LED Felt Hat

LED Felt Hat

This hat is one of those wandering projects that starts out with one experiment and leads down a meandering lane called “What if I try this?”

After creating an LED eTextile card with one LED on it, I wondered how many LEDs I could actually add on a 2032 coin cell battery.  I texted my awesome colleague, Shane Diller, and asked him because he knows everything about electrical circuits.  He didn’t know.  But he did suggest using a parallel circuit if I was going to experiment.  So I decided I was willing to sacrifice some LEDs and a little time to finding out.  I soldered five white LEDs to some copper tape.  I tested them out with a 2032 battery and they worked just fine.

img_5157

Next I taped five more lights to the circuit and tried again.  They all lit.  I found a two coin cell battery holder with an on/off switch and taped it to the end of the circuit.  I put two 2032 batteries in it and all the LEDs lit up very brightly.  

img_5159

So I went ahead and soldered the LEDs and the battery holder to the copper tape.  

 

img_5166

It looked great.  Now what?  

 

I took a nap, went for a walk, worked on a paper I’m writing for a class.  Then I thought about hats.  

 

I had some multi-colored felt that I had made last summer out of wool bats given to me by my friend Sonja.  I had added bits of turquoise silk that my friend Sidney had given me.  It has a wonderful soft texture but the shape and size had not suggested anything to me.  It would be perfect for a pill box hat.  And I just happened to have a pattern.

img_5183

I pieced the top of the hat to take advantage of the embedded silk.  It made a nice contrast to the dull colors of the felt.

img_5184

The hat has a stabilizing foundation of heavy weight Pellon interfacing.  This makes the hat keep its shape even when it is not being worn.  My original plan was to line the hat with some royal blue polyester fleece I had on hand.  But that idea changed later.

Constructing the the hat was a pretty quick process.  There are only two pieces and two seams.  I took the soldered circuit and pinned it to the outside of the hat.  

img_5185

I decided it would be fun to use turquoise sparkly DMC embroidery floss to sew the copper tape to the hat.  I used a herringbone stitch.

 img_5186

Next I decided to add ceramic beads in between each LED.  I had made these beads last summer with clay and glaze Sonja gave me.  

img_5205

At this point, I decided I didn’t like the royal blue lining idea.  We made a quick trip to JoAnn Fabrics where I found some turquoise satin.  Much better.

img_5187

I used a scrap felt to make a pocket on the back for the battery holder.

img_5204

And voila!  The finished hat!

img_5203

Advertisements
Categories: Art, Circuits, eTextiles, Technology | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: