Our Code-a-Key Backpack (an adapter for the BBC micro:bit) is BACK IN STOCK at the Makey Shop!

Pixel Sketch/ Sticky Note Art with Makey Max Backpack

Take your inventions to the MAX with the Makey Max Backpack. This backpack enables inventors to alligator clip to the 12 inputs on the back, making the full Makey Makey board accessible for all inventors. It’s the ultimate in extreme inventing! Combine inputs to create a Pixel Sketch controller for our new web app!

Gather Supplies

 Pixel Sketch Gif

For this project, you will combine rows and columns for maximum drawing potential! For our project, we've created 5 rows and 5 columns, but you can adjust the Pixel Sketch web app  to a minimum of 3 rows/columns and a maximum of 8 rows and columns. To change colors on the Pixel Sketch app, you will tap two inputs at once.  

Note: This project is designed and inspired from this Makey Makey Monome project from jdeboi on Instructables. 

Gather Supplies

To create this controller, you'll need a large sheet of cardstock, conductive fabric tape and the Makey Makey pencil from our Craft and Code Booster Kit . Make sure to grab those extra alligator clips that came in your Bananaversary Backpack Bundle.

Supplies: Alligator clips, Paper, Tape, Makey Makey and computer displaying Pixel Sketch Web app

Using your Makey Makey optimized pencil, draw rows around 1.5 inches apart with thick dark lines. Draw rows with pencil- drawing space surrounded by supplies

Trace where your columns will be with a pencil. You'll be placing tape for the columns. Use your pencil to draw thick spots where the two lines will intersect. You'll be covering spot with tape to insulate your circuits. So it is important the pencil lead will be conductive all the way across the row. 

Trace columns with pencil- drawing space surrounded by Makey Max backpack and booster kit 


Insulate Circuits

Place tape at cross sections to insulate- drawing space surrounded by Makey Makey and Makey Max backpack

To activate Pixel Sketch, you'll have to touch two inputs at once. Each row and each column will be its own circuit. You need to insulate the rows by placing masking or scotch tape on the row where the column will intersect. This tape will cover where you made each row thicker to carry across the conductive trace of each row.

Place conductive tape for columns - drawing space surrounded by supplies and computer

Use conductive tape from the Craft and Code Booster Kit to create columns. Make sure that the insulating tape that covers the row where the two lines intersect is wider than the conductive tape. 


Remap and Add Makey Max Backpack

Front of Makey Max Backpack

Your Makey Max backpack will allow you to utilize all the inputs on the back of Makey Makey. For this project, we suggest remapping the mouse controls to the number 1-6 depending on how many rows and columns you will be using.

Remap Instructions

For this project, if you want to use 18 inputs, you will remap the mouse controls on the back of Makey Makey to numbers 1-6. When you attach the Makey Max Backpack after remapping, the mouse controls will now be numbers 1-6.

Download your own Remap Worksheet

Full Guide on Remapping a Makey Makey Classic or Makey Go

Attaching Backpack

Once your Makey Makey mouse controls are remapped, you are ready to attach the Makey Max backpack. Align all pins on the backpack board with the headers on Makey Makey.  

Gently squeeze the boards together with even pressure, making sure all pins enter the corresponding holes. 

Attach Makey Max Backpack to Makey Makey Attach alligator clips to rows and columns based on the grid size you chose in the Pixel Sketch web app.


Design Tappable Buttons and Pixel Sketch

Draw buttons to tap and sketch

    To help sketchers know where to tap, design buttons for your controller by using tape to extend to the center of each "button" area from each column. Draw from each row to the center of the button area. When players tap the button area, their finger will bridge the tappable button and press two inputs at once.  To do this, they sketcher will need to hold EARTH wear EARTH by attaching the EARTH alligator clip to the adjustable bracelet found in our Get Up + Go Booster Kit.

    Now you are ready to connect to our new Pixel Sketch web app to tap and sketch with your DIY controller!

    Tap to sketch


    Time Investment
    1 hr
     6th- 12th



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