Picture of Three Fabric Buttons
These super simple fabric buttons are soft, fun to push and can come in handy when building various prototypes. They all share the same ground or plus, depending on what you hook what up to.

I am also selling these handmade fabric buttons via Etsy. Although it is much cheaper to make your own, purchasing one will help me support my prototyping and development costs >>

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
- 1.5mm thick neoprene from http://www.sedochemicals.com
- Stretch conductive fabric from http://www.lessemf.com
also see http://cnmat.berkeley.edu/resource/stretch_conductive_fabric
- Fusible interfacing from local fabric store or
also see http://www.shoppellon.com
- Thread
- Pen and paper
(- LEDs and crocodile clips for testing)

- Sewing needle
- Scissors
- Iron
(- Multimeter)
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nickpagee2 years ago
Thank you SO MUCH for this! I added some mods that will help me on future projects ––> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzC5_cCLkPI
1 – battery to the left so that I don't have to run power to the buttons AND so that this becomes a portable circuit tester

2 – indicator lights on the buttons so that when I'm testing I'll always know if the battery and button fabric connections are sound – it complicated the process as I had to stitch in the negative current throughout the buttons, but it was really quick and I love playing with them.

Plusea (author)  nickpagee2 years ago
thank you for linking to the video! was really nice to see your work.
dhivya21104 years ago
Hi! This i'ble is really cool. I am trying to make the same on my own. Could you please tell me how is the pressure vs voltage calibrated? Is it possible to program the controller without calibrating it? Please help me.. Thanks in advance for any of your advice..
can u press more than one button a a time and it work?
nida224 years ago
can any one tell me that both the fabric is neoprene in which they fuse the conductive fabric
jst two faric are used in tjis project neoprene and conductive fabric plz help me as soon as possible
Plusea (author)  nida224 years ago
neoprene is not necessary in this design. you can use any fabric or material as your base substrate, as it is not a functional part of the button/sensor. fusible interfacing is a fabric glue that comes in sheets and is fused with heat from an iron, you can also use double sided sticky tape or even just stitch your conductive fabric in place with some regular non-conductive thread. instead of conductive fabric contacts you can also use aluminum foil. and even the spacer material can be made from a material other than foam. anything thick enough to keep your two conductive contacts apart when you aren't pushing them together!
nida22 Plusea4 years ago
thank you
now its so easy to make fabric button with simple cotton any (or any other type of fabric ) aluminum foil and and fabric foam and if we use aluminum foil rather than conducting fbric then there may be a little bit problem to stitch aluminum foil or fuse
and if you mention these thing in material part then its very easy for others
super like!!
(its super cute too)
MrHanimi4 years ago
have you considered putting this inside a pea pod case or something of the sort?
also *free idea*
has anyone made a soft game controller for the kind of people who like to throw them at tvs? that would be cool :3
TheoTTFF4 years ago
would it be possible to replace the conductive fabric with tin foil?
ilovetea6 years ago
What about embedding it in the wrist part of a hoodie, in the sleeve, and assign the three buttons to "Back a track", "Play/Pause", Forward a track", for music players (iPods)?
Yea, like a sessions jacket!
So, how do you think one could do that?
I am late to reply on this, but Aniomagic sells a "Magic Dock" for $10 that you can use in soft circuit projects. I just found them online the other day and ordered one to play with: http://www.aniomagic.com/store/index.php?p=1&q=18
you could hack one of the iPod remotes that come with the ear buds that you can order from Apple.
hmm, interesting idea but isnt that for volume only? Im looking for track skip
I have actually done this for the ipod remote, which i now use for when I go snowboarding. I did hack one of those remotes that comes with headphones as weretater mentions. The remote headphone combo cost about $40 and it has volume up/down, skip forward/back and play/pause. I only did it for play/pause and skip forward, although i'm considering also adding skip backward.
Fodaro4 years ago
How thick is your perforated foam, and where did you buy it? I can't find it on your materials list.
Plusea (author)  Fodaro4 years ago
the thinner the better. i like 2-3mm.
i try to get it locally at upholstry stores, but there are lots of online foam stores depending on where you live. lots of different kinds of foam will work. also felt and other squishy packaging materials that you can perforate.

this is one place i've ordered from before, though they don't have very thin sheets.
>> http://www.foambymail.com/PolyFoam.html
Fodaro Plusea4 years ago
connor18684 years ago
where can you buy these, the ines that you make and we buy and how much are they.
Roxy 1435 years ago
jobxu20005 years ago
Hi plusea!

I'm interested in your fabric button, but cannot find it in your Etsy shop (only Fabric Bend Sensor KIT and Fabric Pressure Sensor/Matrix KIT are there). Will you make one if I order it? Thanks a lot!


Plusea (author)  jobxu20005 years ago
I've re-listed it >>
Chimaera6 years ago
Why did you choose neoprene?
Plusea (author)  Chimaera6 years ago
good question. for the buttons (as supposed to the conductive thread pressure and bend sensors) there is no need for the outer fabric to be neoprene. i used it mainly because it is easy to work with in terms of not fraying and no need to finish the edges. it does have a nice squishy feeling feedback to it, but this can also be achieved by the sponge materials that is anyway inside the button. so, really there is no technically necessary reason to work with neoprene here.
Argool6 years ago
This is an intriguing development...
hmm... Neoprene console controller, or even a better DDR dance pad. Hmm... may have to build one.
puffyfluff6 years ago
That would be a great stress reliever! I am going to make one of these, but I might make it five buttons, and put them in a ring so that I can rest my hand on it, it may be a useful control fro a future project.
Or you could put your hand in the ring and rotate so it can tell which way you're turning your hand!
Oh, that would be cool too. I didn't mean a complete ring, I meant like having the five buttons arranged so that I could just keep my fingers on them. That's another good idea, too.
My idea is that you could scroll through a web page or something by turning your wrist. Those thing actually aren't that hard to do.
Oh, I see now, that would be really cool. I'll have to start looking into that.
profiteer6 years ago
I was looking around, and I didn't see if you mentioned where you bought the foam from. Where did you get?
Plusea (author)  profiteer6 years ago
oh yes. i get it from a shop in linz, austria >>

it is a shop that sells curtains and flooring.... and this foam i guess is used for the padding inside seat covers and such. so maybe try finding a local store that sells this kind of stuff. i have not really looked for online suppliers of foam yet.

you can also try felt. it might not be as super soft, but should work.
whiteoakart6 years ago
I love this. It looks like a soybean pod. Since my car runs on soy-based BioDiesel, I need this for my accessory switches.
jackcday6 years ago
that would make an awesome piano/keyboard
that is a great idea!
Great stuff! Thanks a ton for the link to the EMF site. Been meaning to make something with that for a while.
Skor4596 years ago
Super cool. I'm hoping to make something completely unrelated, but I'd love to use that green neoprene material. I couldn't find anything neon green though, just black and white. Can you guide me through the website somehow?
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