Cheap and Easy LED Handkerchief Headlamp

Introduction: Cheap and Easy LED Handkerchief Headlamp

During a recent episode of insomnia brought about by some late night espressos, I figured it would be a good idea to catch up on some reading.  Not wanting to wake my wife, I found myself wishing I had a headlamp so I could just read in bed.  Feeling inspired and fueled by caffeine, I looked around to see what sort of available items I had at my disposal.  The following is what I came up with.

This is my first instructable, and I am entering it in the Summer Camping Challenge, so if you like it please vote!

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Step 1: Materials

The headlamp is constructed from 3 items I had laying around:

1 Handkerchief (or really any fabric of similar size)

1 Medium Size Binder Clip

1 LED Keychain light with On/Off Switch

The handkerchief and binder clip explain themselves and are easily found.  The LED keychain light I've had for a few years.  You can find them on ebay or at a camping supply website.  They normally go for a dollar or two and are cheaper if you buy them in bulk.  Altogether the cost of the items this headlamp is made out of is $3-4, maybe less.  The On/Off switch is important, unless you want to squeeze the keychain the whole time you wear it, which kind of takes away from the whole point of having a headlamp.

Step 2: Assemble the Headlamp

Step 1: Lay out the handkerchief like a diamond and place the LED in the middle as shown in the first picture.

Step 2:  Fold the top half of the handkerchief down and over the LED, then grip the covered LED.

Step 3:  Clip the binder clip right on top of the covered LED.

Step 4:  Remove the ends from the binder clip by squeezing them inward and taking them out of the grooves.

Nice!  Now we're ready to fold!

Step 3: Folding the Handkerchief

This might not be the best way to fold it, but it works well enough to keep your head padded from the binder clip.

Take the handkerchief and open it up to a diamond again, with the LED underneath, the opposite of the first picture here.

Flip the top down, but not all the way.  Use the second picture as a guide.

Flip the bottom up to reach the new top as shown in the third picture.  This makes a hexagonal shape.

Fold the top over half way, and do the same with the bottom like in the fourth and fifth pictures.

Then fold them together into a headband.

Step 4: Put It on and Light It Up!

Now just put it on Karate Kid style and flip the switch and you should be ready to go.  This whole thing should take about 2 or 3 minutes to put together and it comes apart even faster.  If the headband is tight enough you can actually adjust the angle of the LED by tilting it up or down.


You could also take the finished headband and wrap it around your wrist for a hands free wrist light.

I hope you enjoyed my instructable and if you did please take a second to vote!  Thanks!

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    4 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I like it! I am putting together a survival/thrival kit on a belt, it already has a bandana in it so I will add a squeeze light and clip and have a headlight too!



    8 years ago on Introduction

    Ha! Very creative! I think MacGyver would be thrilled :)