Hack a Greeting Card

Instructions

  • 1

    Here's what you need to hack a greeting card!

    • Musical greeting card. Before buying a card, ask around to see if someone has one to give you.
    • Scissors
    • Tape
    • String
    • Hiding place
  • 2

    Find the electronics

    Remove the part of the card covering the electronics.

  • 3

    Cut off the cover

    Cut open the inside cover of the greeting card to expose the circuitry.

  • 4

    Cut out the electronics

    • Draw a line around the electronics. Include the tab on the other side of the card. This tab controls the switch that turns the song on and off.
    • Cut the line.
    • Make the song start and stop by moving the tab back and forth. This opens and closes the circuit.
    • Look closely to figure out how the switch works. Find the battery and the speaker.
  • 5

    Add a pull-string

    • Tape a string to the tab.
    • Test the string by pulling it to open the switch.
    • Did the music start? If not, check that nothing is blocking the switch.
  • 6

    Tape your card in a secret place

    • Try something with a lid, like a lunchbox, box, or cookie jar. Or find something that opens, like a locker, cabinet, or refrigerator door.
    • Tape the card in place.
  • 7

    Tape the string

    Tape the string so that when the jar or door opens, it gets pulled. This will open the switch.

  • 8

     Set the trap

  • 9

    You are SO caught

    The switch opens and the music blasts!

  • 10

    Did you know?

    A circuit is the path along which electricity travels. When all parts of the circuit are connected, electricity flows. A break anywhere in the circuit stops electricity flowing. In one position, the switch breaks the circuit. When that happens, the electricity stops flowing, and there’s no music. In the other position, the switch completes the circuit. When that happens, the electricity flows, and music blasts!

  • 11

    Try this next!

    • Booby-trap other things. Lockers, books, refrigerator, drawer, medicine cabinet, toilet handle, etc.
    • Wear it. Mount your hacked greeting card to a band that you can wear on your arm or leg or under your hat. Attach a long string to the switch. Secure the card to your arm, leg, etc. Then put on something that fits loosely, like sweat pants or a sweatshirt. Run the string through the garment so you can grab the end. When you want the music to blast, pull the string to open the switch. SURPRISE!