I wanted to use my LilyPad Arduino Simple kit to create a wearable electronic accessory that would add pizzazz to my holiday outfits. I decided that a ‘fascinator’ hair-clip with glowing LED lights would be the perfect project. I found a beginner LilyPad Arduino project tutorial on the SparkFun website to help me with the placement of the electronics as well as the programming. The complete SparkFun tutorial can be found here: Beginning LilyPad Arduino

I’ve included photos from my fabulous fascinator project. You can use different materials and electronics to showcase your individual style! Please be sure to share your creations with us! @brilliant_labs

Just for fun I decided to give my fascinator a theme, so I created a design that was inspired by a butterfly and lily pad scene from one of my favorite children’s books. The first step was to create a base for the fascinator. Quilted fabric was sturdy enough to attach the electronics, decorations and hair-clip to. I cut out a circle the size that I wanted my fascinator to be and sealed the edges with fabric glue so that they wouldn’t fray. I then covered the white fabric base with wide blue ribbon on each side.

I decided to use three LED lights instead of the nine used in the SparkFun project tutorial because I was working with a much smaller base. I followed the tutorial to sew my LilyPad Arduino Simple board in place and to connect the LEDs using conductive thread to complete my circuit.

Using a glue gun, I covered most of the electronics with leaves recycled from an artificial plant, plastic gems and small decorative flowers. I opted for a removable butterfly clip so that I could access the LilyPad board for the on/off switch and to connect a USB cable.

Next, I glued the hair-clip to the bottom side of the fascinator. I used a hair comb with teeth but you can use another kind of clip. Just be sure that it is strong enough to hold the weight of the electronics!

Time to code my fascinator! Following the SparkFun tutorial, I connected the Lilypad Arduino board to my computer using a mini-USB cable to upload the code for my LEDs in Arduino. If you haven’t downloaded Arduino you can find the open-source Arduino Software (IDE) here: Download the Arduino Software. Just make sure that you’ve selected the correct LilyPad board when you open Arduino!

Voilà! An accessory that is both fashionable and innovative. If you’re interested in creating your own wearable electronic then the SparkFun beginner’s tutorial is a great place to start. The best part is that you can use your imagination to create your own design for a unique wearable electronic!

Below are additional resources that I found helpful while working with wearable electronics:

E-Textile Basics

Insulation Techniques for e-Textiles

What is a Circuit?

I hope that you have fun creating your own wearable electronic project. I’m definitely excited to begin my next one!

#wearableelectronics #technology #intermediate #79 #50100

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