LED Bracelet- Felt or Foam

Big picture

Young designers will apply knowledge of electronics to create a wearable, light-up LED bracelet.

What’s the goal?

By the end of this activity, young designers will understand how to create a working parallel circuit and incorporate electronics into fashion design.

 

Tips

  • Extra helpers are essential for this activity if you have more than 5 young designers
  • Straight lines are easiest to sew
  • Remember polarity! Having the young designers keep the positive line always on top and the negative always towards the bottom as they sew can help keep this straight.
  • Don’t squeeze the LED metal tails too hard or bend them back and forth too many times or they will break.
  • Loose components (LEDs) may be secured with regular thread

VOCABULARY

Circuit: A path for an electrical current to flow.
LED: light-emitting diode
Polarity: Batteries have a positive and negative terminal. Electricity flows from the positive to the negative end.

Preparation

• Mock-up the circuit using Dough. The ends of the bracelet will act as a switch for the LED’s. Leave a break in the Dough (Figure A), then close it to show how fastening the bracelet will complete the circuit (Figure B).

Figure A

playdough illustration 1

Figure B

playdoh illustration 2

  • Cut out a bracelet shape of felt or foam that fits the young designer’s wrist

Let’s get started!

  1. Introduce the activity,the electrical components,and the tools. Remind designers about the features of a parallel circuit.
  2. Have the designers thread their needles with conductive thread and tie a knot at the end.

needle

 

 

3. Tie a knot onto the positive end of the battery terminal.positive knot

4. Arrange the 3 LEDs onto the bracelet.
5. Sew along the positive trail over the curled LED legs.

positive line

 

6. Sew along the negative trail leaving a break in the circuit.negative trail

 

7. At the end of the line of stitches sew a snap to the underside of the bracelet.

8. Tie a knot at the negative terminal of the battery and sew a snap on the right side of the bracelet

snap

9. Add decorations and insert the coin-cell battery
10. When you snap the two ends together the bracelet should light up!

bracelet decorated

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