Introduction: Light-up Tardis Embroidery

Submitted by Cambridge Hackspace for the Instructables Sponsorship Program

This is a light-up Tardis embroidery made with felt and sewable electronics.  

Step 1: Materials

You'll need:

- Cotton fabric in whatever print or color you want
- Embroidery hoop
- Blue felt
- White felt
- Black felt
- Embroidery floss
- Blue thread
- Black thread
- White thread
- Conductive thread
- CR2032 battery
- Sewable battery holder
- Sewable LED
- Fabric glue (optional)

Step 2: Place Your Fabric in the Embroidery Hoop

Place your fabric in the embroidery hoop and then cut off the excess.

Step 3: Sew Your Electronics

Sew your electronics into the back of the fabric so they don't show on the front. You'll want your LED to be face-down on the fabric, and you'll want to securely attach both the LED and the battery holder to the fabric using the conductive thread (the silver thread). Once both pieces are secured, sew a trail from one of the positives on the battery holder to the positive on your LED. Sew another trail from one of the negatives on your battery holder to the negative on your LED.

The positive trail and the negative trail shouldn't cross or touch each other. However, it's ok if normal (non-conductive) thread touches or crosses these paths. Since your LED will be face-down, make sure you take a good look at which side is your positive and which side is your negative before you attach it to the fabric. 

Once you have finished sewing this part, you can pop in the battery and check that your LED lights up.

Step 4: Cut Your Felt

You'll need to cut out six pieces total: the main part of the Tardis, the top of the Tardis, the black "Police Box" rectangle, two windows,  and a white square or rectangle (this is where your LED will shine through). While you can make your Tardis however you want to make it, I chose to make the bottom a bit rounded so it would go better with the shape of the hoop. If you decide to do this, your windows will also need to be a bit round.

Step 5: Embroider the "Police Box" Sign

Once you've cut the black rectangle for your, use the white thread to embroider "Police Public Call Box" on it. You can use a white or silver pencil to trace the words before starting to sew. If you don't have anything on hand that you can use to mark the black felt (chalk will be too thick), don't worry! Doing this freehand is not impossible (and is what I ended up doing). Make sure you do this before you sew the black rectangle onto anything else (it'll be much easier that way).

Step 6: Sew Everything Together

It's time to assemble and sew your Tardis! First, sew the main part of the Tardis since almost all the other parts need to be sewn on top of it. If you'd rather skip some of the sewing, you can also use some fabric glue to glue the windows and sign to the rest of your Tardis. 

For the windows, use the blue thread to sew two vertical lines and one horizontal line on each one to make the window panes. 

Step 7: More Embroidering!

Using your floss (I used red, but you can use whatever color you prefer), embroider your favorite Dr. Who catchphrase above the Tardis. I know, it's hard to pick just one! You can trace what you want to write using a pencil or some chalk. After you've traced your phrase, go over it using a simple running stitch.

Step 8: You're Done!

That's it! Put in your battery, flip the switch, and enjoy your new light-up Tardis!