Introduction: How to Make a Light-Up Grumpy Cat Stuffed Animal
This Instructable will help you go through the steps of making your very own stuffed animal Grumpy Cat that lights up when the lights are turned off.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
For this project you will need:
1) a pair of scissors
2) a pencil
3) several pieces of white scratch paper
4) stuffing for sewing ($5 from Walmart)
5) 2 pieces of fur-like white fabric (found at any craft/fabric store)
6) 1 large piece of fur-like brown fabric
7) 1 piece of brown, grey, blue, pink, and cream felt
8) embroidery thread and needle
9) hot glue gun
10) 6 red LED lights - $3.95 for 5 from Sparkfun.com (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10044)
11) conductive thread
12) light sensor - $7.95 from Sparkfun.com (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8464)
13) Lilypad Arduino - $24.95 from Sparkfun.com (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12049)
Step 2: Sketches
Drawing sketches is one of the most important parts of this project. Having reference photos/sketches to refer back to when you're confused or can't remember where you're supposed to sew is so helpful. I used the first photo as a guide to draw my template for the cat. I drew all of the separate pieces (body, ears, nose, eyes, tail etc.) on sheets of white paper. I also drew up a sketch of how I would need to sew my LED lights to the Lilypad and light sensor in order for it to work when completed.
Step 3: Cut Out Template
After you have sketches of each of the parts of the cat, it is time to cut them out for your template! Feel free to make the parts of your cat as large or small as you want. Just be aware that it is much more difficult to not cross circuitry when you make the body less than 8 inches tall and the collar less than an 1-1.5 inches wide.
Step 4: Place Template
Now it is time to place your template on the the matching piece of felt that you will later cut out.
Body: white fuzzy material
Tail: brown fuzzy material
Ears: brown fuzzy material (biggest part of ear), brown felt (triangle back of ear), and cream felt (triangle front of ear)
Eyes: brown felt (biggest part of eye), blue felt (medium half circle), grey felt (small half circle)
Nose: pink felt
Collar: brown felt
Step 5: Cut Template
After making sure you have each piece on the correct color of fabric, start cutting! Try pinning the paper to the fabric with a sewing pin if you are having a difficult time cutting the pieces without the paper moving.
Step 6: Begin Sewing
Now it's time to start sewing your cat together. Use the brown embroidery thread to sew on the eyes (large brown felt cut-outs) on the top half of your cat's body. Next, hot glue the blue parts of the eyes then the grey parts onto the brown. You will now hot glue the pink nose below the eyes. For the eyes, hot glue the cream felt triangles to the front of the ears and the brown felt triangles to the back.
Step 7: Sewing Details & Tail
We will now be adding the fun details to your cat. Embroider a pink line coming straight down from the nose with an upside down "U" shape at the end. Use the same pink embroidery thread to add "NO" to the circular part of your cat's collar. Take the two pieces of the fuzzy brown template you cut for the tail and put them together with the fuzzy parts touching. You will sew around the perimeter of the tail, leaving an opening at the end (straight part where you would attach it to the cat) so you can turn it inside out. That way, the thread where you sew will not be visible. After sewing the tail, use your fingers to help push the tail inside out so it is now fuzzy on the outside again.
Step 8: Sew Ears
Sew the ears onto the back piece of the body with the brown embroidery thread.
Step 9: Lilypad & Light Sensor
Now you will sew the back piece of the brown collar onto your cat below the nose. You will also need two circles (one a little bigger than your Lilypad and the other a little bigger than your light sensor) of grey or brown felt to sew your Lilypad and light sensor onto. Sew the top of the bigger circle onto the middle bottom of the collar. The other one will be sewn to the bottom right-hand corner of the big circle. Using your sketch from the beginning and conductive thread, start sewing on your LED lights and connecting them to your light sensor. Then, using the same conductive thread, sew the circuitry of your light sensor to your Lilypad.
Step 10: Coding
Now that you have all of your LED lights, Lilypad and light sensor sewn on, you will want to work on your coding so you can test your lights and make sure they work. You will be doing all of your coding on the Arduino application that you can download onto your computer. The photos will take you through everything you must type in to make sure that your lights will turn on and off. I programmed my lights so that the 3 lights on the left-hand side will twinkle and then go off. Then the 3 lights on the right-hand side twinkle afterwards.
As shown in the first photo, you must name and give a value to your lights and have them set to the correct number. In this case, the rightpositive is set to 2 and the leftpositive is set to 11. You then need to set them as output under your "void setup" section.
In order to make the lights twinkle, you must have the leftpositive and rightpositive set as low under your "if" statement and digitalWrite. The "else" is also set to low. This is shown in the 2nd photo.
You then have to test your lights to find the highest and lowest numbers to place those in your digitalWrite as shown in the 3rd photo. You can change these numbers depending on how fast or slow you want them to twinkle.
Step 11: Stuff Tail & Sew Body
You will now stuff the tail with your stuffing and set it aside. Place the two pieces of your cat's body so that they're facing each other. When you're looking at it they should be facing the "wrong" way. Use your embroidery thread to sew around the cat's body, leaving a two gaps: around the ears and at the bottom. The gap will be used to flip the cat inside out so that it's now facing the right way. It will also be used to stuff the body.
Step 12: Stuff and Finish Sewing Body
Flip your cat inside out so that you can now see the face properly. Stuff your cat's body with the stuffing and use your embroidery thread to close the gap at the bottom of the cat.
Step 13: Add Collar
Use hot glue to glue the edges of the top piece of the brown felt for the collar over the lights so all of your circuitry is now hidden. Also, hot glue your embroidered "NO" piece over the Lilypad to hide it. Only hot glue the top so that you're not putting hot glue on your Lilypad.
Step 14: Add Tail
Using your embroidery thread, sew on your stuffed tail to the back of the cat.
Step 15: Congratulations!
Now that you have your cat all finished, turn of the lights and watch it twinkle!