LED Accessories

The opportunity to work with paper and soft circuits offered inspiring possibilities to make wearable electronics.

Using paper circuits with copper tape and surface-mount LEDs in combination with conductive thread and resistive fabrics, I worked on several prototypes for wearable accessories lit by LEDs.

The first attempt resulted in a small pleather purse I laser-engraved with a magnet closure and DIY bend sensor inside that triggers a series of amber LEDs to illuminate the inside as the purse is opened.

The second exploration yielded a wristband with a combination of paper, soft, and traditional circuits and soldering. I built a tilt switch with a coin and two protoboards that triggers one of two rows of LEDs depending on the angle at which the wristband is worn. The LEDs illuminate a window of thin white fabric in the pleather enclosure, and the wristband is secured with velcro.

This project offered a fantastic opportunity to combine my two favorite manual activities: soldering and sewing. It was equally challenging and rewarding to add new types of circuits and materials to my repertoire, and I’m eager to build soft circuits into the next garments I design.