advertising Design from SCAD and a MPS in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU, and have spent my professional career in education and design positions, including teaching in the SoHo Apple Store, and designing products for companies like Creator Box and LittleBits.
It's easier than you may think to add lights, sound and motion to your craft projects. In fact, you may already have the materials to do so in your home! If you're interested in making your crafts more techy and interactive, it's great to start with some simple circuits. Look around - batteries, tin foil, and a light bulb can make a simple circuit, and that's a great place to start. Here are some other places to look for materials to collect for your next project!
Lights - Old flashlights and light fixtures - The flashlight may have corroded or broken, but the LED's rarely burn out. Remove them and keep them for your next project.
Motors - Kids toys. Do you have a stuffed animal that moves around, lights up, or plays music? Once your sibling has outgrown their toy, open it up and grab those parts! Most toy motors can run on 3V coin cell batteries and can be used in your next project.
Speakers - Greeting cards. Did someone give you a hilarious singing birthday card? After you stop laughing (months later, I know it was THAT funny), don't throw it away! It contains a battery, a speaker, and maybe even a circuit board that lets you re-record a new message! You can use it again to design your own high-tech greeting card.
Even if you don't have a project in mind, designate a small container for collecting these parts before you recycle or throw away old items. If you stick to battery powered objects, it's safe to disassemble them, but do make sure they are turned off or the battery has been removed. These parts will serve as a library of potential tech-crafts projects to learn about and incorporate into your creations. You never know when inspiration will strike, and it's great to already have a collection to tinker with.
To learn more, look for beginner tutorials online or try a TechnoChic tech-craft kit where you'll learn the basics of electricity and using it for a complete craft project.