IN THIS LESSON, WE WILL BUILD SIMPLE CIRCUITS WITH “SWITCHES”. WE WILL SEW SIMPLE CIRCUITS INTO A QUIET BOOK USING THE PATTERNS ALREADY SEWN INTO THE BOOK.
Step 1: Materials/Tools
• Quiet Book (Desert Book, WalMart, Toys R US, a nice neighbor)
• Battery Holders PRICE $4.95 for 1 (Sparkfun.com)
• Batteries PRICE $1.95 for 1 (Sparkfun.com)
-Conductive Thread- Spool of conductive thread PRICE: $39.95 (Sparkfun.com)
• Iron-On (aka Wunder-Under paper) (Walmart)
• Conductive Velcro
• LED Lights- package of 5 for $5 (Sparkfun.com)
• Felt 4 for $1 (Hobby Lobby)
• Any Items you want to add to your Quiet Book to customize it!
• SEAM RIPPER
• HOT GLUE GUN
• ALLIGATOR CLIPS
• SEAM RIPPER
• ITEMS TO ACT AS A “SWITCH”
Step 2: Understand a Circuit
A Circuit is a continuous loop through which electricity can travel. The power source will come from a coin cell battery. We need to design the circuit so that the electricity can be carried out through the LED lights. The connections from the battery and the LED need to be positive to positive and negative to negative. The battery holder has two positive sides and two negative sides. The LED is positive on one side and negative on the other. The positive and negative connections should never cross or touch because that will cause a short circuit which will cause the connection to not work.
For the concept of the switch, an LED needs both positive and negative connections to the battery. To create a switch you need to create a break in one of those connections (either the positive or the negative line). When you connect the switch, power flows. When it is disconnected power cannot flow. Be careful when designing your switches that you leave an "open door" so that the switch can close.For more understanding of how to design a simple circuit with a switch click HERE. here.
I have included pictures of the battery holder and LED so that you can see how the positive and negative sides are set up.
Step 3: Practice a Circuit
I could not wrap my head around a simple circuit until I tried is all by myself Before trying the circuit in the quiet book, try it on a piece of felt that can get ruined. I used a piece of felt, conductive Velcro conductive thread, an LED, and a battery with a battery holder. At first, I accidentally made a complete circuit without a switch I learned that instead of using a complete line of velcro on the practice page, I needed to cut the felt into squares so that there was a break in the circuit. The circuit will be complete once someone sticks the other triangle with the conductive velcro on the back of it to the triangle already sewn on to the felt.
After I figured out how a simple circuit with a switch worked, I was ready to start diagramming my circuits for the quiet book. I designed them based upon the activities gong on inside the quiet book.
Step 4: First Page
The first page of the quiet book had a cute little lady bug with a zipper. Automatically I knew that the zipper could be the switch. I designed the circuit so that when I zip up the zipper, it completes the circuit. My Professor came up with the idea of sewing the conductive thread into the zipper so that when the zipper is zipped all the way up, the power can flow. She is brilliant! The pictures show the sketch I made before I actually sewed the project. I also have a video of this page after I finally finished it.
Step 5: Button the Flowers
The second page requires the child to button the flowers onto the book. I decided to sew snaps onto the page so that they could function as the switch. I have three switches on this page so that no matter what flower the child decides to button, the light will turn on. My positive line goes from the positive on the LED up to the snaps and then down to the positive on the battery. I was careful to make sure my lines did not cross or connect in any way. My negative line is simple and short. It starts on the negative of the LED and goes down to the negative on the battery.
In order to make the switch function I needed to sew two snaps on the back of each flower that the child would be connecting. I sewed from snap to snap with conducive thread to complete the circuit. I have added a picture of the diagram for further understanding.
Step 6: Match the Shapes
This was one of the first pages I decided to try because it is the most straight-forward. I decided that I wanted the holder for the shapes to light up when the triangle is put onto the other triangle. So I diagrammed the LED to be in the pocket and the battery holder right next to it to aide in simplicity. Once the triangle is inserted onto the triangle- Voila! The LED lights up.
Step 7: Count My Wheels/Put Something in My Cars
This page has a train on it with a cars that have an open pocket. I wanted something cute for the child to be able to put into the pocket to act as a switch. So I went to a store called Hobby Lobby where I found a wooden, ballerina-princess that I used as my switch. I covered the back of the doll with iron-on aluminum foil. Inside the two carts I put aluminum foil where one connects to my positive line and one connects to my negative line. When the doll is inserted, it acts as a switch and the train light comes on! I hope the diagram can explain it better.
You can use whatever object you want for a page like this. It is up to you!
Step 8: Hang the Clothes
This is my favorite page! I used conductive Velcro to act as my positive and negative lines and at the same time looks like the clothes line. The LED's are on the clothes this time. So every time a child connects a shirt or pant onto the clothes line, the piece of clothing lights up. On the shirt for example, I put the LED on the front and conductive Velcro on the back that I sewed on connecting the LED and Velcro.
Step 9: Change My Wheels
I used conductive Velcro and put it where the wheels would normally be on a truck. Every time the wheels are connected to the truck, the switch works and the car light lights up. My positive line goes from the positive on the LED down to one square of the conductive Velcro then starts down the other square of conductive Velcro down to the positive on the battery holder. The negative line goes from the negative on the LED straight down to the negative on the battery holder.
Step 10: Match the Colors
This page has 5 balloons that are all different colors. The child is supposed to match the purple color to the purple balloon. I used conductive Velcro, conductive thread, and LED and a battery holder. My positive goes through the battery holder, conductive Velcro and LED. The negative line goes from the negative on the LED down to the negative on the battery holder.
Step 11: Common Problems and Workaround
1. The most common problem you will run into when making a simple circuit is accidentally creating a short circuit This means that your lines cross or connect at some point. It is helpful to diagram exactly where your negative and positive lines will go to insure that they don't cross.
2. Make sure your fabric is heat proof! When I was ironing on the aluminum foil I noticed my project started steaming. To my surprise I was melting my fabric! Know your fabric and if it can get heated or not.
3. During my project I got really frustrated when sewing my conductive velcro because it was so hard to sew through. My needles ended up bending. If I could do it over again I was use a sewing machine because it would be easier and your project will stay together better.
Step 12: Finished Project
You have a lot of leeway with this project!! There are many ways that you can be creative to make a circuit with a switch I hope that you can understand how a simple circuit works!