Hidden Message Lights Up!

Hi Folks! Kelly G. here to share a fun card that has a hidden message … until you pull the tab! Once the tab is pulled, it completes the circuit, turns the lights on, and illuminates the embossed sentiment that is layered behind the top layer of vellum. I honestly still can’t get over making a card that actually lights up, but when there’s another element like a hidden message involved, I think that’s even more to celebrate and get crazy about! Let’s take a look!

I wanted the message on the Essentials By Ellen Everyday Hero Lady’s shirt to be illuminated from behind, so I stamped and embossed the shirt twice on scrap pieces of vellum. On one piece I stamped the sentiment (from Essentials By Ellen Make It Beautiful) and the other piece I left plain. Then I cut out both shirts and layered the plain shirt on top to temporarily hide the message.

In order for the vellum shirt to light up, we have to remove that section of the shirt from the main Every Day Hero die cut. You can use an exacto knife for this, but all my blades are pretty dull so I just used my scissors to cut along the inside of the embossed lines of the shirt. Since this area is now exposed, I took advantage of marking the area with a pencil. This way I know exactly where I want my lights to be. In this case where I want the entire shirt to light up, I want to place the LEDs slightly outside of the vellum, so that they’re under the cardstock. This way I get a more filtered and spread out light, instead of an intense dot of light.

Then it’s time to start putting the copper tape down where I want all the lights to go. In this case I don’t have a lot of room to work with because everything, including the battery, will need to hide behind the Every Day Hero Lady die cut. This way, the main card base can stay flat, and only the main image is raised with foam to accommodate the battery. Also, I’ve left some copper tape loose so I can bend that back and adhere it to the battery, making sure we’re starting out with a good connection. The other end of the copper tape is also loose so I can adhere that directly to the top of the battery.

One other thing I’d like to call attention to is in the center of the circuit. The copper tape leading from the circular battery lights up the first two lights like normal, but because of the small space I had available to hide the mechanics, I ended up making a fork in the copper tape by cutting it lengthwise down the middle. One side of the branch goes up to the red light at the top, and the other side of the branch goes down to light the final white light.

Here the copper tapes are connected to the battery, the LEDs have been placed on the tape, and everything is lighting. This is important to do regardless of what card design you’re working on. You always want to test the LEDs before starting the construction of your card to make sure they all light up just fine.

Next, I’ve cut a length-wise slit through one side of the copper tape, disrupting the current. This is where the switch is going to go. In my hand is a strip of paper I’ve accordion-folded and am attaching the copper tape to. This is going to be my switch. After the tape is on the switch, I slide it through the slit to make the switch operational. Also, I’ve put tiny pieces of copper tape on top of each LED’s negative and positive connections.

The switch is underneath the slider tab here, but in general, when the copper tape from the switch bridges the gap in the circuit caused by the slit I cut, the LEDs will light up. The “pull me” is just the right size to stamp on the slider bar, and comes from Interactively Yours by Heffy Doodle.

Now all that’s left is to put foam tape on the back of the Every Day Hero Lady and adhere it over the battery and LEDs to the card base.

Here’s what she looks like in her natural state, just an every day hero with a plain t-shirt on. And then when you follow instructions and pull the tab …

… the rest of the message appears on her shirt. You are Strong and Tough as Nails. As an added bonus, the gem on her crown glows in red! I punched a hole in the center of the crown’s circle, backed it in red vellum, and used a red LED to make it really stand out.

Hope you enjoyed seeing how the hidden message was constructed on this card!

Here’s a quick video for you to get a better idea of what it looks like. Fun, fun!

Thanks so much for looking!
– Kelly

Supplies:
Copper tape
White LEDs
Essentials By Ellen Everyday Hero Lady
Essentials By Ellen Make It Beautiful
Heffy Doodle Interactively Yours

3 Comments
  1. F. Andre 4 months ago

    Wow, this is a double whammy. Such a creative use of these products. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Pooja 4 months ago

    What a genius idea to make a light up shirt with vellum ! Loved it and thank you for sharing how you made it !

  3. Victoria Banaszak 4 months ago

    What a clever idea! Very cute card.

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