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December 24, 2014 AT 7:00 am

Christmas Hat by @BarbaraEldredge #WearableWednesday

Check out Barbara’s Christmas Hat! It’s got a FLORA, NeoPixel strip, and some through-hole NeoPixels. It uses a temperature sensor to inform the color.

XmasHat2

XmasHat7

me in hat

Overall, the hat was pretty comfortable to wear, wackily fashionable, and it served as an excellent conversation starter. It really does keep my head warm, so I’ve decided it’s better as an outside city hat than a party hat. I have to admit that it felt a bit too conspicuous at times for an event populated by normal humans. It’s just easier to wear odd light-up things in New York City when you know that there will always be someone nearby wearing clothes that are even weirder than yours. But the hat does look pretty good even when it’s turned off, so I suppose that I could just give the lights a break if I ever think it’s too much.

Would you do anything differently?
I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. I think that the concept, electronics, and design all came together very nicely. However, as with any project, there are some things I would do differently:
-I’d diffuse the NeoPixel strip more. I’m not sure how I would do it while maintaining the low profile of the plain felt-covered strip, but I was not a big fan of the discrete points of light in the circular band.
-I’d 3D-print an illuminated bauble for the side decoration. My original idea of making the 3 front-facing LEDs look like holly berries didn’t pan out so I covered them with a feathery poof. It looks fine but I could have done something more interesting and integral to the overall design. The current iteration doesn’t take advantage of what those LEDs are capable of. A nice 3D-printed snowflake or star could have brought it to the next level.
-I’d add fiber optic twinkles. I couldn’t get the side glow fiber optic to work the way I wanted, edging the felt decoration, but it made me think that using some regular fiber optics for twinkly points of light would have been a nice touch to the cold state. I really admire this top hat and might try something similar in future.

Thank you to everyone who’s read my posts and watched my videos. You guys make me want to make things!
What do you think? Would you don this hat for a festive holiday celebration? Any suggestions?


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