These days technology is becoming more and more integrated into our lives. I'm not talking about smart phones, or wi-fi hot spots. I'm talking about seamless integration into our daily lives in ways we don't even notice. One of those ways is through the use of conductive fabrics and threads. Also known as soft circuitry.

One of the ways I get my middle school students interested in technology is by showing them some of the ways that technology is used for fashion. Videos and pictures are nice and all, but I wanted to make something real that the students could see and touch. I've made several little soft circuit "wearables" to show my class, but I wanted something with a bit more... edgy. Or at least some middle school edgy.

One night I came up with this crazy idea to make some earrings. Why, I don't know. It's not like I wear them or anything. I was just looking at some little round perf boards when it occurred to me that they'd be awesome as earrings, and the larger ones as necklaces. Something a bit cyber punk in nature.

And in case you were wondering, that is how I (of all people) came up with this simple design for some LED Earrings.

(Also this is an entry for the instructables 2012 LED contest. You should totally vote for us so we can have a light switch rave in our basement.)

Step 1: What You'll Need

Overall this project requires very small amounts of building skills, and a very small budget. Most of these parts can easily be substituted with something else, or easily changed around.

Small Circuit Board/ Perf Board (eBay, one inch across)
3mm Diffused LEDs
CR2032 Battery Holder (Surface mount with rounded sides works very well!)
CR2032 Battery
Magnet Wire (Thin and small is good)
Earring Clasp of your choice

Soldering Iron
Wire cutters
Needle Nose Pliers
Helping Hand (optional, but helpful)

Total Cost: > $10

For the most part you can find the electronics parts easily on eBay, or even salvage them from somewhere else. The earrings parts can be gotten from any craft store (Hobby Lobby, Michael's).

We have a bunch of parts left over from when we did this (many months ago). If anyone would like me to make a Kit with all the parts in it we can. (We run a little hobby website BrownDogGadgets.com, though we mostly deal with solar kits and projects. Educational and whatnot.)

Indeed an awesome gift for my geeky girl. But surface mount LEDs would look much geekier IMO. Thanks for sharing.
Agreed. You could fit a resistor and a push button switch on it as well. I think that would be better than putting the batteries in each time.
For sure they would, but a whole lot more difficult for most people.
<p>Very cool. I plan to make them with my middle schoolers next year. Thanks for the great instructions.</p>
Great idea! <br>For health reasons it might be a good idea to plastic-coat them or use RoHS solder - The last thing anybody wants is lead poisoning. I'm sure a thin coating of hot glue could work quite well. I'd also love to see somebody use a small Arduino to expand on this!
try using surface mount leds . they can be bought in different sizes as well. also use silver flux no lead poisoning at all. unless yr affected by silver. if u are u need to see a doctor fast.
I may make these
Hi, I'm going to try and make these, are there any suggestions to what not to do? Did you make any mistakes that you want to make sure I don't?
good idea :-)

About This Instructable




Bio: I used to teach middle school science, but now I run my own online educational science website. I spend my days designing new projects for ... More »
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