How 2.0: Make a Light-up Book Cover



Introduction: How 2.0: Make a Light-up Book Cover

Alison Lewis, host of tech makeover show My Home 2.0, sheds some light on caring for your books with style AND added functionality!

For the list of materials, sewing pattern, and wiring diagram, go to:

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Step 1: Prepare the Pattern

- Print out the pattern from the website*. (Be aware that the pattern will print on multiple sheets, so you will have to tape it together. )

- Measure the entire external height and width of your book including the spine. If your book is taller or wider than our cover, then adjust the pattern to suit your needs.

- Cut one pattern from the Exterior material and one pattern from the Interior material. Cut one battery pocket from Interior.

*pattern can be found here:

Step 2: Make the Holding Switches

- Cut out 4 pieces of conductive fabric and 2 pieces of Foamies the size of the cover of your book.

- Make a grid pattern on your Foamies and cut out equidistantly sized squares, making a thin grid of Foamie material.

- Trim the conductive fabric back 1/8" smaller than the Foamie shape.

- Making sure your conductive fabric is flat, secure a piece to each side of the Foamie material with fabric glue and using the sticky side of the Foamie.

- Trim any excess conductive fabric. DO NOT LET ANY OF THE CONDUCTIVE FABRIC HANG ON THE OUTSIDE EDGE THE FOAM MATERIAL - or your light will be on all the time!

Step 3: Create the Light

- Create a three LED button light by putting the LEDs in a series. Twist the + and - legs together, leaving a + leg from one LED free and a - leg from another LED free.

- Insert the two twisted legs through two holes of the button, insert the + leg into one hole of the button, and the final, - leg into the last leg of the button.

- Wrap the two twisted legs up over and around the edge of the button, keeping them away from each other and away from the + and - legs. Snip off any excess from the twisted legs. You can solder them together for a super secure bond if you like.

- With the LED cluster and button facing outwards, its back to the right side of the interior material, pull the + and - legs of the LED cluster through to the back, keeping the legs apart. Sew or glue the button into place.

- Solder the 270-ohm resistor to the + leg. Solder a 17" red wire to the end of the resistor of the + leg and solder a 17" black wire to the - Leg. Leave the wires hanging for now.

Step 4: Add the Support

- With right sides together, sew the front and back together with a 1/4" seam allowance around the top edge and sides ONLY. Do not sew the bottom.

- Take your wire and curve it to the top shape, starting and ending 2" before each fold line.

- Turn the pattern right side out; push your wire into the seams. Do a 1/4" topstitch making a channel and holding the wire in place.

Step 5: Make the Battery Holder

- Decide where you want your battery holder, pick a place that is most comfortable to you. (I like the left side flap area.) Make a small hole for the battery holder wires to go through and slip-stitch the edges.

- Turn under all four edges of your battery pocket and topstitch into place. If you don't feel like sewing, you can glue it into place or use a double-sided no-sew tape like No-Sew Hemming tape.

- Pull the battery wires through the hole you just made, leaving the battery snap part in the pocket.

Step 6: Install the Holding Switches

- Solder your wires according to the diagram*. Make sure that there are two wires soldered to the bottom part of each switch, soldered to the battery connection. Then there should be two wires soldered to the top part of each switch, and soldered to the LED connection.

- Cover all soldered joints with electrical tape.

- Turn the bottom edge under and slip stitch the edges closed.

- Arrange your book inside and fold over the flaps. Topstitch them into place following the previously made topstitches.

*diagram can be found here:

Step 7: Finish!

- Fold the flaps towards the right side of the Interior. Topstitch the top and bottom edges keeping inside the same topstitch you did before.

- Insert your book, hold the sides and let there be light! When you release your grip, there should be no light.


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