How to Create Your Own Techie Ugly Christmas Sweater Project! #makeymakey #makeymakeymonday

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Mark Schreiber from Frontier Academy Schools shared on the Fablearn Fellows blog a unit his advanced engineering class spent creating interactive ugly sweaters. And he makes some recommendations (below!) for how you can build your own around a Makey Makey:

…So, how can you create your own interactive techno ugly Christmas sweater?  Well, here are my recommendations for a simple but effective techno sweater (part 2 will show you how to make it even more like the Griswolds but let’s start with the basics).

  • Get a really ugly sweater.
  • Get a laptop that you can carry with you (if you want to go completely mobile).
  • Get a Makey Makey and some conductive ornaments, or other conductive bling for your sweater.
  • Download Soundplant or use Scratch (to map keyboard keys to soundclips, songs and such). -see resource section below.
  • Layout your sweater and glue down conductive elements to the front.
  • Turn your sweater inside out and mount your Makey Makey to the inside, run wires to each conductive element on the front of your sweater.  -Just duct tape them to the inside since this is probably temporary.
  • Link your favorite audio clips or songs to the A, S, D, F, W, SPACE, and arrow keys in SoundPlant or on Scratch.
  • Connect yourself to the Makey Makey ground (I used a gator clip running down my sleeve to my wedding ring but you could also connect to a metal bracelet, watch, etc.)
  • Test you sweater.  It should play clips or music when you touch your various conductive elements on the sweater!
  • Go mobile!  Just make sure your computer doesn’t go to sleep when the lid is shut, keep it attached to the Makey Makey with SoundPlant or Scratch open and then put it in a Christmas gift bag. 
  • Run the USB cord up inside your sweater, add some gift tissue around the top and you are ready to go.
  • Have a fun time!
  • If you want to add twinkle, try adding some LEDs, or some blinky LEDs with a LilyPad or Gemma.  Cotton balls make nice snow and diffuse the light very well while hiding your LEDs a bit. 
  • Look at my next blog post on how to make your sweater beat the Griswold’s house with your Arduino timed light display!  Oh ya, it’s going to be fun!….

Read more here, and watch for his updates!

Featured Adafruit Product!

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MaKey MaKey by Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum – Made by JoyLabz: MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between. MaKey MaKey was invented by Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum & Made by JoyLabz. Find out more details at or watch the video at (read more)

Every Monday is Makey Makey™ Monday here at Adafruit! The MaKey MaKey – by Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum, made by JoyLabz! Ever played Mario on Play-Doh or Piano on Bananas? Alligator clip the Internet to Your World. MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Find out more details at or watch the video at Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between! If you have a cool project you’ve made with your Makey Makey be sure to send it in to be featured here!

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