loading
For this holiday season, add a little glitter to your home or crafting/work space with your own LED Felt Decorations. No need for soldering irons: The simple LED circuit is entirely sewn by hand using conductive thread.

You can use the provided template or venture off on your own by designing custom shapes and forms.

LED Primer
Before you go to your local electronics store, there are a few things you need to know about LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). LEDs are tiny lights that emit a bright light while consuming very little power. The reason they're so cool is that we can run them off of small batteries.

A typical LED has two leads (legs)  one shorter than the other. Just like batteries, LEDs have a positive and negative side (or lead). The shorter lead is typically the negative while the longer lead is the positive. In order for the LED to light up, the positive lead must be connected to the positive side of your battery while the negative lead to the negative side of the battery in order for the LED to light up. If you reverse it, it simple won't work.

Grab your 3V lithium battery and try it out. Touch the longer LED lead to the positive side of the battery and shorter to the negative side of your battery. Your LED should light up! It's really that simple.

Now that you know how a simple LED circuit works, let's start crafting.

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: What you'll need:

Picture of What you'll need:
Conductive thread
1 x metallic snap
1 x jump hoop
1 x 5" x 5" square of 1/4" industrial felt
1 x 3-5 mm LED
1 x 3V coin cell battery
1 x sewing needle
1 x needle threader (optional)
Industrial Felt (or other thick material)
Crafting knife
Needle nose pliers
Tracing pen
Printer
Hot glue gun
Black marker
Template: DownloadDownload the template

Step 2: Creating the Form

Picture of Creating the Form
1. Using a tracing pen, transfer the template onto the industrial felt. Using a crafting knife, cut out the template. Make sure not to forget to cut the slit for the battery holder (dashed lines) near the rear of the dove.

Step 3: Sewing the Circuit - Part One

Picture of Sewing the Circuit - Part One
1. Locate a position to place the LED on the felt ornament.
2. Using a sewing needle, pierce the felt where you want to place the leads of the LED.

Step 4: Sewing the Circuit - Part Two

Picture of Sewing the Circuit - Part Two
1878493183_99161c3f04.jpg
3. Gently slip the leads of the LED through the pierced holes to the back of the felt.

4. Using needle nose pliers, curl the negative LED lead (the shorter one) into a loop. This will make it easier for you to sew the LED onto the felt. Mark it with a black marker to help you distinguish the negative lead from the positive.

5. Repeat for the positive lead. Dont mark the positive lead with a marker.

Step 5: Sewing the Circuit - Part Three

Picture of Sewing the Circuit - Part Three
1879323506_28a91b42ea.jpg
1879328712_c018c98c9d.jpg
6. Thread the needle with conductive thread. You can use a needle threader to assist you.

7. Using conductive thread, securely sew the negative lead to the felt, looping the thread around the lead several times. Then, using the same thread, sew a path to either the top or bottom of the battery slit, looping the thread several times to create a good contact point for the battery. This will be the negative contact for the battery.

Step 6: Sewing the Circuit - Part Four

Picture of Sewing the Circuit - Part Four
1879341456_2f1d6f3e9a.jpg
1879348010_c4d7d0e73a.jpg
8. Using another piece of conductive thread, securely sew the positive lead to the felt. Then, using the same thread, sew a path half way to the battery slit.

9. Grab the male end of the snap and sew it securely onto the felt at end of the positive conductive path.

10. Using another piece of conductive thread, loop the thread several times around the battery slit that has not yet been sewn. This will be the positive contact for the battery.

Step 7: Sewing the Circuit - Part Five

Picture of Sewing the Circuit - Part Five
1878546763_82d612d4c7.jpg
1879370788_6da9674bf4.jpg
10. Using another piece of conductive thread, loop the thread several times around the battery slit that has not yet been sewn. This will be the positive contact for the battery.

11. Using the same thread, continue sewing a path toward the male snap, leaving a 1/4 gap between the two paths.

12. Grab the female end of the snap. Leaving 1 of loose thread, secure the snap to the end of the conductive thread. The female snap should not be sewn onto the felt. The snap will function as the switch.

Step 8: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches
3079892835_e5bc50052b.jpg
13. Connect the snaps together, completing the connection from the positive battery contact to the positive LED lead.

14. Grab the battery and slip it into the battery slit accordingly with the positive side of the battery connecting with the positive contact and negative side with the negative contact. Your LED decoration should light up!

15. Using hot glue, add a dab of glue to wings and insert them into the wing slots.

16. Using a sewing needle, once again pierce the felt where you want to place the jump ring. Slip the jump ring through the felt and add a thin ribbon to hang the ornament.


Congrats! You're LED Dove decoration is complete!
This thing scares me... it's gonna eat my soul!
Ah, soul.
jackbomber5 years ago
 white colored light might be better. the red kind gives it the "evil robot" look. neat idea though. 
Yea but then it would be a little bland and not Christmasy.
How about green? That's pretty Christmassy, and less evil.
I dunno... Green doesnt sound like a color for an eye...

Some people have green eyes. :)


But as Wafflicious suggests, it might not contrast with the tree very much. I was suggesting green as you wouldn't have to increase the voltage that the LED uses - blue or qhite LEDs usually need a higher voltage to power them, which might mean you need another coin cell.


Blue would be nice (though maybe a bit "cyborgy"). How about yellow or orange?

Well yea but then it would blend into the tree...  Lol my preference would be blue.
Uhhh yeah the red eye makes it look like an EVIL dove... A blue led might be better...
Syuzi (author)  101yummYYummy1015 years ago
 ha. i agree but unfortunately it's a little difficult to get most blue LEDs powered by a tiny 3V lithium battery. Typically they require at least 3.4 V...
Well then if you wanted you could use a 3v and a 1.5v with it...
PIGEONS!
AAAARGH! :)
No, doves. They are much better. Prettier, better coo, they laugh, less poop.
gloflyer6 years ago
Where can one find industrial felt? I just figured the battery out. A picture of just that would have helped. I love the switch. It has been hard for me to figure out things that are not always on.
Syuzi (author)  gloflyer6 years ago
You can buy industrial felt from your local Osh hardware store (if you have one in your city/town). Osh only carries the natural white/beige or grey felts.

If you don't have an Osh near you try here:
NanricNanric

Or online at:

FilzFeltFilzFelt - Nice variety of colored Felts

Other resources can be found herehere under Industrial Felt.

Hope this helps!

Also you can substitute the industrial felt with any other dense material that you can sew through. You can layer a number of textiles together and use ordinary felt if you wish as well.