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Turn A Pumpkin Into A Playable LED Tetris Game

Or just buy fun size candy and hand it out like a normal person.

Halloween will descend upon us soon, as if we haven’t had enough things descend upon us already in the past couple of days. The hoopla surrounding Hurricane Sandy all but wiped this candy-coated holiday from our minds, but now that the clouds have cleared (sort of) and the danger is no longer imminent (damage already done), it’s time to start thinking about how you will entertain the children of strangers when they come to your home dressed as ghouls and Katie Perry to collect free candy.


As the fine print of the trick-or-treat contract stipulates, you, the subject of this ultimatum, can either make with the candy, completing the transaction, or you can select the rarely used “trick” option. It’s rare that any neighborly neighbor goes with the “trick” option when kids initiate this transaction at your doorstep, but should you go that route, you better have a damn good trick up your sleeve (Hint: If it’s literally up your sleeve, then your trick sucks).

While not technically a trick, a pumpkin that you can play Tetris on is a pretty good piece for the trick option. It’s entertaining and novel enough that most kids would probably forgive you for your lack of candy, so it’s a money-saver for you right off the bat. All you have to do instead of buying a bag of candy from your local supermarket is build a complex system of LEDs into the side of a pumpkin.

We’re going to have a little fun with this project. For thorough, detailed instructions, check out the original how-to on Haha Bird.

For this project you will need

A pumpkin (duh)

LOL Shield (this is not a device that protects you from unwanted LOLs, but rather a screen of LEDs)

A drill

Joystick mechanism

A little programming knowhow

First, break open your LOL Shield so that all the little LEDs can be separated. You’re going to want to space these little buddies out in their new pumpkin home. Map them to a new, larger grid.

Now use that same grid to poke holes into the pumpkin. Just slap that sucker on there and start jabbing away. Be sure to use lots of stabby Halloween spirit.


Those little holes you poked aren’y going to make the LEDs look as blocky and awesome as they should for Tetris, so carve each one into a little square.

One of the best parts of this thing as that the stem will be the joystick. Saw that sucker off and implant your joystick mechanism in there.

After some hard work and technical rummaging (which is explained in full here), this is what the inside of your pumpkin should look like.

[via: HaHa Bird]