Makey Makey Games Controller

This project was really quite simple to do and could easily be reproduced in so many different ways. If you don’t have access to a laser cutter you could use a strong cardboard or plastic box.

One afternoon, my students were clearly bored and so I decided to take them down to our engineering department and make a giant pink games controller for Pac Man and other similar games.

What’s needed:

Jar of conductive paint (from bare conductive)

Paint brush (buy mine from the pound shops)

Makey Makey board

3mm Perspex pink

Crocodile clips (come with the Makey Makey)


7 x small Nut/bolts

Copper conductive tape

An ESD Wrist

A Windows PC

Access to laser cutter orĀ  a strong plastic/cardboard box

Thankfully my colleague, Christian was on hand to help me with the laser cutter. We made up some rough dimensions for a large rectangular box and input these to the laser cutter software and a few minutes later the machine had cut the 6 pieces that make up the box. It doesn’t really matter what size box you use so long as their is space for the direction arrows and buttons.

Using two part glue we glued the box parts together, leaving the top piece loose so that this can be easily removed for access to the components inside.


I roughly painted the direction arrows and two buttons for use with games onto the surface of the plastic lid using black conductive paint. You can also see from the image that I drilled a small hole into each of the painted controls and put a small bolt through with a nut on the reverse side to hold them in place.

On the underside of the lid again, I used some copper conductive tape from the bolts to the edge of the plastic lid



I then ran the conductive tape from the right-hand side edge of the box through the inside to the compartment on the left hand side.


The Makey Makey is a small PCB that allows you to connect real world objects like people, fruit, vegetables, plasticine etc (check out the manufacturers website for more ideas) to the board and have them act like a keyboard. The board was placed inside the box and a small hole drilled in the side of the box for the USB cable for the Makey Makey to be installed.

The conductive tape from the buttons on the lid was then attached to the Makey Makey using a crocodile clip lead, completing the connection for the buttons to work.

The Makey Makey needs a connection to earth or ground. On the left hand side part of the box I drilled a small hole in the side and ran a nut/bolt through. On the inside this was then connected to the earth/ground connection on the Makey Makey using another crocodile clip lead.

On the outside of the box an ESD anti-static wrist strap was connected so then when someone wants to use the controller, the wrist strap is worn to complete the earth connection.


Finally, crocodile clip leads were connected to the undersead of the bolts for the direction arrows and the arrow connections on the Makey Makey (they are all clearly labelled).


To finish off, you need to connect the USB lead to a Windows PC, wait a short while for Windows to install a driver, open a browser and navigate to a website that uses Flash based games and enjoy.


Flashman Pac Man Site