But wait, this makes a perfect gift for Mother's Day or any other special person on your list that deserves more than just a Hallmark card. Personalize the images to show exactly how you feel. Use this as a bracelet to wear your heart on a sleeve.
The IKEA red heart plushie was the inspiration. This is the Instructables Robot hack because that's how we roll. The IKEA red heart plushie seemed to lack something like it was missing substance, kinda like their seat cushions. They do have a LACK line of furniture though. We needed to throw in something electronic for an original Instructables' Lithium Rain Somebody Needs a Hug Robo-heart.
Step 1: Get Fleeced
Well, I still have about a yard and a half of Robo-fleece to use up, what to make...
I also had this mini 1.5 inch picture viewer that I never used. It hooks up to a computer by USB to download images and can play a slideshow. I guess I also could have modded this with a recorder/playback device like the Custom Plush Easy Button.
Again, I did not do an electronic hack to extend the switches, use conductive thread or make fabric switches to use as the Robot buttons. The more ambitious could do that.
So, put that together with some scraps of white felt, polyester batting or fiberfill and some sticky velcro, you can put together the Instructables' Lithium Rain Somebody Needs a Hug Robo-heart.
I used a sewing machine and a serger to put this together. You can also hand sew everything but it will take you a little bit longer.
Step 2: Arm It First...
Lay out a folded piece of fleece on which the picture viewer will be mounted to. Sketch out a big heart around it. That will form the main body.
Cut out two pieces of fleece that will be the arms. You can cut out a large rectangular piece and fold that in half to form a tube for the arm. Lay out the material and adjust the proportions by eyeballing it.
Cut out two accent pieces of white felt which will form the "hands".
Attach the white felt to the fleece at the end with a serger or by using a straight stitch on a sewing machine or by hand.
With the seams on the outside, fold it in half and sew the long edge and closing off the hand end to complete the arm tube.
Take an implement to help you turn/flip the tube inside out. A chopstick, ruler, or a drumstick would work great.
Stuff the arm with a bit of fiberfill or polyester batting.
Sew three lines in the hands to form the indentations for the fingers. Instructables Robot only has 4 fingers and no opposing thumbs.
You can also close off the end of the arm tube by sewing it.
Step 3: Folded Arms...
Now that the arms are completed, place them on the layout to see where the arms will go.
It helps to now mark where the arms will go.
Because we want a nice finshed seam around the heart, we will be turning the final assembly inside out.
Place the arms between the two pieces of the main body of the Robo-heart. Line up the end of the arm with the marks you made on the outside.
Start sewing around to close up the main body. You will need to fold over the arm inside the main body so that the sewing machine can sew around the outside.
Important: Leave a 2inch or wider gap at the bottom or pointy end of the main body in order to get the arms out when you turn/flip everything inside out. You will sew it up later.
Step 4: Open Arms...
Stuff the main body.
Sew up the gap that was left to turn/flip the insides out.
Hot glue on 3 white Robot buttons.
CAUTION: Hot glue and hot glue guns are hot. They can cause burns and it hurts. I used a tweezer to hold the piece and press it on after the glue is applied.
Pre-cut velcro adhesive dots are probably the easiest to use. Attach one pad to the inside of one hand. Attach the mating velcro tab to the outside of the other hand. When the arms are together, the hands should overlap and stick together.
Mount the picture viewer with velcro also.
You could actually sew a pocket or inset holder for the picture viewer if you were so inclined. I just wanted it to be quick detachable to hook back up to the computer for updates and battery charging.
Use a magic marker to draw the 2 accent stripes on the sleeves. You could also have embroidered or sewn a cable thread or ribbon on when the arms were being made.
Okay now, group hug anyone?