NES Controller Made Out Of Fused Craft Beads

Close your eyes and think back, far back when you were a wee kid. Remember those colored beads that a child would populate on a small plastic peg board, arranged in some sort of artsy pattern, then ironed to fuse the beads together into a crafty trinket? They were fun for kids but what good are they to us adults nowadays? Well, [Lalya] has shown that they can be used to make a unique and interesting NES Controller.

First, the controller’s front panel was laid out on the pegboard, remembering to lay it out in reverse so the melted side of the beads was facing into the controller. Holes were left in the top panel for the D-pad and B/A buttons. The sides, back and bottom panels of the controller were made the same way. Hot glue holds the case panels together.

Craft Bead NES Controller

Inside the case is an Arduino and breadboard with three through-hole momentary buttons. These are wired up to the Arduino inputs and a sketch emulates keystrokes when connected to a computer. Unfortunately, the D-pad’s functionality is just a button right now. [Lalya] uses the project to control iTunes.  Maybe the next revision will be more video game friendly.

Having your own NES controller recreation might not be high on your list. But you have to admit that this s a pretty simple and inexpensive way to make custom enclosures.

8 thoughts on “NES Controller Made Out Of Fused Craft Beads

  1. Nostalgia attack.

    I got a 2nd hand Lite-Brite panel with a bunch of missing pegs. My dad being an Engineer in Fremont back in the 80’s, got some photocopies and used the green draftsman stencils to make me new drawings to color in.

    I didn’t realize at the time it would take him at least an hour to make those drawings while I would be done with it in 5 to 10 minutes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lite-Brite

    Beautiful artwork [Lalya] with the beads.

    This definately calls for old school bubble “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboard_technology#Membrane_keyboard” switch.

    I’m thinking maybe there might be a way to have the buttons have more life and have more flex without coming apart. Maybe something like small pieces of a ball point pen holding it above the membrane AND a one or two on the sides so it doesn’t fall out?

    Very nice project. :)

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-
    No one will ever make a NES Max. :/

  2. Awesome! You could scale this up and make just about any kind of enclosure this way. Never rule out your local craft store as a source for raw materials. (The truth is, crafters are big-time hackers.) I keep thinking I’m going to do something with sculpey one of these days…

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