Sewable circuits are electronic circuits created with conductive thread instead of wire.
While preparing for a sewable circuits workshop for 15 middle schoolers, we suddenly realized we didn't have enough battery packs. Panic ensued. It would take too long to order them online, so we came up with an even better solution: create our own! We have refined our design several times. What is described in this instructable is a cheap, easy, reliable battery pack that you can use in any sewable electronics project.
Step 1: Collect Your Materials
For one battery pack you will need:
- 2" square of fabric (slightly stretchy works best)
- 2 paper clips
-1 CR2032 battery
- 1 LED (for testing)
- hot glue
- Fabric scissors
- needle nose pliers
- hot glue gun
Step 2: Make a Pouch for the Battery
It's helpful to use slightly stretchy fabric - the tighter the battery fits in, the more reliably the battery pack will work.
Cut a square of fabric so that when you fold it in half it is just slightly longer than your battery.
Use hot glue to close the sides of the pouch. The battery should fit it well, not loose but not snug.
Step 3: Bend Your Leads
Using needlenose pliers, unbend a paper clip. Once it's straightened, use the pliers to curl it from one end, leaving about an inch of straight wire.
You'll need two of these curled paper clips for each battery pack.
Step 4: Assemble Your Battery Pack
Poke your curled paper clips through the fabric so that the curled part is inside the fabric pouch and there is one straight end sticking out each side.
Then use your pliers to curl the straight ends. We chose to curl one in a circle (to indicate the positive side of the battery) and one in a square (to indicate the negative side of the battery). We used the same system when preparing LEDs for sewing; the long legs got curled into circles and the short legs into squares. That made it easy to get everything "wired" correctly on the first try!
Step 5: Test!
Slip a battery into your battery pack. It should fit snugly now that the curled paper clips are in place, adding bulk.
Use an LED to make sure it works.
For good measure, we secured the paper clips from the outside with a blob of hot glue each.
Now you've finished your battery pack! Congrats!