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.
This weekend I crafted up a storm decorating my house with some glowing Christmas stockings. I saw these stockings as I was wandering through the Christmas aisles of Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago and immediately had some tech in mind to add to the designs. Here's a showcase of a few different ways to add some electronic sparkle and shine to your stockings with without any soldering! Read on for some progress shots and links to the full tutorials on Instructables.
Fairy Lights Stocking
The first stocking I created was super easy, using a string of fairy lights to trace a reindeer silhouette. Using invisible/clear thread to attach the string lights made it look like the stocking was purchased that way! The battery pack is hidden on the back of the stocking and kept in place with a little velcro.
EL Wire Stocking
The second stocking I built uses chasing EL wire, which is a fun EL wire that turns on and off strands within the casing to create an animated effect. I placed the EL wire along the lovely waves/curves of the embroidery. It was a little trickier than the fairy lights design, as I wanted to hide pieces of the wire so the one strand looked like multiple strands. Cutting holes in the stocking to thread the EL in and out of the lining worked great. I'm really happy with how this one turned out.
LilyTiny Sparkling Stocking
The last of the three involved a little more construction and time, but it is my favorite. This stocking has sewable electronics embedded directly onto the lining of the stocking using LilyPad pieces and conductive thread. I used a LilyPad LilyTiny, which comes with pre-set modes that will display on the LEDs hooked up to it. The beaded sequin design of this stocking was perfect for some white LEDs to shine and twinkle through.
I wrote up an overview of the history of updates and developments in the LilyPad sewable electronics line since its launch in 2007. Many of these updates I watched happen and appreciated before joining the SparkFun team in 2013, and some I was an active part of developing and creating. It's been an amazing evolution!
Read the full post on the SparkFun Education blog.
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.
Today SparkFun released the LilyPad ProtoSnap Plus, a new offering in the LilyPad system that I was the product manager and lead developer on. Our team has been working on this project for most of the year and we are very proud of this one! It is also the 10 year anniversary of the LilyPad ecosystem, and to celebrate SparkFun has launched a new LilyPad portal to guide users through the product line and inspire them to create with sewable circuits.
My team and I have been working very hard this year on some brand new LilyPad products for SparkFun Electronics! Read all about the new LilyMini board and LilyPad Sewable Electronics Kit over on SparkFun's blog.
This summer I’ve spent a lot of time reorganizing my workroom/office space. After getting all my tools in order and rearranging furniture, the last step has been to add inspiring art and decoration. Awhile back I had the idea to make big, squishy pillows shaped like Arduino boards, inspired by Blythe Church’s amazing hand sewn felt electronics. In my spare time, I’ve been working on a large LilyPad floor pillow. It ended up being a great way to practice my stitching and adds a much-needed soft element to the space (which right now is mostly desks and tables). After many hours of embroidering and hand stitching onto felt, I finally finished it up this afternoon. Here are a few pictures of the finished piece:
That’s the actual LilyPad board on the right.
The pillow is about 20″ in diameter and 3.5″ thick, with some memory foam inside to make it really squishy/huggable. I’m hoping to make some more in the shape of the other Arduino boards and have a whole collection of them around the workroom.