Kraftwerk Costume




About: Former Instructables employee. Living in San Francisco amidst the fog. I love getting my hands dirty by taking on new projects, developing unique skills and learning fun facts.

This Kraftwerk group costume is a perfect and simple way to pay homage to the incredibly influential band. The LED ties are easy to construct, making this an easy first soft-circuitry project.

These costumes are inspired by their "The Robots" music video. So, it's only appropriate to listen while reading on. Look for the ties at the 0:25 mark. 



Step 1: Materials

For this costume you will need 4x the supplies listed below - one set per person:

Step 2: Mark Your Ties

Have one of your band-members tie his tie (note: their ties sit pretty high), and point out where the top light should go. Mark this spot with tailor's chalk, or any other removable marking.

Based on this mark, draw four more evenly-spaced lines down the tie for the placement of the other LEDs. I spaced my LEDs about 3cm apart. 

Mark up each tie the same way, so they all have 5 lines.

Step 3: Sew Soft Circuits

I HIGHLY recommend you follow Aniomagic's guide for sewing on the Sparkle Kit. You can find that here.

My one change to that tutorial is with the battery holder. Sew on all the pieces as suggested on Aniomagic's site, then, with those two loose threads to connect to power, line them up with the corresponding /- sides of the board on the reverse side of the tie. Sew two new threads, one on each side connecting the board to the battery pack.

Plug in a battery after to see if it works! If your kit lights up, then congrats! If not, look through this helpful page to troubleshoot what went wrong.

Now repeat this on the three other ties. 

Step 4: Program Your Ties

On your tie's main board, you will see a red light next to some silver lines. With the battery still in, hold a finger down on these until the red light starts flashing. Your Sparkle board is now ready to program.

This is the magically easy part. Go to this page on the Aniomagic page and set your toggles to match mine in this screen shot. Then, hold up your board against the one on the screen. Press SEND. After a few seconds when the loading bar is done, your tie is programmed! 


Repeat three more times on the other ties.

If you're having trouble programming, here's a handy video found on the help page:


Step 5: We Are the Robots

And you're done! Grab three of your friends, and strike some robotic poses on the autobahn. 

A special thanks to Ian, Mark, Mike, and Dan for modeling, Audrey for snapping some sweet photos, and Carley for an inspiring jumping-off point.

2013 Autodesk Halloween Contest

Runner Up in the
2013 Autodesk Halloween Contest

Halloween Costume Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Costume Contest



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    7 Discussions

    I love kraftwerk. My favarite song is Pocket Calculatar. I am going to make this costume and go see the band this weekend. Woo hoooo.


    2 years ago

    This is awesome!


    2 years ago

    whoever did this is completely amazing and deserves an award

    I love Kraftwerk; I love these costumes. It is so cool that you did this. This is definitely going in my favorites for the idea alone. My favorite song would have to be Europe Endless. :3 My favorite album, though, would be Computer World.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    So good! Never would've thought to do a Halloween costume around an album cover.


    5 years ago

    Best thing ever I love Kraftwerk I think my favorite song is numbers but amazing idea with the costumes


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Oh my gosh! Grrrreaaaat Joob! lol I love this, I love Kraftwerk! My favorite song is Radioactivity. You just made my day/night!