Musical Arduino-based Birthday Card

This year, I wanted to make my brother something special for his birthday. Instead of just sending him some store-bought Halmark card, I decided to make him one myself! Using my new-found Arduino skills, I set out to create a birthday card that would inspire him to learn to solder. The end result is the educational musical birthday card:


This was my first ever two-sided PCB, although it doesn’t really take advantage of any communication between the two sides of the board. The two-sided board is just used such that the writing on the card and the circuit traces can be on opposite sides for aesthetics.

With the card, I included a kit of parts as well as a link to instructions to assemble the card:

I made the “silkscreen” portion (the black text and images) by toner transfer after I etched and clean up all the copper traces. This proved to be a very effective and simple method of adding text and images to a board for a more complete and professional look.

A quick making-of gallery:

My brother soldered the parts on, and he sent me a photo of the completed birthday card, which works!

birthday card complete

A demo of the circuit working can be seen here:

As usual, all of the code and a schematic are posted on github:

Special thanks to for providing an easy way to turn a midi file into arduino code.

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