Introduction: Stuffed Electronic Heart

What you'll need:

  • paper
  • scraps of fabric
  • stuffing cotton
  • needle
  • scissors
  • thimble
  • normal thread
  • embroidery thread
  • conductive thread
  • LilyPad coin cell battery holder (no switch)
  • 3V coin cell battery
  • LilyTiny
  • LilyPad LED

This is an adaptation of the Sparkle Bracelet project from the book "Sew Electric" by Leah Buechley and Kanjun Qiu.
You can either download a template heart from internet (you'll get plenty of templates just by google-imaging "heart template") or you can draw one. If you draw one, just bear in mind that it must be symmetrical around its central axis, you can bend the paper in two and draw just one half. When you're happy with it, make it your template.

Step 1: Design Your Circuit

You can start designing the electronic part. Take a look at the description of LilyTiny to decide which effect you like and to plan the connections you need in order to achieve such effect.

Briefly:

  • 0 is for fading
  • 1 is for heartbeat
  • 2 is for blinking
  • 3 is for twinkling

I chose twinkle(3) and of course you can choose whichever you want.

For what concerns the battery, the only thing you need to know is that positive on the battery goes with positive on the LilyTiny and negative on the battery goes with negative on the LilyTiny, as simple as that. For the LED, you will have to connect negative on the LED to negative on the LilyTiny and positive on the LED to the LilyTiny number that corresponds to the effect you chose. It might be a good idea to try out whether everything works as expected by making the connections without really sewing them, just by tying knots (as in image).

Step 2: Stitch Two Hearts Together

You have two equal paper hearts, now you need to sew the fabrics around them as illustrated in this instructable.

Once you have the two hearts (fabric) you would have to sew them together as in the image, just one side and only the straight part.

Step 3: Sew the Circuit

Before sewing the circuit you will have to remove the paper from the hearts or it will be difficult if not impossible to do it later.

Remember the circuit diagram in step 2? I am going to explain how to make it.

Pin the LilyTiny and secure it by sewing the free pins (0 and 2) to the fabric with normal non conductive thread to facilitate sewing with the conductive thread later.

The connections between battery and LilyTiny are easy. The only thing you have to pay attention to is avoiding short circuits (positive and negative threads touching each other).

The stitches on the back of the heart (green side) are visible while they are invisible on the front (small stitches on the pink side) .

One tricky part is to take the ground (negative) from the LilyTiny to the LED. I fastened the negative hole on the LilyTiny with conductive thread and then I went down under the fabric and made the thread emerge close to the number 2 on the LilyTiny, without touching it. Then I sewed till the negative hole on the LED.

Try if everything works inserting a battery, just to be on the safe side.

Step 4: Finish

Make two braids with embroidery thread to make the handles and sew them as shown in the picture. Then you can continue stitching the two hearts together along the edge. Leave a bit undone to insert the stuffing cotton and then finish sewing the heart. Done!

Comments

author
tomatoskins (author)2016-05-17

That's a beautiful heart! What a great project!

author
Flomba (author)tomatoskins2016-05-17

Thank you!

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