LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits

Hi! Have you ever wanted to make a felt carrot that lights up when you touch it? Yes!? Well then this is the Instructables for you!

Here's what you need:

Materials

Felt - Green and Orange

3V battery

2 LED's

Needle and orange and green thread

Solder/Soldering Iron and conductive material OR Copper Tape

Cotton balls

Time

1 hour

Step 1: Step 1: Affix your LED's to Conductive Material

LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits

Really you'll want to start by making sure your 2 LED's and coin cell batteries are working. Look at the image above and you'll see how you can simply place a coin cell/3V battery between the legs of a LED to test if they are both working - remember that LEDs are polarized so the positive (long) leg of the LED needs to be on the positive (+) side of the battery and negative with negative.

Attaching the LEDs:

I used soldering iron and conductive cloth because I had those handy, but you could use copper tape and push the led legs firmly down. Remember that the + positive legs should be on one strip and the (-) negative legs should be on the other.

Step 2: Make a Felt Switch

LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits

Making a felt switch is how we're going to add interactivity to the felt carrot. Essentially, the switch will be comprised of layers: (from innermost layer to outermost) 1. Battery, Felt with small hole, Conductive (copper) Material, Felt covering. When you press the green felt from the outside, you'll be pushing the conductive material through the small hole to make the connection to the battery and close the circuit causing the LEDs to light up.

  • Cut green felt to be double the size of the coin cell battery.
  • Cut 2 small holes in the felt so that a small part of both sides of the battery is exposed when nestled in the felt pouch.
  • Lay the positive (+) LED legged side of the circuit's conductive material on top of the (+) positive side of the battery and the (-) negative legged side of the LED circuit's conductive material on the (-) side of the battery. Push down and your circuit should light up.
  • You're almost there. Dab a little hot glue on the edge of the conductive material on both sides of the switch to keep it in place. Then wrap the circuit in the last layer of green felt and sew up the edges.

    Congratulations! You've made a felt switch! This is how you'll turn your carrot's LED's on and off.

    Step 3: Decorate Your Switch

    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits

    You'll want to conceal your felt switch with green felt that will look like the greenery on top of a carrot.

    Lay your switch in-between two larger pieces of greenery and sew it in place.

    Step 4: Make your carrot!

    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits

    I followed this TUTORIAL to get the basic idea of how to make a felt carrot. Use the stencil above and trace out the triangle shape that will form your carrot. Roll the left edge to the right edge and whip-stitch the side (I've included a picture of whip stitching - yellow cloth and blue thread). Then turn your carrot inside out to hide the stitching. You'll need a pencil to push the tip through.

    Step 5: Drop your LEDs in and Sew the Top

    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits

    Stuff the carrot's base with some loose cotton balls. Then drop in the carrot top switch and LEDs into the carrot's body. Add more cotton balls around the LED's for extra padding. Add a couple more felt green leaves in, pinch the top of the carrot, and sew the top into place. Follow the previously mentioned felt carrot tutorial if you need more project specific sewing tips and tricks. Tie off your thread and you should have a working LED Felt Carrot!

    Step 6: Enjoy your LED Felt Carrot with Felt Switch!

    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits
    LED Felt Carrot with Soft Circuits

    Have so much fun pushing your felt switch and making your LED Felt Carrot light up! Keep away from bunnies.

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