For this project I had to design something and create it in a four hour class, so, because of Halloween coming up, and the extra-credit I could get in another class, I decided to make a Tinkerbell costume. Then I thought "Tinkerbell? that's so boring. Put lights in it!" so I came up with my own Tinkerbell with light up wings. Here's how I did it.
Step 1: Materials
- 1 plain dark green dress with a sweetheart neckline. (I made my own without a pattern before class, but you can buy one, or use a pattern)
- string/hemp string
- needle and thread (green or white)
- white masking tape
- 1 yard light green broadcloth cut into 3 inch strips
- 1 yard dark green broadcloth to match the dress cut into 3 inch strips
- 1/2 yard light green mesh cut into 2-3 inch strips
- 1/2 yard pink broadcloth cut into 3 inch strips
- a roll of neopixels
- an arduino
- a bread board
- a portable charger
- and arduino programming sortware
- some wires
- wire wing frames either from existing fairy wings or hand made like mine were
Step 2: Making the Outer Layer
For the outer layer of the dress I tied a piece of string around my waist while wearing the dress. After that I tied on the strips of different colored cloth trying to evenly disperse the colors. (if you are a different size you will need more or less strips to cover your whole waist.) Then use a belt to cover the knots and the dress is complete.
Step 3: Making the Wings
For my wings I made four frames. You could use two sets of pre-made wings as long as they have wire frames. If you use store bought wings, cut the fabric off the wire frames. Connect the two frames together using the tape leaving about a pencil width between the two. This is where the neo-pixel strip will be placed.
For the neo-pixels I used some that were sticky on the back, and stuck them in. I also sewed it on to make it more secure.
Step 4: Turning on the Lights
To do this I soldered on wires to the ends of the neo-pixel strips. Then I connected them to a bread board making a a place for a ground, the power, and input. Connect the wires to their respective places on the arduino. Open up the arduino programming software. Using a downloaded adafruit library from adafruit.com i used the Simple template. I altered the color and speed, and the amount of pixels, ran it, and the wings lit up. After you run it once it the arduino can be unplugged and the portable charger connected.
Step 5: Final Touches
To finish the wings, I wrapped them in pantyhose cutting them to where they just barely overlapped, stuck the wings to a small piece of wood, and attached the arduino, bread board, and battery to the wood, wrap in fabric, and create straps. After that your Tinkerbell costume is ready and rockin'.