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How to Add Sewable LEDs to Easter Bunny Ears

Description

Add some flashing LEDs to a set of bunny ears to create a fun Easter project.

A miniature cell holder is just the right size to be hidden away under the headband along with a small slide switch that allows you to turn the LED ears on and off easily.

The project requires advanced skills as there are two separate sets of LEDs on each ear, all of which are controlled by one cell holder and switch.

This circuit is slightly more complex due to the shape of the headband: stitching the circuit is quite a fiddly process. Use the diagram along with the instructions to help you understand how the circuit is integrated into the product.

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 Learn how to:

  • Produce a circuit with 4 LEDs.
  • Add a slide on / off switch to a circuit.
  • Use a miniature cell holder.

Level of difficulty:

  • Intermediate.

Parts list:

In order to add LEDs to your Easter Bunny Ears, you will need:

You will also need the following equipment:

 

Step-by-step guide to making your Easter Bunny LED Ears.

Step 1

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Mark the position of the 4 LEDs on the ears so that they will be evenly spread out.

Carefully poke the legs of LED 1 through the fabric on the right ear as you look at the ears (note that the circuit diagram relates to what the back of the ears will look like).

Don't cut a hole in the fabric unless you know that it will not fray.

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Use the round nosed pliers to twist the negative leg on the LED into a loop and push it flat onto the fabric, pointing towards the outer edge of the ear.

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Oversew the looped leg into position using the conductive thread.

Make sure that the stitches are tight to ensure good electrical contact.

Be careful to stitch into the top layer of fabric only - do not go through the right side of the fabric.

Step 2

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Poke LED 2 through the fabric and twist the negative leg as before.

Use small running stitches to take the thread to the LED and then oversew it into position.

Ensure that all oversewing stitches are tight to provide a good electrical connection.

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Stitch small running stitches down to the headband, sliding the needle and thread inside the headband fabric and along to the centre of the headband (where you’d like your cell holder to sit).

Slide your needle under the fabric so that your thread is not visible.

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Oversew the negative side of the cell holder into position.

Step 3

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Without cutting the thread, slide the needle along the edge of the headband towards the second ear.

Hide your stitches inside the headband fabric to keep them invisible.

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When you get to the middle of the second ear, carefully slide your needle up into the ear fabric using small running stitches.

Sew the running stitches up towards the negative side of LED 3 and oversew into position.

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Use running stitches to get to the position of the negative side of LED 4 and oversew into position. The negative side of the circuit is now complete.

Step 4

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Twist the positive leg on LED 4 into a loop and oversew it into position using a new piece of conductive thread.

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Use running stitches to get to the position of the positive side of LED 3 and oversew it into place.

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Stitch running stitches down to the headband, taking the needle through the headband fabric to the inside of the band where the switch will sit. Oversew one side of the switch onto the headband fabric.

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Without cutting the thread, continue the invisible stitches along the edge of the headband until you get to the point below LEDs 1 and 2. Take the thread up into the ears, oversewing the positive legs on both LEDs. All 4 positive sides of the LEDs are now attached to one side of the switch.

Take care to make sure that the positive stitches don’t touch or cross over the negative stitches.

Step 5

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Using a new piece of thread, oversew the second side of the switch onto the headband.

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Slide the needle under the fabric to hide the thread and bring it out at the positive side of the cell holder.

Oversew the cell holder into position.

Step 6

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Slide the cell into the cell holder. Make sure that the slide switch is turned ‘on’ to activate the LEDs.

The cell holder has 2 additional holes that can be stitched down with ordinary thread. These help to stabilise the cell holder and are not part of the circuit (the rings with the silver around them are the conductive ones). The stabilising holes can be left unstitched if you wish.

The circuit on the back of the ears can be hidden by stitching or sticking a piece of fabric over the top. The ears in the image are decorated with feathers and these could also be used to disguise the circuit.

 

Download a pdf version of this page here. pdf_icon.gif

Download the cutting pattern here.

This tutorial was produced for Kitronik by Julie Boyd who is a specialist in E-Textiles design.

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