LED "Handful of Hearts" Gloves




Introduction: LED "Handful of Hearts" Gloves

My sister asked me to make her a pair of gloves she found on instagram that she thought were cute. Trying to find every excuse I can to work on more e-textile projects, I decided to customize it a bit! Additionally, I'd seen instructables on how to make gloves "touchscreen compatible" before and found it to be quite simple and easy! So, here goes my second instructable. :)

**Update 12/29/12: So I left the battery in there thinking it wouldn't die if the lights weren't on, but it did. So I propose using a switch to be able to turn the gloves on and off. It's easier than taking out the battery every time like I have to do now. But I'll probably add a switch in there soon.

What it does
-  The embedded LEDs turn on when the hands touch to bring the heart pieces together
-  Works with touchscreen devices

-  A pair of gloves
           --> I used grey because I liked how it contrasted with the pink felt I had.
-  One sheet of felt
           --> I used pink. Can be found at most crafts stores. I bought mine at Michael's.
-  Regular thread
           --> I used white because the contrast looked nice against the pink and grey.
           --> Embroidery thread would work best, but I didn't have any, so I used normal sewing thread.
-  Conductive Thread
           --> You can buy this through sparkfun.com or adafruit.com.
           --> I prefer the bobbin thread as I find it isn't as stiff as the other thread they sell.
-  Lilypad Coin Cell Battery Holder
           --> If you want the ability to turn on/off your project, these battery holders have built in switches.
-  3V Coin Cell Battery
-  2 3mm Red LEDs
-  Needle(s)
-  Pins
-  Scissors
-  Pen/Pencil

Step 1: Trace and Cut Out the Heart

Step 1
Trace out a heart with a pen or pencil on your felt on only one side. The outside edges of this heart should reach slightly less than halfway into your palm (see next step for how it looks).

Step 2
Cut the heart directly down the middle.

Step 2: Pin Heart Onto Gloves

Step 1
Turn over the heart pieces so that the line you traced in the last step doesn't show.

Step 2
Position the gloves in your work area so that the thumbs are facing outward.

Step 3
Position and pin down the heart pieces on the gloves furthest away from the thumbs. The edges where you cut the heart should be facing each other. Don't pin them directly on the edge of the gloves because when you put your hands in the gloves will expand and half of your hearts will disappear.

Step 4
Try on the gloves to see how they look on your hands when you bring them together to form the heart. You may have to adjust them up/down or left/right. If this is needed, don't move the felt around while the gloves are on. I found this to be too difficult and the felt kept falling down. Instead, take note of approximately how much you need to move each heart piece around, take the gloves off, and reposition them.

Step 3: Insert the LEDs Into Place

If you have some Lilypad LEDs, you can simply sew the LEDs right in the middle and underneath of the heart piece. However, I didn't have any handy and decided to use regular LEDs.

Step 1
Reposition the pins on the hearts so that there is only one pin on each of the top section of the heart pieces.

Step 2
Take your LED and gently poke it through the felt right in the middle.

Step 3
Lift up the bottom of the felt to see where the LED poked through on your glove. You can mark this with a pen on the glove under the felt or simply put your finger on it temporarily.

Step 4
Take out the LED, flip over the felt so that the glove under it is exposed, and poke the LED through. It's ok if you go all the way through the glove. We can easily take it out of the other side. Also, make sure your positive (+) pin is on the left side and your negative pin (-) is on the right side for both gloves.

Step 5
Gently begin to flip the glove inside out. As you're doing this, pull out the LED from the second layer of the glove so that the pins are only poking through the side of the glove that is attached to the felt. 

Step 6
Now we need to coil the LED pins to make them sewable. In order to make regular LEDs sewable, I followed this video to curl the pins into circles.

Step 7
Flip the gloves back over. Gently reposition your pins longways on the felt. See the image for an example.

Step 4: Stitch Heart Pieces Onto Gloves

Step 1
Thread your needle.

Step 2
Start stitching from the inside of the glove on the bottom of the felt. Make these stitches about 3/4cm long. For every stitch you make, stitch over it once again to get a bolder, white look. I really like this bold look. If you're using embroidery thread, you only need to stitch once for this thickness. But, for normal thread, we'll need to stitch twice.

Step 3
Stitch all the way around until your finished with the heart piece.

Step 5: Sew "wiring" Into Place

At this point, the gloves look identical to the picture my sister originally showed me. But we'll take it a step further. :) I've included a schematic of how the wiring will work on the gloves. The purple oval represents the battery holder in the images. The yellow dots represent the LEDs.

Step 1
While wearing the gloves, touch your hands together to form the heart. Try your best to find our where the best point of contact is between your hands. Mark this area with a pin.

Step 2
Flip the glove for the right hand inside out and sew down the battery holder. Be sure the positive and negative side corresponds with the schematic. 

Step 3
Now, begin to sew the circuit down starting with the positive line coming from the battery. You don't need to start here, but it's the easiest to do, so we'll practice with it. 
Tips here:
I found it easier to sew with the glove inside out. So I also included a schematic of how the circuit should be sewn in from the inside. The gloves I used had enough stitches for me to be able to sew in the thread and not have it show up on the opposite side. If you can do this, it will make for a nice, clean look on your gloves. The trick is not to poke the needle in too far.

Step 4
Once you get to the edge, you should be able to see the pin you placed to signify the point of contact with your hands. This part can get tricky. Sew the thread in 1cm lines around the pin. This will ensure that you're sewing the thread where your point of contact is located on your hands. Sew these lines several times. When you finish doing this, you should have formed a sort of rectangle with the thread. See the images as a reference.

Step 5
Continue these steps for the rest of the wiring. When you make the first stitch on the edge of the hand for each hand, gently put the gloves on and make sure these stitches touch the point of contact areas on your hands. This is very important because if your stitches don't touch, the LEDs won't light up.

Step 6: Create Touchscreen Compatible Fingertips

Lastly, I added an extra touch to the gloves by making them touchscreen compatible. I used this instructable to figure out how to do it. There is also a video of how this can be done. I've copy pasted his instructions at the bottom for your convenience, but please give his instructable credit. :) 

The only difference between how I did it is that I first put the gloves on and started touching my phone to see which parts of my fingers were making contact with the screen. I marked these areas with pins on the fingers. After that, I pretty much followed the video verbatim and sewed the conductive thread around the pins I placed on the gloves.

His instructions in text:

#1 Thread your needle
You don't need a whole lot of thread, just a foot or so.

#2: Sew a few stitches in the finger of your glove.
On the outside try to make the stitches pretty close so it only touches the screen in a smallish area (about 1/4" or 6mm in diameter.)  This will help your finger touches be more accurate.

Tip: Don't make it too small!  The iPhone, for example, will ignore small touch areas.  If it doesn't seem to work very well, try increasing the size of the stitches on the outside.

On the inside of the finger, it's actually good for it to be messy (See #3). 

3-5 stitches should be enough.

#3: Leave some extra inside the glove.
You want to make sure the thread touches your finger or your hand on the inside, so leave some extra.  Leave danging thread on your knots, etc.  You might even tack a bit to the lining of the glove

#4: Repeat on other fingers (optional)
If you use other fingers or thumbs to use your screen repeat the step on them too.

And that's it! You're done! :)
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7 Discussions


4 years ago

That's a very nice and inspiring idea. Thanks!


7 years ago on Introduction


So adorable!


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

It is! Especially if you make it with the embroidery thread, it's super easy to make. :)


7 years ago on Introduction

I've seen these too! Happy to see step-by-step instructions for them :D