Instructables

Electronic Embroidery

Featured
Picture of Electronic Embroidery
LED-sewing-pink2-e1298344584858.jpg
Stitch LEDs onto your needlepoint to add visual interest and enhance the scene. I'll show you how to add light-up fireflies to this frog embroidery. I use conductive thread to connect the battery, switch, and LEDs.

If you're having trouble finding some of the components for this project, you can purchase them as a kit from my store (six colors available).

Check this project out on Make: Projects!
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
2543389305_45176fd23c.jpg
Materials:
pattern
carbon paper
wooden embroidery hoop
fabric
two LEDs
switch or snap
coincell battery
sewable battery holder
conductive thread
embroidery floss
regular thread

Tools:
pen/pencil
scissors
needlenose pliers
embroidery needle

If you want to get the high quality frog template design, you may download it for free here:
http://sternlab.org/ElectronicEmbroidery/ElectronicEmbroideryPattern.pdf

Step 2: Prep work and standard embroidery

Picture of Prep work and standard embroidery
2531940222_963d4178d9.jpg
Download the pattern provided, or make up your own. Transfer the design onto the fabric with carbon paper: place the black side of the carbon paper on top of the fabric, then the design template. Trace over the lines of the pattern with a pen or pencil (press down hard). Embroider the scene with traditional floss using whatever stitch you like. I used a backstitch for this one.

Step 3: Prepare the LEDs

Picture of Prepare the LEDs
2531957468_2711c26477.jpg
2531977184_fba3f05953.jpg
Now we're going to prepare the LEDs so they're sewable. Bend the longer lead in a square fashion, coiling it towards the cap. Coil the shorter lead in a round fashion up towards the cap. Repeat the process on the other LED. The difference in coiling style is so that you can tell the difference between each side of the LED, because it's going to matter which lead is which when we sew them.

If you're using a standard toggle switch, now would be a good time to solder on some leads and coil the ends. If you're using a snap, just move along.
NachoMahma5 years ago
. I agree with uguy - excellent.
uguy5 years ago
You go girl! Extremely well done ible. Love the design.
PKTraceur5 years ago
Nice! You got featured! What is conductive thread, anyways? Do you know where I can get cheap/bulk? -PKT
bekathwia (author)  PKTraceur5 years ago
You can get it by the spool from Sparkfun or Lame Lifesaver. I prefer the latter, as it doesn't fray as much.

http://sparkfun.com
http://members.shaw.ca/ubik/thread/order.html

It's used industrially for producing fencing outfits, among other things.