Introduction: How to Make Valentine Magnetic Hearts

Picture of How to Make Valentine Magnetic Hearts

Get in the mood for Valentine's Day with these hearts that light up when they touch.

Each heart has a magnet switch and magnet hidden along the side edges and once they are lined up with each other, a circuit is created and true love is declared!

The hearts are hand sewn and are made out of felt but any fabric could be used. The shapes could also be machine sewn together instead.

A miniature cell holder has been used along with a PCB LED that glows through the fabric. The cell holder can be accessed in order to change the battery via a small gap in the stitches on one of the sides of the heart. Each circuit is slightly different to the other. They are relatively easy to create although the positioning of the magnet and switch are key to success of the project.

These hearts have not been padded but padding could be added if required. A stronger magnet may be needed if padding is added in order for the two edges to meet. A popper may also need to be added to the opening in order to keep it closed.

Learn how to:

Create an E-Textiles project from scratch.
Use a Miniature Cell Holder & PCB LED.
Add a Magnet Switch to a basic circuit.

Level of difficulty:

Intermediate - some knowledge of circuits and basic textiles needed. Creating the circuits is relatively easy (intermediate level) but making sure that the circuits mirror each other & getting the switches and magnets positioned in the right place makes this project a little more tricky.

Parts list (see Image 3):

In order to create your Valentine Magnetic Hearts you will need:

Felt fabric in two colours (approx. 20cm square).
Embroidery thread in two colours (stranded embroidery thread has been used in the image but the project could be machine stitched instead).
2 x Miniature Cell Holders and Cells.
2 x PCB LEDs (white has been used in the image but other colours could be used).
2 x Magnet Switches with Magnets.
Conductive Thread.
Ordinary sewing thread in matching colours.

You will also need the following equipment:

Large eye needle.
Paper template.

Step 1: Cutting 'n' Stitching the First Heart

Picture of Cutting 'n' Stitching the First Heart

Cut out the fabric using the paper templates.

Use small scissors to cut a square hole in the centre of the larger heart front pieces.

The hole must be large enough for the LED to poke through (see Image 4).

Stitch the smaller heart into position on top of the large heart front.

I've used a blanket stitch and stranded embroidery thread has been used in the image. However, other hand stitches could be used or, alternatively, a sewing machine could be used (see Image 5).

Step 2: Cutting 'n' Stitching the Second Heart

Picture of Cutting 'n' Stitching the Second Heart

Create a second heart in the same way as the first heart (see Image 6).

Step 3: Heart 1: the E-Textiles Circuit

Picture of Heart 1: the E-Textiles Circuit

Use the conductive thread to oversew the negative side of the LED into position on the back of heart 1.

Note that the LED is facing into the hole in the fabric and can’t be seen as you stitch.

Take care to make sure that your stitches only go through one layer of fabric and can’t be seen on the right side (see Image 7).

Position the miniature cell holder along the edge of the heart as shown on the paper pattern. Stitch from the negative side of the LED to the negative side of the cell holder using small running stitches and then oversew the negative side of the cell holder into place.

Note that the cell holder has 4 holes but only the ones with the silver edging are used in the circuit. The other holes are just to add stability. Note that the cell needs to be easily accessible in order to change it so make sure that the open side of the cell holder is facing out towards the edge of the heart. Check your running stitches don’t go through to the right side of the fabric as they should be invisible (see Image 8).

Using a new piece of conductive thread, oversew the positive side of the cell holder to the fabric.

Again, make sure that the stitches don’t go through to the right side of the fabric (see Image 9).

Stitch running stitches to the opposite side of the heart where the magnet switch will sit (use the paper pattern to help you get the right position).

Oversew one side of the magnet switch into position, making sure that the magnet is facing the fabric (it doesn’t matter which hole you sew through first).  

Again, make sure that the stitches don’t go through to the right side of the fabric.

Take care to make sure that the negative and positive sides of the circuit don’t touch each other (see Image 10).

Using a new piece of conductive thread, oversew the second side of the magnet switch to the fabric (see Image 11).

Use small running stitches to get to the positive side of the LED and oversew into place (see Image 12).

Use ordinary sewing thread to sew the other 2 holes in the cell holder to the fabric.

These are stabilising holes and are not part of the circuit (see Image 13).

Cut a small piece of felt and stitch to the edge of the heart shape, leaving the outer edge open (see paper pattern for guidance).

This is where the magnet will be placed (see Image 14).

Slide the cell into the cell holder to check that the circuit works (place the loose magnet on the switch to turn it on) (see Image 15).

This is what the back of heart 1 should look like (see Image 16).

Step 4: Heart 2: the E-Textiles Circuit (mirror Image of Heart 1)

Picture of Heart 2: the E-Textiles Circuit (mirror Image of Heart 1)

On heart 2, oversew the negative side of the LED into position so that the centre of the LED is poking through the hole in the fabric (see Image 17).

Position the miniature cell holder along the edge of the heart as shown on the paper pattern.

Note that this is a mirror image of the first heart and is not positioned in the same place.

Stitch from the negative side of the LED to the negative side of the cell holder using small running stitches and then oversew the negative side of the cell holder into place (see Image 18).

Oversew the positive side of the cell holder into position. Use the paper pattern to position the magnet switch in the positive side of the circuit.

Don’t forget to use separate pieces of thread when stitching up to the magnet switch and then again from the switch to the LED. Stitch a piece of felt fabric in place to hold the magnet.

Note that the magnet is not facing towards the fabric on this heart and can be seen. Use the paper pattern along with the first heart to make sure that the magnets and switches on both sides of the hearts will match up.

This image shows the back of the finished second heart. Note how it is a mirror image of the first heart (see Image 19).

Step 5: Inserting the Magnets and Matching Them Up to the Switches - Do Your Circuits Work?

Picture of Inserting the Magnets and Matching Them Up to the Switches - Do Your Circuits Work?

Insert the magnets into the small pockets.

Check that the circuits work by matching up the magnets and switches (see Image 20).

Step 6: The Finishing Touches...

Picture of The Finishing Touches...

Place the backing fabric onto the back of the heart and stitch around the edge to hold the two layers together.

If you are using a sewing machine to stitch the layers together, use a zip foot as this will allow you to avoid the magnet and cell holder and will allow you to get close to the edge of the fabric (see Image 21).

Step 7: A Handy Tip to Keep Your Hearts Lit for Longer!

Picture of A Handy Tip to Keep Your Hearts Lit for Longer!

In order to access the cell holder to change the cell, leave a small hole big enough to access the cell.

To make the hole invisible, use the same decorative stitch you have used along the single layers of fabric (see Image 22).

Step 8: Touch the Two Magnets and Switches Together to Light Up the Valentines Hearts

Picture of Touch the Two Magnets and Switches Together to Light Up the Valentines Hearts

Test the completed hearts by touching the two magnets and switches together, and enjoy! (See Image 2).

Comments

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2014-02-07

So cute and such wonderful stitching :D

Thanks Penolopy :-)

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