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How to Add a PCB LED to a Beanie Hat

Description

This is an ideal starter project that is quick and easy to make. The circuit is created on a backing fabric which is then attached to the inside of the hat.

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The bright PCB LED shines through the fabric, even on dark colours, as long a loose knit fabric is used. The hat looks like a normal hat when the LED is switched off and the switch on the cell holder can easily be accessed when needed. In this example the backing fabric has been stitched onto the inside of the hat but poppers could be used to allow the circuit to be removed so that the hat can be washed.

Learn how to:

  • Use conductive thread, a PCB LED and switched cell holder.
  • Make a basic e-textiles circuit.

Level of difficulty:

  • Beginner.

Parts list

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In order to add a PCB LED to your beanie hat you will need the following:

  • Knitted hat with lining. Both the main hat and lining fabric should have obvious holes in the knitted fabric when stretched as this will allow the LED light to shine through the fabric.
  • Switched cell holder.
  • Cell battery.
  • PCB LED.
  • 50cm conductive thread.
  • Felt approximately 6x7cm.
  • 50cm ordinary sewing thread.

You will also require the following equipment:

Video guide to adding a PCB LED to your beanie hat

Step by Step guide to adding a PCB LED to your beanie hat

Step 1

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Oversew 6 to 8 stitches through both the negative hole on the cell holder and the fabric.

Pull the thread tight to ensure it is secure and a good electrical connection is made.

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Sew running stitches through the fabric to take the thread to where the LED will sit.

Don't cut or join the thread.

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Oversew 6 to 8 stitches through both the negative hole on the LED and the fabric.

Pull the thread tight to ensure it is secure and a good electrical connection is made.

To tie off the end stitch sew several small stitches into the side of the oversewing stitches.

Cut the thread very close to the fabric so you don't leave any lose ends.

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The circuit should now look like the picture to the left.

Step 2

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Oversew 6 to 8 stitches through both the positive hole on the cell holder and the fabric.

Pull the thread tight to ensure it is secure and a good electrical connection is made.

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Sew running stitches through the fabric to take the thread to the positive side of the LED.

Take care not to let the positive and negative rows of stitches touch.

Don't cut or join the thread.

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Oversew 6 to 8 stitches through both positive hole on the LED & through the fabric.

Pull the thread tight to ensure it is secure and a good electrical connection is made.

To tie off the end stitch several small stitches into the side of the oversewing stitches.

Cut the thread very close to the fabric so you don't leave any lose ends.

beanie_pcb_led_560_9

The circuit should now look like the picture to the left.

Step 3

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Slide the cell into the holder.

Hold the battery along its sides and place into the holder with the positive side up.

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The circuit is lit up by sliding the switch on the cell holder into the ‘on’ position.

Step 4

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Use ordinary thread to oversew the felt onto the inside layer of the hat.

Take care to only sew through the back layer of fabric and not the front so that no stitches can be seen on the front.

Stitch the felt so you can still lift it up slightly to switch the LED on.

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When your circuit is stitched in place it should look like the picture above.

 

Download a pdf version of this page here pdf_icon.gif

This tutorial was produced for Kitronik by Julie Boyd who is a specialist in e-textiles design

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