Introduction: Light-Up Cuff
Make a simple cuff with fabric and LEDs. This version uses a snap to close the circuit so the LEDs light up only when the snap is connected.
Step 1: Gather Tools & Materials
- Needlenose Pliers (optional)
- Needle Threader (optional)
- Snap Setters (if using no-sew snaps)
- Fabric (we used felt)
- All-Purpose Thread
- Conductive Thread
- Battery Holder (if you don't have one, you can make one - instructions in PDF)
- Coin Cell Battery
Step 2: Sketch Your Design
Be sure you connect positive legs to positive legs and the positive side of your battery, and negative legs to negative legs and the negative side of your battery.
As you can see in this sketch, the positive thread is connected to a snap instead of directly to the LEDs. The closure of that snap will complete the circuit and light up the LEDs.
Be careful not to cross your positive and negative threads - this will "short" your circuit and your LEDs will not light up.
Step 3: Place LEDs
Notice the difference in length of your LED's legs. The long leg is positive, the short negative.
Bend your LED's legs out to the side so the base will lay flush on your fabric. Use your needlenose pliers to bend these legs into spirals. You may want to bend them in different shapes or sizes to help you remember which is positive and which is negative. I left a little extra leg outside of the spiral on the positive side of my LED.
Use pins to secure your LEDs in place on your fabric. This can also help you remember which side is positive and which is negative.
Step 4: Step 4: Secure LEDs and Battery Holder
Use your all-purpose thread to secure your LEDs and battery holder to your fabric.
Step 5: Step 5: Connect LEDs and Battery Holder With Conductive Thread
Use your conductive thread to connect your LEDs and battery - one positive thread, one negative thread. Remember - do not let your positive and negative threads touch! Follow your diagram from Step 2.
Step 6: Step 6: Attach Snaps
Attach your snaps, making sure that they are touching your conductive thread.
Step 7: Step 7: Insert Battery, Snap Cuff
Insert your battery into the holder and snap your snaps together. You're done!