Back with wearables today! Wouldn’t your Grandpa love a Christmas tie with 6 LEDs? Here’s how to make one, with a nice snowy Christmas tree on it.
- 6 various LEDs
- Fabric (and felt): red, white, green
- Conductive and normal thread
- Coin cell battery + sewable switched holder
1) Assembling the tie
This activity is pretty straight-forward. First, if you have a tie, use it as a model. If not, there are a few available online, there’s a good one onPuking Pastilles, for example.
Draw the outlines of your tie on assembled sheets of A4 paper. Once this is done, cut out your tie model and lay it onto your fabric, as shown below.
Folding your fabric, you should get two pieces (front and back) of each paper cutout. Pin the model and fabric together to cut your tie. For both front and back, sew the three pieces of the tie together, as shown. You now have two long pieces of fabric in the shape of a tie.
Start sewing up back and front together, only on one side as we will need to have access inside the tie to sew up the LEDs.
(If you’ve got a sewing machine, this is much quicker, and likely to hold better).
2) Sewing up the circuit
Using the tie you have as a model, determine the size of the tree you’ll want to sew on the front, draw it and cut it out in white felt or fabric.
Pin your tree onto the front of your tie. Then, prepare your LEDs (i.e. curl the legs of the LEDs for sewing) and lay them out on the tree, and then directly on the tie itself, leaving all the – and + sides of the LEDs on parallel path (don’t make them cross over). Use normal thread to keep them in place, we’ll discard it afterwards.
Sew the LEDs onto the tie using conductive thread, sew the green LEDs together and the red LEDs together, you might have to use a small resistor with the red LEDs, to allow some current to go through the green ones.
On the back of the tie, place a switched battery holder, stitch it with the conductive thread coming from the LEDs. Add a battery and switch it on to test the circuit.
Using blanket stitches, sew your tree on the front of the tie, covering up the LEDs. The lights should show through the white felt, however, if the felt is too thick, your can cut small holes in it to let the LEDs through.
You could also cut out a star to put at the top of your tree.
Finally, progressively pinning together the other side of the tie, sew it on the inside to close it up. At the back, cut the bottom triangle to leave the battery and switch accessible. Finish up with blanket stitches.
And that’s it! You’ve got a Christmas tree on a tie, ready to shine on the big day!
I’ll see you tomorrow for something new; we’ve got to get that LED counter going!