:) :( :/
I think your best bet would be an 8x8 LED matrix. They are available in an assortment of sizes from 0.8" to 2.3" square.You might also like the LOL (Lots of LEDs) Shield. It has a 14x9 matrix.
There are more than 12 emoticons but we are trying to limit it to 12 only. Even if the button just cycles to the next one. Is this feasible the the Arduino? I am trying to find out before I purchase anything.
I really appreciate all the help and input, I really do, but I am still rather confused. Maybe I am jumping in too deep. My skills are basic soldering and PC assembly. I still feel very lost.
Eh, Don't worry about jumping in too deep. I started using the Arduino to build a self contained 4 axis camera control rig. I still don't know anywhere near enough to do that but I am learning. If you are not on a major time limit, just go out and pick up an Arduino Uno and a starter kit and just start small, blink led, blink with delay, push on push off led ect... Then slowly start expanding what you can do.
Is there a particular online site that is best to buy from?
Oh, this is not for Halloween, it is for Dragon*Con in August of next year.
Looks like adafruit has them in stock: http://www.adafruit.com/products/274 $19.95