How-To: LED Tank Top

Craft & Design Yarncraft

CRAFT: Geek Crafts

By Leah Buechley
I built this shirt to experiment with wearable computing and electronic textile technology and realized along the way that the basic materials were actually quite easy to work with and there was lots of room for creativity and innovation at all levels, so I was inspired to write up this do-it-yourself guide. Everyone should be playing with this stuff! It’s great fun for geeks and divas — build yourself a sparkly fashion accessory and program it with the Game of Life or other hacker animations. You’re guaranteed to turn heads whenever you’re out on the town.


Fabric marker
Liquid Stitch
Sewing machine
Sewing needle
Soldering iron

Relevant Parts

Silver-coated thread
Surface mount LEDS
AVRmega15 microcontroller
DC power supply, 9V-15V
Serial adapter
Battery and holder
On/Off switches
slide switches or toggle switches
AVR Programmer STK500 recommended
Lead-free solder
Silver and brass crimping beads about twice as many as LEDs
Garment or a piece of fabric and a pattern to make your own
Ledtanktop Photo2
Go to MAKE: Projects for the full directions and PDF