Turn your Arduino into the best gift of all

Arduino Gift (1)

Please vote for me in the Holiday Gift contest and the Make it Glow contest!

First, this started out as a gift, and not an instructable. So please excuse some hand waving here and there as I do not have any pictures of the etching and drilling portions.Arduino Gift (1)

Second, this is for my dear dear wife. Yep, I got lucky enough to have a wife who likes to solder. We found out this summer when out of the blue she asked me if she could solder my RockSat PC board. We also are huge fans of snow flakes. We even had a snow flake themed wedding! Finally, this our 6th year of marriage, so what could be better than a 6 pointed snow flake!

Ok, so get ready, get set, Lets make one together!

Step 1: Get ready!

Lets gather our supplies. 





  • Soldering iron
  • Clothes iron
  • Something to cut the PCB (I used a bandsaw)
  • Something to drill the PCB (I used a drill press)
  • Scissors

Step 2: Design snowflake


If you like my original design you can skip this step and go straight to etching. I would like to guilt trip you a tad and remind you that every snow flake is unique. Copying violates that, but if you can live with it, so can I 🙂

Ok, so this process is more something that a graphics artist would be familiar with. For simplicity sake I spliced together a video that shows the process.Arduino Gift schematic (1)

In short…

  • Export PCB in eagle to clipboard
  • Open paint.net and insert
  • Find and open snowflake in Paint.Net
  • Resize snow flake appropriately
  • Create a new image with 3 layers, the black flake, traces in black, traces in white.
  • Layers should go flake, white traces, black traces.
  • Use a blur function to widen the white layer.
  • Use magic wand to select widened traces.
  • Use paint bucket to thicken up those traces.
  • Save as bitmap!

multi.pdf212 KB

Step 3: Etch the Board.

Ok, ok. Get your design file out. If you are using mine, I suggest the PDF.

This is the first time I have etched a PCB, so rather than lead you down the wrong path, let me refer you to a GOOD instructable on this.

I liked this one:https://www.instructables.com/id/Mostly-easy-PCB-manufacture/?ALLSTEPS 

There are many good ones online.


  1.  Clean board with steel wool.
  2.  Print on special paper (Used avery label paper worked for me).
  3.  Iron the design onto the  board. Consult this video if you want to see it in action http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQupRXEqOz4
  4.  Soak in water to remove the paper.
  5.  Clean board again with acetone (I actually had to use steel wool again!)
  6.  Place board in etchant
  7.  Wait patiently.

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