Bouquet of LEDs

2011-Mar-03, Thursday 11:20 pm
chebe: (Candles)
Phew. It's been busy around here. And the weekend is set to be frantic as well, leaving only tomorrow looking in any way sedate. If you ignore the fact that I have to get four days of college work done in one day that is. But, I have slowly been getting places, doing things, and thought I'd give you a sneak peak. After all, the intersection of tech and craft has been absent from this blog for a little too long. Therefore I proffer unto you, LED fabric flowers.

The beginnings of a bouquet )

The blue flower is made with a skeleton of jewellery wire, covered with blue nylon/stocking/tights, taped together around a blue LED, with fibre optics hot-glue-gunned onto it. Two power leads are soldered onto the legs of the LED. (I actually made this many months ago, but it has sat unloved since then.)

  • Bad things; All that wire and fabric makes it very bulky through the middle. Annoyingly the blue LED requires two 3V coin-cell batteries to power it. I've been stumped on how to add the battery-pack in an accessible, yet unobtrusive manner.

  • Good things; I love the effect of the fibre optics (just harvested from a donated pound-shop toy).


  • The white flower is made from felt. The grooves on the petals were made by stitching down the undersides with white thread. I mostly followed this tutorial from Tech D.I.Y. Except, I added a mesh of white seed-beads over the (white) LED once it was in place. Then anchored the legs of the LED through a button.

  • Bad things; The white felt is rather reminiscent of prawn-crackers. I'm still trying to figure out how to add the battery pack in an accessible, yet unobtrusive manner. (I intend this to be a hair clip/piece.)

  • Good things; It looks really good, simple yet elegant, actually wearable. It only needs the one 3V battery. Is quite small and compact.


  • As you can see, I'm still having trouble with the batteries. Earlier the lovely David of robots.ie pointed me to FabricKit. I didn't know it, but I'd bought the conductive ribbon that these guys created?/use from another source. (It's three-stands of conductive thread in a tinsel-like braided ribbon.) They also have a rechargeable 5V coin-cell battery brick/piece. Yes, as you can imagine, I got very excited when I saw that. I only hope a 3V one appears too. Perhaps I could use these wonderful inventions to help solve my problems?

    In other e-textiles news I, like many others, was charmed by the Sparkle TuTu Instructable. So much so that I finally popped over to Aniomagic. I'd been pointed in their direction before, but it is their Sparkle board/switch that finally won me over. It's used in the TuTu, and without programming, lets you switch between blinking light patterns! The simplicity! I had to try it. While there I noticed that they sell pre-made surface-mount-LED sequins/beads! If you remember my how-to you'll know just how awesome it is to be able to find others to do all the work for you! They're also cleverly colour-coded, one-side is a silver bead and (I think) the positive terminal. The other is brass, and the negative terminal. I'm certainly looking forward to playing with these when they arrive! So many toys, so little time!
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