Today I combined Jimmie Rogers’ Open Heart kit with a LilyPad Arduino board to make a light-up, animating LED heart brooch. I used conductive thread to attach the two together like a sandwich, and put a safety pin on the power supply. I dangled the brooch from the power supply with embroidery floss and the power/ground wires. The programming pins are still easily accessible for changing the animations. Oh, I also made an instructable for putting together your own.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern ( is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).

  • Anonymous

    It would be interesting if you hook up a lilypad arduino to some sort of biometric reader which can detect your pulse. Then, you could program the open heart kit to flash with the beating of your heart.

  • ben

    i’m more interested in her shirt! anyone know where one could acquire such a shirt?

  • Becky Stern

    @Anonymous: yes! excellent idea!

    @Ben: It was a limited edition Parsons Design & Technology shirt from undergrad. We made one every year, but there aren’t any more of this one, sorry. My favorite one is “word to your motherboard.”

  • Gareth Branwyn

    Cool project, Becky!

    Re: T-shirt
    I assume the first crossed-out phrase was: “sex, drugs & rock and roll.” What was the first word in the second phrase? Please tell me the designer did the right thing and kept sex :-)

  • Becky Stern

    The first line is “sex, drugs, & rock and roll” with just “drugs & rock and roll” struck out, and the second line is just “design & technology” which was the name of the department. So yes, Gar. =]

  • Patti Schiendelman

    Someone needs to make “Is that an arduino in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” shirt.

  • JacqueChadall

    All these comments and no one’s mentioned how hot Becky is? I’m surprised the solder was able to hold together ;-D!!!!


  • Joebob

    Becky sure has my heart thumping!