New Guide: Glowing Castle Bottle Sculpture That Plays Music when you Touch It
Check out the latest art project tutorial from Erin St Blaine: build a gorgeous windowsill “castle” from upcycled glass bottles and illuminate it with NeoPixel lights. Take your project to the next level by adding electrically conductive clay bottle toppers, and turn your castle into a real playable musical instrument, with animated lights and sounds to accompany your tunes.
This is a multi-level project. Beginners or kids can easily build the no-soldering version (lights only, no sound), and code it in seconds with Microsoft MakeCode. More advanced makers can get out their soldering irons and sculpting chops and build the full project, with 11 interactive touch-reactive bottles and two octaves of playable notes.
From the guide:
Build your own castle-on-a-cloud from recycled glass bottles and make it glow with NeoPixels. Each bottle is topped with a whimsical, electrically conductive clay sculpture. We’ve wired all the sculptures to a capacitive touch pad sensor and speaker, so each bottle lights up and sounds a pretty tone when it’s touched. You can play this castle like a musical instrument! And if you touch the small bottle near the entry, the castle will play a song for you, with a lovely LED animation accompanying it.
The full build is fairly complicated, with a lot of wires and soldering and fiddling, but the end result is absolutely breathtaking. Get ready to dig in and become a song castle virtuoso.
If you love the idea but aren’t a musician, we’ve also included instructions for a simplified lights-only version that’s really easy to assemble. It’s not interactive, but it’s still going to show off your bottle artwork beautifully.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.