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How to Hack a Tux With Music Blinking LEDs #WearableWednesday

What’s the easiest way to get the look of an LED matrix without the cubism? Try using a punched template over your NeoPixels! That’s what caitlinsdad has been perfecting in his newest Instructable that turns NeoPixels into banners for tux-ware. This is following his recent success with his daughter’s dress turned Millenial Word Clock using the same technique. For these blinged lapels, caitlinsdad uses similar hardware to our Ampli-Tie learning guide—a Flora Microcontroller, a microphone and NeoPixels (in this case, LED strips). He then cuts pieces of craft foam to fit in the lapels and utilizes a hole punch to create designs. Layers of fabric add diffusion and shine so the light can play peek-a-boo.


What’s really fun is the personality hidden in this design, because if you know this maker, he loves Star Trek and Adafruit, which show up prominently on the one lapel. Actually, this combination of icons probably fits many makers that we know! It’s a great example of how LEDs can take on a different look, and I’m sure people that work with stage lighting and gobos really appreciate this technique. There are some great hints in the instructions for this project, including being aware of the limitations of hole-punches when getting to the center of a design (can’t span the distance). Also, it’s good to trim seams closely when working with the many layers of fabric to keep the edges of the lapels from getting too thick. A serger style sewing machine is also recommended to stitch the finished layers flat. If you aren’t aware of caitlinsdad, please do take a moment to read his profile on Instructables. He continues to create amazing work, from humorous wearables to yummy nom-noms. He definitely gets a big shout-out from all of us at Adafruit. Feeling inspired by his work? Learn how to get NeoPixels blinking to music with our Ampli-Tie guide. Have fun adding subtle color or blinding rainbows to your wearable projects!

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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