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This bag is part of an arduino-coding project for a School Media Library class at UNC Chapel Hill. This tote bag features 5 small LEDs that light up.

Hope you enjoy it!

Step 1: Gather Materials

For this project, I used an American Girl design, but you could choose or create a different design if you like.

These are the materials you will need to make the bag:

  • 1 canvas tote (or any color you choose, depending on your design)
  • Felt of varying colors such as light green, dark green, purple, and blue
  • Fabric glue
  • 10 purple buttons
  • 2 black beads for the eyes
  • 1 purple bead for the nose
  • Black embroidery floss for the cat face
  • Green embroidery floss for cat face/tail outline
  • 1 needle
  • 1 needle threader
  • Scissors

For the electronic part:

  • Arduino Lilypad simple board
  • 5 white LEDs
  • Battery
  • Conductive thread
  • Needle

(All of the above materials can be found in the Protosnap Lilypad Simple Development Kit)

  • usb cable

Step 2: Plan the Circuit

This design is a sketch of what I used; the most important thing to remember in this step is to keep the lines separate. The positive lines (dotted) should never touch one another, they should only touch the + side of each LED. The ground line (green) needs to touch the — side of each LED.

Step 3: Sew the Circuit

Sew the circuit into the bag using the conductive thread following the design you planned. Be sure to sew the lilypad board on the inside of the bag behind the cat's face; that way you will not see the stitches.

Step 4: Upload Your Code

Using the usb cable, connect your lilypad board to a computer and upload your code. After you have successfully uploaded your code, disconnect the usb from the board and connect the battery. I used the following simple blinking code based on another project and slightly altered it:

int LED1 = A5; // LED is connected to digital pin A5

int LED2 = A4; // LED is connected to digital pin A4

int LED3 = A3; // LED is connected to digital pin A3

int LED4 = A2; // LED is connected to digital pin A2

int LED5 = 11; // LED is connected to digital pin 11

void setup()

{

pinMode(LED1, OUTPUT);

pinMode(LED2, OUTPUT);

pinMode(LED3, OUTPUT);

pinMode(LED4, OUTPUT);

pinMode(LED5, OUTPUT);

pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT); // sets the ledPin to be an output

pinMode(switchPin, INPUT);

digitalWrite(switchPin, HIGH);

}

void loop() // run over and over again

{

digitalWrite(LED1, HIGH); // set the LED on

delay(1000); // delay for 1 second

digitalWrite(LED1, LOW); // set the LED off

delay(1000); // delay for 1 second

digitalWrite(LED2, HIGH); // set the LED on

delay(1000); // delay for 1 second

digitalWrite(LED2, LOW); // set the LED off

delay(1000); // delay for 1 second

digitalWrite(LED3, HIGH); // set the LED on

delay(1000); // delay for 1 second

digitalWrite(LED3, LOW); // set the LED off

delay(1000); // delay for 1 second

digitalWrite(LED4, HIGH); // set the LED on

delay(1000); // delay for 1 second

digitalWrite(LED4, LOW); // set the LED off

delay(1000); // delay for 1 second

digitalWrite(LED5, HIGH); // set the LED on

delay(1000); // delay for 1 second

digitalWrite(LED5, LOW); // set the LED off

delay(1000); // delay for 1 second

}

Step 5: Sew Cat Face, Tail, and Add Embellishments

Sew the design onto the bag. Begin with the cat face and then sew on the cat tail on the back. Then you can decorate the bag with some finishing touches, like blue felt and purple beads around the top.

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