Maple Leaves

Introduction: Maple Leaves

I was inspired by autumn to make maple leaves that change color. Pressing on the red, yellow or orange switches makes the green adjacent leaf change color!

This project uses thermochromic paint and a heating element to make the maple leaf change colors.

Materials used:

For Thermochromic paint:

Thermochromic paint

paint brush

mixing cup

Liquitex Fluid transparent Medium


I used cotton poly blend red, yellow and orange cloth

Denim for the main sample

Felt (for the switch)

Conductive fabric (Iron On preferred)

Conductive thread



Regular thread

For Assembly:

Heat Gun

Hot Glue Gun


Battery (5v and 1Ampere) or switching mode DC regulated power supply

Access to Laser Cutter is a plus


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Step 1: Cut Your Leaf Shape

You can cut the maple leaf shape out of yellow, red and orange fabric.

I have used a laser cutter to do this step to get a clean finish.

Cut Big shapes for the heating elements and smaller shapes for the switches.

Step 2: Circuit

There are three parts to the circuit-

heating unit (the maple leaf that will change color)

The Switch (A smaller maple leaf that turns on when you press down on it)


Step 3: Heating Element

Mix the thermochromic pigment with the fabric medium. The viscosity should be fairly thick.

Apply multiple layers of pigment so that the color is an even thick green color.

Step 4: Drying Process

To fasten the drying process use the heat gun on the thermochromic pigment.

Step 5: The Loop

Create a loop on the leaf heating element.

Try not to do multiple stitches in one place as this might cause overheating.

Test the heating element by attaching it to the switching module before proceeding.

Make this with all three leaves.

Step 6: The Switch

The switch is made by sandwiching the maple leaf, conductive fabric, a piece of felt and conductive fabric on the textile in that order.

Make three switches

Step 7: Attaching to the Textile

Attach the leaves and the switched onto the textile where the maple leaves are housed.

Step 8: Insulate and Testing

It is good to insulate the conductive thread after each step.

Use a multimeter to test whether the thread is still conductive.

Step 9: Test

Once you have glued on the heating element and the switch you can test the color change with a switching mode power supply

Step 10: Done!

The textile is now ready. Press the buttons to watch the maple leaf change color.

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