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May 19, 2015 AT 7:00 am

Arduino Firefly-Programmed LEDs on Handmade Felted Tote Bag #ArtTuesday

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via instructables

This was my very first project that required coding. My idea was to create a felted bag that had some LEDs that would fade in and fade out randomly, like fireflies. It had to be pretty and not too geeky, so I worked hard on the felted design. Inspired by Kandinsky’s Squares with Concentric Circles, I created a design that I liked. This Instructable will walk you through the steps I took to create the bag, add the electronics, and program the Lilypad Simple Board. If you want to learn how to make a felted tote bag, there are many great tutorials online. I’m just a crafter who likes to tinker with electronics, and I did a lot of searching online for the code that would work for my project. Thankfully, the Arduino community likes to share, so I found all sorts of sample code that I could copy and tweak for my project. Perhaps that is one of the best ways to begin programming. I must say that the HTML course I took back in 1998 gave me a beginning idea of how coding might work and it helped me understand some conventions of coding. Of course I have a lot to learn, but completing this project proved to me that I’m not too old to learn new things, that geeky technology can also be fashionable, and that any idea is worth building, even if you have no idea if it will really work!

Materials needed:
• Felted bag – actually any textile project that you want to add LEDs to would work
• 5mm LEDs
• 5MM LED holders (optional but I like how they stabilize the LED)
• Conductive thread and needle (from SparkFun)
• Lilypad Arduino Simple Board (from SparkFun)
• LiPo battery
• Resistors (I have no idea if they are really necessary here, but I used them anyway since they came free with the LEDs I bought on eBay. I know they have something to do with Ohm’s Law, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt. I’m assuming that the low voltage battery I was using would not start a fire or blow out my LEDs, so I didn’t fret too much about this. Yes, I know I need to know forward voltage and all that. Someday I will learn this stuff).
• Arduino for LilyPad, download from HERE.

Full tutorial


Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

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