Picture of F2 Conditional Diaper Purse
Design and technology merge to create a twice-functional diaper bag that will serve to illustrate useful reminders on what's missing and what's accounted for before setting out for the day. This stylish bag will use fabric switches that will trigger five or six LEDs, which will reflect the current conditions of the bag, whether half full or half empty. You'll never be without your essential baby items: diapers, wipes, bottle, bibs, food, binkies or, in my house, a most-important iPad. The soft-light LEDs will display a gentle reminder to restock on items that may be missing. You'll never leave home without having exactly what you need to make your baby, a happy baby.

Purpose: Create a multi-functional bag that creates space-holders for specific baby or child items. Generate an interactive reminder for items that need restocking or essential items you can't leave home without.

Design Intention:
  • Be the coolest mom on the block with a custom-designed, cool-looking diaper bag with interactive components.
  • Item-specific input pockets: bottle or sippy cup, iPad/changing pad, bibs or binkies, phone or forks, diapers & wipes
  • Generate item input responses with fabric switches and LEDs as a second function of the bag itself. LEDs will be On when items are missing and Off when they're not. 
Materials: Fashionable outside fabric for hip moms who prefer to look chic. Ripstop lining for the inside. Lilypad Arduino, 5 LEDs, 1/2 webbing, 2" webbings, conductive thread, Lilypad power supply, 5 metal snaps, 24 gauge wire, 1/4" elastic, velcro tabs, 1 or 2 12-14" zippers, heavy duty and medium weight interfacing
I really like your 'ible. It took me a minute to understand that (and correct me if I am wrong) each pocket has a self closing switch that lights a light when empty. Each pocket it intended for one specific item, so an empty pocket means that item is missing. At first I thought you were using RFID tags somehow, and I was really excited, but the simplicity of this makes it better.

Since you said you are hoping to improve on the idea I thought I'd offer a suggestion. You could have a "soiled" item pocket that worked in the opposite way and alerted you in some way to remind you it is NOT empty. I would think (as I don't have kids) that a soiled pocket would be a must and forgetting to empty it would be an easy, ugly mistake.

Great job. I look forward to seeing your next 'ible.
This fantastic project was made as part of the Tangible Interaction course in Digital Media Studies at the University of Denver.
Wouldn't it be easier to ditch the lilipad and go with a simple analogue circuit? Especially since all you're doing is having the LEDs turn on?  Sure, you'd use more thread, but it might be cheaper and more simple than using a Lilipad.

Also, if you sewed in small magnets, instead of snaps, you could have your circuit automatically close for you when nothing is in there. You could buy some very small Rare Earth Magnets, only 100 for $10 off amazon, and put them behind your conductive thread on both sides of a pocket.

A very cool idea overall.  I wish I could sew better so that I could make one as a baby shower gift.
jnorby (author)  JoshuaZimmerman4 years ago
For sure. I have limited experience with the micro-controllers and the wiring concepts as whole so that aspect is new for me. I just happened to be working with Arduino in the class I built this for so I needed to implement an Arduino-concept into it. I had the magnet idea and bought some but the magnets I had would always keep the circuit closed with items that weren't holding it open, so then I thought about flaps, etc.etc. It's a bag-engineering dilemma as far how you want the pockets to work vs how the LEDs work. If I found smaller magnets it would have been better. That was my original intent. However, I suppose the snap gives you a bit more control over opening and closing the circuit so it's a bit of a toss up there. Thank you for your insight; I was trying to figure out how to build an analog circuit as you mentioned and it just dawned on me! So yes, ditching the Lilypad would be faster, cheaper and easier so thank you very much!
If you'd like some analogue circuit help, just send me a message. I've only been at this whole circuitry stuff a few months myself, but will offer my basic circuitry knowhow to you in any way possible. (I keep thinking of ways to make random bags I have into "Tron" bags... he he he)

You can always do conductive velcro, which would be more simple than the magnets but also (more or less) stay shut on it's own.

As someone who is gaga over solar power you could always throw a solar panel in there somewhere (like one of those fancy flexable ones) to make it self charging. But that might be overkill....
jnorby (author)  JoshuaZimmerman4 years ago
I'll also check out the Rare Earth Magnets. Very exciting stuff!
scoochmaroo4 years ago
You should definitely put this on kickstarter! I bet it would be a big hit.
jnorby (author)  scoochmaroo4 years ago
Gosh, thanks for the suggestion! That's actually a great idea because it's still a WIP for me. I think it has some great potential and I'd like to refine it for sure. (Design and technology). I really appreciate your feedback! It's an offshoot of other bags I've made...see pic. : ) Cheers!
zazenergy4 years ago
This diaper purse is amazing! Thanks for this great Instructable.
jnorby (author)  zazenergy4 years ago
Thank you! I'm still working out some kinks but I'm glad it shows nicely. : )