How to Make a LilyPad Arduino LED Skirt




Introduction: How to Make a LilyPad Arduino LED Skirt

The skirt blinks randomly when it gets dark.
To see the skirt in action visit:

Material lists:

Lining (I have used medium-weight cotton.)
Elastic tape
Sewing Yarn
Sewing machine
Bias Tape

LilyPad Arduino
Several LilyPadLEDs (you can also use normal LEDs, but please consider that you will also need resistors)
Conductive Thread
Sewing needles
LilyPad Light sensor
Battery holder

Step 1: Tulle Skirt Pattern

Make the skirt pattern as specified above. If you want the skirt more fluffy, just add some more layers of tulle.

Step 2: Sewing the Tulle Skirt

1. Sew sides of lining together and serge the edges.
2. Sew sides of tulle together.
3. Lay the different layers on top of another and sew the layers together at top end.
4. Take an elastic band and sew the ends together. (The width should be comfortable for you.)
5. Pin the elastic tape with some pins to the skirt.
6. Use the zig-zag stitch of your sewing machine to add the elastic tape to your skirt.
7. Add bias tape to serge the hem of lining.

Afterwards you can make your skirt blink with the help of LilyPad Arduino.

Step 3: Arduino Sketch

//array of LEDs
int leds[] = {2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13};

int randNumber;

//light up LED
void blinken(char a)
  digitalWrite(a, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(a, LOW);

void setup()
//set pinmode for all 8 pins see leds [] array
  for (int index = 0; index < 9; index++)
   pinMode(leds[index], OUTPUT);

//pins used for light sensor
  pinMode(A3, OUTPUT);
  digitalWrite(A3, HIGH);
  pinMode(A4, OUTPUT);
  digitalWrite(A4, LOW);

//set pin to GND
  pinMode(3, OUTPUT);
  digitalWrite(3, LOW);

void loop()

//get value of light sensor  
  int wert = analogRead(A5);

//catch random value betweeen 0...8
    randNumber = random(0,9-1);

//light up sensor of 3 pin rows each connected to 1 arduino pin  

Step 4: The Finished Skirt

...some more impressions of the working process..

Hope you like it. If you have any questions, I would like to hearing from you.:)

Microcontroller Contest

Finalist in the
Microcontroller Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Fiber Arts Challenge

      Fiber Arts Challenge
    • Teach With Tinkercad Contest

      Teach With Tinkercad Contest
    • Sculpt & Carve Challenge

      Sculpt & Carve Challenge


    Digi Majou
    Digi Majou

    Question 3 years ago on Step 4

    Great Project! I was wondering how the Lilypad battery (AAA, 100mA) was able to power 24 LEDs, assuming the LEDS draw 20 mA)?
    I'm working on a project with a similar number of LEDs in parallel circuit (6 groups of 4 LEDs), and the Lilypad simplesnap lipo battery that's wired in isn't enough (i need 480 mA for an hour). What do you think would happen if i connected a 1000 mA Lipo to the boards + and - ports? Would this be a good or bad idea? Thanks for any help you can give!!


    Answer 3 years ago

    100mAh (100mA for 1 hr), not 100mA. Not all of the LEDs are on at one time. They blink randomly and are only on for 10ms. The most I can see connected to one pin (12) is 5 LEDs.
    Using 20mA x 5 LEDs = 100mA for 10ms. There's a lot of ms in 1 hour.
    The battery holder is a discontinued model that boosts the voltage (1.5V) of the AAA battery.


    6 years ago

    How can you change this so it supports the LilyPad with only 9 pins instead of this one?


    6 years ago

    Nice project! please let me know....... any fire risk?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I was wondering how the skirt stays poofy: is there a petticoat underneath the skirt? Did you just put some layers of tulle? Thanks!