Introduction: Sound-reactive LED Tiny Top Hat
This tiny top hat is covered in LED stickers that fade on and off and light up in reaction to noise. The electronics are all done with materials from YuKonstruct's Chibitronics Build Night and the hat was made following instructions from Offbeat Bride.
While the hat was made for an adult's steampunk costume, it also looks adorable on my baby.
If you'd like to make one for yourself, you'll need:
- thin cardboard (I used a cereal box)
- fabric to cover the hat
- felt for the inside of the hat (you could use fabric instead if you don't have felt)
- thin copper tape
- Chibitronics LED stickers
- Chibitronics fade effect sticker
- Chibitronics sound sensor sticker
- Chibitronics stencil
- coin cell battery
- pencil or pen
- hot glue gun and glue
Step 1: Make a Cardboard Hat
Following the instructions from Offbeat Bride, cut out the cardboard pieces for your hat.
I didn't have a compass, so to draw the circles I traced different sized cans and jars from my kitchen.
I used masking tape to temporarily hold the pieces together while I tried on the hat to make sure I was happy with the shape and size.
Step 2: Sketch Out the Circuits
Plan out where you want your Chibitronics stickers, battery and copper tape.
I used the Chibitronics stencil to sketch my design in pencil onto the cardboard and make sure it would all fit. After I was happy with the layout I took a picture of it so I could refer back to it once the hat was covered in fabric.
In hindsight I wish I had gone with two batteries and kept the fading LEDs and sound-reactive LEDs totally separate.
Step 3: Cover and Assemble the Hat
Cover the hat pieces in the material of your choice. I picked up a black shirt at the free store and assumed it was cheap polyester, only after I started cutting it up did I notice it was silk. So my hat is covered in silk on the outside and lined with black felt on the inside.
The Offbeat Bride instructions use spray adhesive but I just used a glue gun and glued the material around the edges of the cardboard.
Glue all three hat pieces together carefully with hot glue.
Step 4: Add the Copper Tape and LEDs
Following your sketch, stick down the copper tape and Chibitronics stickers. Make sure there are no breaks in the copper tape.
Use a small piece of copper tape to hold the battery in place.
With my design, 3 of the LEDs continuously fade on and off, and 3 of the LEDs light up when someone taps on the hat or makes a loud noise.