Geek Crafts: Light-Up Fashion Roundup

Craft & Design Wearables Yarncraft

CRAFT: Geek Crafts
LED tank top.jpg
Everyone knows LEDs are the new sequins. Back in 2006, when we started CRAFT, one of the most exciting areas where we saw crafters “transforming traditional crafts” is with sewing soft circuits into clothing. New “smart” materials like conductive thread made it possible to seamlessly blend tech and craft to the awesome effect of light-up fashion. Pictured above is Leah Buechley’s LED Tank Top from CRAFT Volume 01. Although quite ambitious for a first-time soft circuit project, we loved that this project showed what was possible: clothing that not only lit up the night, but could be programmed to change pattern. Five years later, the project hasn’t lost its cool. Get inspired with the full step-by-step on Make: Projects.
If you’re interested in soft circuits and incorporating smart materials in your crafts, Syuzi Pakhchyan’s awesome book Fashioning Technology is a great place to start. Syuzi lays out the essentials with simple tutorials on basic techniques, an invaluable image-driven index of materials and tools, followed by an array of projects, like the Rock Star Headphones:

Be sure to accessorize with Angela Sheehan’s Lady Gaga Glasses for some mad geek cred:

Or take high fashion to the next level with Soomi Park’s LED eyelashes:

Classic materials peppered with tech are guaranteed classy, like this Wooden LED Bracelet. And you gotta love that crafters are sharing how-tos across the web so everyone can get in on the fun. Thanks, Technoplastique, for sharing this one!
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Get the bambinos geeked out early with these ridiculously adorable LED Firefly Booties:
Don’t leave your furry sidekick out. Hook them up with an LED collar made with old keyboard keys, so you can spell out their name!
And since every self-respecting geek has an array of gadgets, be sure to bling out your bag with Limor Fried’s Tron Bag with EL wire tutorial.
Or step up your geek game and throw an Arduino into your project our own Becky Stern’s Arduino Blinking Bike Patch project.
Get your geek on, literally!

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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