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LED Shoe Clips

Soft circuit twinkle toes.

LED Shoe Clips

Twinkle toes! Make LED ruffles to customize your shoes in this CRAFT tutorial and video. This easy soft circuit project can get you started in wearable electronics and uses the LED Sewing Kit available at Adafruit.

Steps

Step #1:

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  • Gather materials and tools: you'll need a LED sewing kit (conductive thread, 4 LEDs, 2 CR2032 batteries), as well as some standard sewing supplies and a pair of paper clips.
  • I was trying to match these to my yellow dress.

Step #2:

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Trace and cut 16 fabric circles, eight for each clip.

Step #3:

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Gently singe the edges to prevent fraying.

Step #4:

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  • Pierce LEDs through the centers of two circles.
  • Fold the circles in half twice to form a wedge.
  • The wedges are then stacked up to form the ruffle.
  • I want the light to radiate from inside the ruffle, so I'm piercing the centers of two circles with the LEDs.

Step #5:

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Fold remaining circles into wedges and compile in a stack with the illuminated wedges evenly distributed in the ruffle stack.

Step #6:

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Be sure both longer positive leads are facing the same side of the stack, and stitch the fabric in place with plain thread.

Step #7:

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  • Splay the leads out and coil them up with pliers to make them easier to sew.
  • I like to make the positive leads square coils and the negative leads round coils so I can tell them apart.

Step #8:

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Start the soft battery holder with a piece of felt shaped to double over the coincell battery.

Step #9:

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Using two pieces of conductive thread, sew a pad at the center of each felt circle with leads hidden in the felt sprouting from one outer side.

Step #10:

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  • Sew the battery holder shut around the edge with regular thread.
  • Leave enough space to snugly insert/remove the battery.

Step #11:

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Stitch the ruffle assembly to the top of the battery holder with standard thread.

Step #12:

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  • Stitch the remaining tails of conductive thread to connect with their respective polarity leads of the LEDs.
  • Stitch the positive thread to both positive LED leads, and stitch the negative thread to the negative leads. Don't let them touch!

Step #13:

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  • Insert the battery. If it doesn't light up immediately, try flipping the battery the other way.
  • If it still doesn't light up, whip out your multimeter and check for shorts!

Step #14:

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Stick a paperclip in the back of the battery holder and clip onto your shoe!

Step #15:

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You're finished! Repeat for the other shoe.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org 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”).


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