Snapable Lilypads




My students and I love the LilyPad, but we want to be able to move theLilyPad from project to project without a lot of hassel or having to destroy our handywork. The solution? Add snaps!

Step 1: Parts

1. 30 AWG wire
2. Sewing needle
3. Neoprene-
4. Fabric scissors
5. Fabric pen
6. Fine Sharpie
7. Wire cutter
8. Wrap/Strip/Unwrap Tool; for 30AWG  
9. Lilypad-
10. Size 4 sew on snaps-
11. Solder
12. Soldering iron

Step 2: Cut Out Template

1. Make a circle larger than the LilyPad. My circle is 80mm. Mark the circle on your neoprene with a fabric pen. I used a sharpie here just for the demo.

2. Cut out the neoprene circle.

3. Place the LilyPad in the center of the circle and trace the LilyPad with the fabric marker-make an inner circle.

4. Using a fine sharpie, mark the holes of the LilyPad.

5. Make lines radiating out from the LilyPad holes. Use either sharpie or fabric marker. I like the lines, but it's a personal taste issue.

6. Make marks on the radiating lines for where you want to place the snaps (make sure the snaps don't touch each other). Use either sharpie or fabric marker.

Step 3: Sewing

1. Cut a long piece of 30 AWG wire and strip an inch from the end.

2. Thread a needle with the wire.

3. Start sewing by going through from the inside (the side with markings) of the fabric and then through a hole in one of the petals of the LilyPad.

4. Make a loose loop through the next petal. You come out one petal and go in through the next petal, leaving some slack in the wire.

5. Sew through the fabric from the point where the radiating line intersects the inner circle to the point where the snap will be placed. Make sure you do not go through to the other side with the needle, rather hide the wire inside the fabric.

6. Come out of one of the snap marks and go in to the next leaving some slack in the wire. You should be making  loose loops on the inside as well as the outside.

7. Continue to sew making loose loops between the petal points and the snap points.

Step 4: Adding Snaps

1. Strip an inch and a half off the end wire on the inside by the snap mark. Pull the wire through so that only half an inch of exposed wire is visible.

2. Place a snap over the 1/2 exposed wire. With the soldering iron, carefully heat the wire. Add the solder near the top hole of the snap. The heat will fill the hole with solder and melt the snap into the fabric.

3. On the outside, pull the wire through and solder the exposed part to the petal. Cut the wire. Strip at least an inch and a half off.

4. Pull the wire through to the back side so that only a small piece of exposed wire is over the next petal. Solder the small piece to the petal.

5.  Pull the wire through to the back side and trim by the next snap mark, so that 1/2 inch of exposed wire is visible.

6.  Add another snap.

7. Continue around the circle soldering snaps and connecting the wire to the petals.

8. Test your connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Step 5: Use It

1. Find a place for your LilyPad and mark where the other side of the snaps should be.

2. Using conductive thread, sew in the other side of the snaps.

3.  Attach the LilyPad.

4. Complete your project. Make a new one and attach the LilyPad to its new place.

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    12 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Fantastic! I can see using this to build on creating an entire wardrobe that you can use to interchange components with on a daily (or hourly) basis. instead of a bulky breadboards, epoxy snaps onto small PCB's, or PCB's in custom enclosures with snaps epoxied on. That way you can remove components and still send to the cleaners!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The LilyPad Arduino is a micro-controller designed by Leah Buechley from M.I.T and SparkFun Electronics for wearables and e-textiles.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Nice, but now you have to go a step futher and make a full size breadboard and jumpers all with snaps!! now that would be cool!

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    but then it wouldnt be sewable anymore...
    plus, to get that you could get a regular arduino for that ;)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This innovations are created only for GENIUS! Congratulatios.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    cool, the other kinds of arduino have protoshields. The lilypad doesnt have one. This is a great solution at a low cost. But I am not great at sewing type stuff. I think that I will stick with my duminove or whatever it is. The lily pad seems to be a great small sized arduino that can easily be attached to clothing or other things. But for robots size doesnt matter so something bigger is fine.