DIY: Gesture Controlled Star Wars Stockings

Earlier this month I found some adorable Star Wars Christmas stockings at Target and decided to augment them with some electronics to make them more interactive.


The Star Wars stockings hang by the chimney (of course!)
To activate them you must use the Force!

These augmented Christmas stockings play sound effects when you move your hands in front of them. Each recognizes four gestures - up, down, left, and right. Created with a LilyPad MP3 player, APDS-9960 gesture sensor, and NeoPixels connected with conductive thread so the circuit is embedded directly in the stocking. Programmed in Arduino.

This has turned out to be one of my favorite interactive fabric projects so far! Here are a few photos from my build, scroll down for a link to a full tutorial I've published on Instructables if you want to try building your own.


E-Textiles Webinar for SparkFun

Today I hosted Intro to Sewable Circuits: Teaching Electronics Through Arts and Crafts, a webinar for SparkFun Education. Joining me for the broadcast was Melissa Felderman (Feldi) one of SparkFun's creative technologists who also works quite closely with wearables, soft circuits, and craft tech for her projects. View the recorded webinar below:

Inspire students to explore prototyping with electronics through combining craft and technology. Join Angela Sheehan and Melissa Felderman in an examination of alternative ways to teach introductory electronics and programming using LilyPad sewable electronics. Now through 11/10, get 20% off LilyPad products with code SEPT19WEBINAR

View the rest of the SparkFun Education series Maker Education in the Classroom.

Project: Soft Circuit Business Card


Last month I was brainstorming some redesign ideas for my website & branding and really got hooked on alternative/extreme business cards. I searched around to see if there were any electronic ones and here are some really cool projects I dug up:

Image by Tom Ward (via Instructables)







Tom Ward of LightBox Technology has made some Instructables for an autodialing cardflashlight card, and a dot matrix card.

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories makes some nifty Business Card Breakout Boards.


Image via Adafruit

Image via Adafruit

Another great PCBbusiness card as posted on the Adafruit Industries Blog.


Tonight I sat down and played around with some felt I had hanging around and made a fabric ‘business card’ prototype. I used a CR1216 battery & holder I had left over from making LED bracelets awhile back, which I like because they are a lot smaller than CR2032s. I made little flower sequins out of bipolar LEDs and sewed them to a top layer of felt and then to some pushbuttons made with conductive fabric . The bottom felt is some really stiff stuff I got from the dollar storewhich makes a great cardstock-like backing for structure. The text on the front is my nickname; the design is how I used to sign my art projects when I was a teenager, so it’s a little fun piece of nostalgia. When you press the buttons, the LEDs light up, the right button makes red, the left makes green, and pressing both at the same time will make an orangey-yellow.


Check out some more images on my flickr page.