Wearable Toy Piano




A Toy Piano embedded on a T-shirt. It has 8 keys from Do to Do (1 octave). You can play simple music by wearing the shirt and pushing the fabric button on the shirt. All the components from the toy piano (batteries, speaker, circuit board) are placed on the shirt and connected with poppers. All these hard components are detachable so that you can wash it if you wish.

This particular Instructable is made for the Electronic Textile workshop that will be held in Zurich/Switzerland on Saturday 7th December 2009 as part of the DIY Festival Zurich. If you are interested in this workshop, please contact the festival.

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Step 1: What You Need

What you need:
-Toy piano (batteries included)
-conductive fabric
-conductive thread
-normal thread
-neoprene (or normal thick fabric)
-fusible interface (iron on)
-3mm foam sheet
-ink jet iron on paper
-electronic wire

-soldering iron
-ink jet printer
-screw driver

Step 2: Open the Toy Piano

Open the Toy piano casing with screw driver.
There are circuit, speaker and batteries inside.

Step 3: Prepare the Circuit

connect wires to the metal bits of the circuit. there are small metal part above the button (looks like black painted thing). this will be one side of the button (switch). The other side of the black bits is connected all together on the circuit. connect another wire to the metal part of this connection (in the picture, I am calling it as base). Make a loop at the end of each wire and hock it on the metal popper's leg and place it on the base fabric (In this picture, I used white neoprene) It is more stable if you use thick and stiff fabric.

Step 4: Battery Case

Here I am using neoprene, but you can also use other kinds of stretchy fabric as well. Use fusible to stick the conductive fabric on the tab part of the material (small round shaped part). make sure that the conductive fabric side faces inside so that it touches the battery. place the popper on the flapping side of the tab so you can connect to the T-shirt.

Step 5: Speaker With Popper Connection

Step 6: Print the Circuit Pattern Onto the T-shirt

print the circuit pattern onto the T-shirt by using the ink jet iron on paper.
I made a circuit pattern with illustrator and printed on iron on paper.
Then the parts are cut and placed onto the T-shirt and ironed on.

Step 7: Iron on the Conductive Fabric

for the base side of the button, I have used conductive fabric stripes placed as the pattern using fusible interface.

Step 8: Make Buttons

cut the 3mm foam to the size of the button, make a hole in the middle and close it with the other side of the button. Do not forget to put the conductive fabric on this side of the button as well. The connection from the button is made with conductive thread. It is stitched to the bottom of the T-shirt

Step 9: Make All the Circuit Connection

make all the circuit connection following the pattern with conductive stitches and conductive fabric strips using fusible. connect the poppers at the end of the line so that the circuit, batteries and speaker can be connected.

Step 10: Connect All the Components

Now place all the components with poppers and it is ready to go!

Step 11: Here Is My Friend Playing Some Strange Tune...

The plan was to place 2 of the button under arms... but it was a bit far inside.. next improvement point... The sound is not very loud, but it makes nice electric guitar like noise.
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    33 Discussions


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Also, is it washable?

    And could make some money, if you sold them to people.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    that's utterly useless. and uselessness is half of the things I make. (I have a usb powered christmas tree on my desk right now.)

    5 replies

    8 years ago on Introduction

    I love this, I am so psyched, probably buying the piano on ebay.
    I need to find conductive fabric and thread, if you have any leads, please let me know.
    Also, I can't open the pattern. My version of Illustrator is older than yours. Can you save it as a pdf and put it on this site or email it to me at lockwooddesign@yahoo.com.
    This shirt is just too cool for words. I'm new at doing things like this, but can't wait to give it a go.
    I turned a pair of adult sketchers into light up ones tonight using the info from someone on this site. Believe it or not I am a grandmother, but love cool stuff.
    And I really don't care much about what others think, well a little, but I have a really neat, awesome pair of sneakers. I'm trying some led projects also.
    Again, thanks so much for posting this t-shirt.

    No, it's not available online, madest (i dunno maybe it is) I think this person who wrote the article was just being creative and maybe you could take the time to actually make it. It's not expensive, far less than it would be if it were purchased online. All you need is a t-shirt, a children's toy piano, a few basic tools, and some foam.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    it's a regular white long sleeve t-shirt you can get them just about anywhere. clothing store-wise


    10 years ago on Step 1

    What do you mean with poppers and where can I get them? I have just started working on this project, I think its a very cool idea :)

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    where do you get the conductive fabric and thread? i really want to make this.