Introduction: Electronic Cross Stitch

About: I like to make stuff, and I am always thinking of new ideas.

I saw the Sew Fast Challenge a couple of days ago, and I have some previous experience in cross-stitching, so I decided to combine that with my knowledge of Arduino to make a light up cross stitch piece of art.


  • A needle
  • Some thread
  • Embroidery cloth
  • Thin copper wire
  • Some LEDs
  • An Arduino board or just a power source

Step 1: Plan the Stitches

To plan the stitches that would be needed, I used a website called Stitch Fiddle.

You can import images or start from a blank graph.

After you are finished designing your artwork, print out two copies of the graph, one to reference when stitching, and another for planning the wiring in the next step.

Step 2: Plan the Wiring

Use one of the printed sheets of paper to plan out the wiring and the locations of the LEDs.

Decide if the wiring will be visible, hidden, or if some will show.

Step 3: Stitch Your Design!

Step 4: Add on the LEDs

Put the LEDs all the way onto the fabric so that the leads stick out the other side.

(You may notice that the eyes in this photo are red, while the eyes in the final photo are not. The red LEDs broke and I didn't have more, so I had to change the eyes to white LEDs.)

Fun Fact- LED stands for Light Emitting Diode.

Step 5: The Wiring

This is the difficult part. Follow your wiring diagram and be careful to not cross any wires. You may have to use glue to keep LEDs in place or to keep the wires from touching.

I would recommend using one strand of copper wire for the wiring.

Step 6: Power Source

To power your piece of art, you can use a 3 volt power source, or you can program it with an Arduino board.

If you are using an Arduino board, remember to add resistors (around 220 Ohm) to keep too much power from getting into the LED. If too much power gets in, the magic smoke will exit the LED and it won't work anymore.

Step 7: All Done

Thanks for reading my Instructable, and I hope you had fun making this!

If you liked this project, please consider voting for me in the Sew Fast Challenge.


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