Saturday, 23 March 2013

Little Light Bulb Book of Ideas with Bare Conductive Ink

What you will need:

To make the front cover of your paper notebook more interesting first decide on a design. Remember that your circuit must be a continual line with a start point, an end point, and a space to put the LED in. It is best to start and end your circuit at the edge of the book where it opens, so you can add a switch. As my book is going to be full of ideas for projects, I decided to use the word 'ideas' in my circuit.

The next step is to use the Bare Conductive ink/paint to draw your circuit. Then leave it to dry.

Whilst waiting for your paint to dry you can start to make the switch that will power the led on the circuit. Take a small piece of card and fold it into half and half again. Check to make sure that it is the same width as the break in your circuit. Unfold the card, and place the cell battery onto the second square in from the right.

Take your cell battery and note on the card which side is positive (+) and which is ground (-). Mark where you want to put your battery and using a pin make two holes for the pins of the battery to go through the card. Once the battery is fitted to the card, carefully pull back the legs and using some Bare Conductive ink or paint make two blobs on each of the legs. These will be the contact points. Leave to dry.

Once the circuit on the notebook is dry, you can colour in any drawings or lettering not part of the circuit. When the ink is dry on the battery you can fold the paper over and glue or tape it together and add it to the book (see video). Mark onto the book which point will be positive (+) and which will be ground (-) This is important because it will affect which way we place the LED.

Finally we need to add the LED to the circuit. Make sure that the longer leg (+) will link to the same part of the ink circuit that leads to the battery + leg, and that the shorter leg (-) is on the other side leading to the battery - leg. (see video). Once you are happy it is the right way around, bend back the legs and cut them to fit, making sure all the time that you know which leg is which. Using Bare Conductive ink, paint over the leg onto the dry circuit. Hold the LED until the ink is dry enough to hold it by itself. Leave to dry.

To test that your circuit works, place your made switch onto the contact points of the circuit and your LED should light up. If it does not then maybe your LED is the wrong way round, or there is a break in your circuit, or perhaps your battery is not making contact with the circuit.

For more tutorials and ideas on how to use Bare Conductive check out their website tutorial page.


  1. Thats really cool - You should get listed on here

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, I emailed Bare Conductive and they liked the tutorial and added it to their website.

  2. Hi there! I'm new to your blog and I find it amazing. Lots of interesting information here. I'm your newest subscriber.

    I'm also into computing and I'm an Information technology graduate.

    Check out my blog if you have time. ^_^
    Geek Gone Girly

    1. Hello and welcome! If you ever feel like writing a piece for the GGD blog let me know, happy to accept inspirational stories.

  3. I recently purchased bare ink conductive pen and was very disappointed, when I received the pen it was almost like clay and I actually had to cut the plastic open to get the contents out, got very messy! I met this new company at a maker fair, the Think Ink Conductive Ink looks amazing as it uses some special Sri Lankan graphite, giving a metallic silvery look, it was a real pleasure to work with as it IS like an ink, one of the most important things was that I recorded 2 ohms per square, I tried this with Bare and could not get anywhere near this figure, Think Ink are simply fantastic, the guy at the show also mentioned they wre working on a magnetic ink that actually works so am keeping my eyes peeled when they will release this as I have played around with some magnetic ink that is just useless!