Halloween is a great excuse to work on your wearable electronics skills! I have a history of attaching LEDs to myself for various events, and I’ve even built some wearable electronics before, but I was never very good at sewing with conductive thread. This year, I used Halloween as an excuse to work on my conductive thread sewing skills. I still don’t consider myself to be very good at it, but at least I managed to put a costume together! For my costume, I decided to turn myself into outer space – I sewed 12 individually addressable LEDs to my shirt, and programmed them to twinkle like stars. To complete the look, I designed and 3D printed a rocket ship that I could wear on my left arm (which happens to be in a cast as a result of a bicycle accident that I had a few weeks ago). This video shows the complete costume in action:
Naturally, this project is open source – Feel free to expand upon on it for your own costume, and let me know if you make an awesome costume! Want to make this project? First visit the download links below and grab all the source code and design files from github (the 3D-printable parts are also posted on Thingiverse). Then, follow these instructions:
Obtain the Parts
- Cheap Long-Sleeve Black Shirt
- Adafruit Flora Budget Pack (includes four v2 NeoPixels)
- Adafruit Flora NeoPixels v2 (x2 packs of four)
Print the Rocket Ship
- Print the body as-is.
- Print four of the fins. You may wish to arrange them all on the build platform for one print.
- Print the nose cone with a raft and support (for the handle inside).
- Remove the support material from the nose cone.
- Super glue all the parts together.
Sew the Electronics and Program it!
- Take a crash course in wearable electronics: http://learn.adafruit.com/conductive-thread
- Set up your Adafruit Flora IDE and install the Neopixel Library
- Getting started with Flora: http://learn.adafruit.com/getting-started-with-flora/overview
- Getting started with NeoPixels: http://learn.adafruit.com/flora-rgb-smart-pixels/
- Follow the schematic included in the github repository linked below and sew everything into your shirt
- You may want to super glue the contacts once you’ve sewn them, so they don’t untie
- Load the included software onto your Flora and watch it blink!
These instructions and further info are also included in the README file in the github repo. 3D Designs can also be found on Thingiverse.
Distributed under the GNU General Public (Open-Source) License.
Please Attribute and Share-Alike.
Here are some photos of the costume. You can also find them in full resolution on my flickr account.