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[personal profile] chebe
I actually thought I was getting something else when I ordered this from MakerShed. Don't ask me how, but what I saw in that photo was three large round beads, with surface mount LEDs inside, covered with, and strung together with a kind of crotchet. What it actually is is a cuff of satin and netting, with regular, small, LEDs under three pieces of (flat) beading work. Not to my own personal taste, but weirdly it is growing on me.

Whereas the last kit came with very detailed steps (even for the simplest of things) this kit does the opposite. There are instructions included in the pack, but there are also supplemental instructions on the creator's website. To be fair, the coloured images on the website do help a lot, but I resent having to have my laptop open while working away. Also, some things are barely mentioned that might actually take quite some time, and some you are left to infer from the hand-drawn diagrams. (Also, some suggestions don't work well at all, see the fabric paint incident later.) It is clearly aimed at the crafter used to using fabric, and new to using electrical components.

The kit itself is very comprehensive (bonus points for including a single, correctly sized, beading needle), giving you a bit more than you need in everything, except elastic, velcro, and base fabric. The last is a bit of a problem if you have large wrists like I do. You're supposed to use the left over fabric for covering the battery pack, but I didn't have any so had to use other random fabric I had to hand (it's easy to spot as it's dark purple).




This is what happens when you use fabric paint on the thin satin provided. It even seeps through from the other side. It does not look good. And is very visible in the finished bracelet. If you still want to try fabric paint I'd suggest trying to find a clear/transparent one. Or designing the circuits in a more artistic way that would look decorative.



Mostly assembled. Notice the purple patch. That covers the battery connector.



And finally, the finished bracelet:






Overall this kit took me 9-10 hours (a third of which I spent on the beading alone), which is quite good value in my opinion. And overall it's a good idea; the light from the LEDs is diffused and refracted through the translucent seed beads. Also, I like the idea that an item can look good in both day and night, without having to sacrifice one. A good exercise.
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