Introduction: LED Statement Necklace Using Washers and Ribbon
A simple necklace using three LED lights, washers, plastic, ribbons, and conductive thread. The necklace makes a good introduction to circuits.
Assorted washers (found in the garage)
two part clear epoxy
white plastic bag (mine was from hobby lobby)
felt (left over from a previous project)
coin cell battery
LilyPad LED (these three were left over from another project as well)
spraypaint in desired color (optional)
Step 1: Assemble the Washers
Arrange your washers into a composition. I liked having repeating shapes in various sizes.
One you have the composition, use the two part epoxy to attach at overlaps.
*use the epoxy according to the directions on the packaging*
Allow epoxy to fully dry. I left mine overnight to cure.
If you want to change the color, use the spraypaint, nailpolish, etc according to paint directions. I used spraypaint meant to mimic hammered metal.
Step 2: Cut Out Felt Backing
Lay the washers over the scrap felt piece. Trace around the outside and cut the felt to fit the washers. I also marked the middle of each washer to plan where I wanted the LEDs attached.
Step 3: Plan Your Circuit
I placed the LED lights and planned the circuit out directly on the felt. Once the plastic layer is added the marker won't be visible.
The left most area is where I decided to have the battery. I decided to have the circuit contained within the washer pendant so I could have the option of changing out the ribbon for another color.
Place the LilyPad LED lights so the negative and positive pieces are oriented in the same direction. Draw out where you will sew with conductive thread to attach the negatives and positives.
Cut out another piece of felt a little larger than the coin cell battery. The piece will be sewn onto the back of the other felt piece (lined up with the left most washer) to create a battery pocket which will also complete the circuit by having the positive line stitched onto the larger felt piece and the negative line stitched onto the small felt piece.
Step 4: Sew Your Circuit and Battery Pocket
Stitch along the lines with conductive thread as shown in the picture. Create the contact points for the positive and negative sides of the battery by stitching a spiral pattern with the conductive thread. Slide the coin cell battery in to test out your lights.
If the lights don't turn on, first check to make sure none of the threads are touching and shorting (especially with end knots).
Step 5: Cut Your Plastic
After a couple material experimentations, I decided to use a cheap white plastic bag (mine was from hobby lobby) to cover and diffuse the LED lights. Lay the washer piece on top, trace, and cut.
Step 6: Glue Your Layers Together
At first I tried craft glue, but had to switch back to the clear two part epoxy. I placed epoxy along the edges of the felt piece, laid the plastic layer over the felt, placed another layer of epoxy along the plastic edge, and finished by placing the washer assemblage on top. Leave the left and right end of plastic to washer layer separate so the ribbon can be looped through.
Let epoxy dry and cure.
Step 7: Attach Your Ribbons and Wear!
Attach your ribbons by folding it in half, pushing the folded loop through the end washer and passing the ends of the folded ribbon through the loop. Pull tight. I embellished my ribbon by adding second ribbon to each side and twisting it up partway before knotting the four layers together. Repeat on the other side.
If you leave the ribbon longer, you can adjust the length of your necklace and play with adding a bow on the back or side.
To turn your necklace on and off, simple insert or remove the coin cell battery.