Originally made for my youngest brother's birthday, Lightning Bug is a plush flashlight whos primary function is to provide light and be plush and squishible! My younger brother convinced me to start creating these furry monsters and this is my first.
This project is centered around inexpensive and easy to find materials. If you are an electronics hobbyist, (like me!) none of the parts are hard to find. For all the non-electronics oriented amoung us, you will need a soldering iron, solder, some wire, and an LED (commonly found in cheap flashlights.
Step 1: Supplies
You'll be needing:
- Soldering Iron ('d!)
- Needle ('d!)
- Scissors (preferably fabric)
- One white led (3 vdc)
- One coin cell battery (I used a CR2032)
- Thread (non-conductive)
- Aluminum foil ('d again!)
- Two buttons
- Two drinking straws
- Small binder clip
- Clear/Scotch/Semi-Opaque tape
- Small pilow to brutally murder ;-)
Step 2: Creating the Creature - Cut the Sock
Follow the helpful pictures! Save the foot shaped portion, we'll be using it later.
Step 3: Creating the Creature - Folding
You're probably thinking, "Why do I have to fold?" Well, please follow the helpful pictures. The small hole is for the LED to get through.
Step 4: Creating the Creature - Sewing (not Like a Lawyer)
I sincerely hope that you got the joke. Again, follow the pictures! Please. Copy the stiches for the other side as well. If my sewing's horrendous, so sew me. (get it? get it?)
Step 5: Creating the Creature - Sewing (part 2)
Now it's time to sew is eyes in. Pichures! After this step, you are basically done with creating the creature.
Step 6: Creating the Switch
Make sure you have the binder clip, straws, tape, and aluminum foil. Bend the straws in half, then clip them both with the binder clip. Tape not shown in photo.
Step 7: Creating the Switch - Adding Contacts
Now, we will add the aluminum foil to the contacts by tearing it in half, wrapping it around the straws a bit, and taping it down. Optimally, you would fold the aluminum inwards to increase surface area and thereby make the switch contacts better.
Step 8: Solder Wires to the Led Leads
For all of you who do not posses a soldering iron, im so soorry! If you are that interested in the project, drop me an email at: dantran [at] dandeeman [dot] com. If I hear enough response, I will do something about it!
Make sure that your wires are as long as or longer than the sock you are using!
This step is pretty standard. Just clean the LED contacts, let them dry, and don't heat it too much. When you're done, you will get something similar to the photos.
Keep that iron on! You'll be using it next step.
Step 9: Solder the Wire to the Switch
You heard me! Now, start soldering! Solder it to one side of the foil.
Step 10: Tape Ze Battery
Oh, monsier, we do not use tape on ze electronic devices! It doesn't hold ze conductivity well!
In this case, it's not only the easiest solution, but it is one of the only solutions (instead of forcing you to by a CR2032 coin cell holder which probably costs more than the actual battery.)
Spread the wire over the surface of the anode liberally; the more surface, the more likely it'll conduct! Make sure that your led's polarity is correct (usually, short is cathode (-), and long is anode (+)) and tape accordingly.
After that, tape the battery to the unoccupied portion of the switch (and jimmie if it wont work. You'll get it eventually!)
Step 11: Test It!
Make sure that the led lights up when the switch is closed. Some kindly stranger please make me a gif!
Step 12: Stuff It!
Now, put the led and it's paraphenalia into the sock. Make sure the led is in the creatures mouth looking thingy. You can hot glue it if you wish. When you're ready, proceed downward. Muahahahahaha!
Remember that innocent pillow that you hated and wished to destroy to oblivion?
*hopefully self explanatory*
Now, cram stuffing into the Lightning Bug (bag.) Stuf and cram, but take caution not to destroy your creature. Try to disperse the fluff evenly.
Step 13: Now, for the Coup De Grace...
Cut the little foot sock all the way back from step 2. Use it as a hair tie like device and seal your sock creature like a baloney wrap.
Step 14: Done! Fin!
Now go and play with it. Ideas for making it better: use a pic chip and a flex sensor to control stuff with it. Put a remote control in it. Put more leds. Make a driver for the leds. Anything is possible with your Lightning Bug!
I put a small reflector lens on it. You can make one yourself out of aluminum foil.
questions and comments and flames and exclamatory remarks are appreciated!
ps - visit dandeeman.com (it's my website!) </shamelessplug>
Participated in the
Soft Circuit Contest