CRAFT Video: Color Changing LED Brooch

Craft & Design

Sew up this little colorful brooch using a LilyPad tri-color LED and three small potentiometers for a customizable color wardrobe embellishment. No programming required!

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Potentiometers are variable resistors. They change the amount of electricity that can pass through them based on the turning of the knob, thereby dimming and brightening the three channels of the tri-color LED. The colors mix and diffuse through the roving, producing any color in the rainbow. Here’s the front,


and the back,


and here’s the diagram for sewing the components together.

Materials and tools:

  • conductive thread (E-sewing Kit)
  • coincell battery (E-sewing Kit)
  • sewable battery holder (E-sewing Kit)
  • LilyPad tri-color LED (Sparkfun)
  • 3 small 1K-ohm potentiometers (Digikey)
  • small on-off pushbutton switch (Digikey)
  • brooch template (cardboard or illustration board)
  • fabric
  • needle and thread
  • pin back
  • wool roving
  • felting needle
  • felting surface (upholstery foam scrap works great)
  • scissors
  • pliers
  • alligator clips for prototyping


In the Maker Shed:



LilyPad E-Sewing Kit


Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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