How-To: LED Embroidery

Craft & Design Yarncraft

CRAFT: Geek Crafts

By Becky Stern
I love any activity that promotes creativity and discovery. To me, tinkering with electronics is the same as stitching a picture, and combined they can tell a story that crafters and gearheads both want to hear. This picture of a frog catching fireflies is embellished with lights that bring the bugs to life. Conductive thread is the magic ingredient, bridging the gap between rigid metal and soft floss. To make a stitched scene light up, combine traditional embroidery techniques with a few common electronics components. The possibilities are endless, and the result is an artful conversation piece.
Ledembroidery Tools


Drill and drill bit
Needlenose pliers
Soldering iron and wire
Wooden embroidery hoop,

Relevant parts

Embroidery pattern (download below)
Carbon paper, and a pen or pencil
Sternlab LED Sewing kit in Maker Shed
5mm yellow LEDs (2)
On/off toggle switch
Coin cell battery CR2032
Battery holder with sewable leads
Conductive thread

Embroidery needle and floss in yellow, green, pink, and black
Sewing thread any color

Download PDF Download the Pattern PDF
Right click to save the PDF to your desktop. Directions on downloading PDFs.

Go to Make: Projects for the full directions

Ledembroidery Hangerfish
Ledembroidery Matt Katie
Pictured above are more LED embroidery examples for inspiration. As you can see, the possibilities are endless!

4 thoughts on “How-To: LED Embroidery

  1. kat says:

    I love this, but if I want to do this on a shirt, how would I wash it?

  2. Becky Stern says:

    Just take out the battery, and let it dry completely before re-inserting it. The conductive thread will wear out after many washes, but can be hand-or machine washed.

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