Instructables

Soft-circuit LED Bracelet

Picture of Soft-circuit LED Bracelet
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Do you like crafting or sewing? Do you love LEDs? Well, why not combine your passions with this 'wire-free' LED bracelet!

Here's a quick and relatively easy soft-circuit project we led a workshop on in April 2007. Have a little fun with conductive thread and 'sewing' circuits and make a cool battery-powered LED cuff to wear out and about. It is only powered while you are wearing it because the fastener acts as a switch. No soldering/wiring required!

Many of the techniques shown in this Instructable were inspired by projects and materials links from Leah Buechley's E-Textile and DIY electronics research. Some examples of her work here:
DIY page from Leah Buechley

What you will need:

Sewing Stuff:
  • Felt (for lining)
  • Fabric (for top - can use felt for this as well)
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine

Tech Stuff:
  • Conductive Thread (we buy from LameLifeSaver)
  • LEDs
  • Small Pliers
  • A Metal Fastener - we like conductive velcro from LessEmf.com, but you can also use purse snaps from Michaels craft stores or even regular sew-on metallic snaps (just make sure they are not painted or coated).
  • Battery Holder - we love the surface mount coin battery holders from Keystone Electronics (catalog number 1061 holds one CR2032).
  • Battery - CR2032 batteries are available at Radioshack (and even Walmart), they are 3 volt and supply enough power for your LEDs without danger of overloading them.
 
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Step 1: Cut your fabrics

Cut out a rectangle of each of your fabrics, felt for the lining and another fabric (or more felt) for your top layer. We found that a 9" long strip makes a good cuff for average wrists. Try it out around your wrist to get a good length, and don't forget to leave some room for it to overlap when you attach your fastener (an inch or so will work).

Use your sewing machine to hem any edges on your fabric if it looks like it will fray and make sure your fabric and felt strips are the same width.

Helpful Hint: If you will be making a lot of bracelets, we suggest creating a template out of cardboard that you can trace.
Rob K6 years ago
I did not know they made conductive thread. Then I realized that it was for those who fence. lets them know that you got a hit or you got hit.
Very awesome idea!
A great Mash-Up.

I also have a Mash-Up myself, but this one is more awesome. Really cool job!
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