Before getting started:
Here are the extra materials you’ll need:
- A sewing needle
- A pair of scissors
Here’s what you’ll need to do before starting the kit:
- Test the battery and battery pack.
Make sure the LilyPad battery pack is switched off.
Insert the 3V coin cell battery into the LilyPad (positive (+) side up).
Connect the LED (tiny light) to the LilyPad like so:
– connect the long pin of the LED to the positive (+) terminal on the battery pack
– connect the short pin of the LED to the negative (-) terminal on the battery pack
Turn the LilyPad switch on. If it’s working correctly, the LED will turn on and glow!
If nothing happens, check the connections between the LilyPad and the LED, or try changing the battery.
When you’re done testing, remember to switch off the LilyPad and take out the battery, to preserve the battery life.
Thread the sewing needle with conductive thread.
You’re good to go!
What is electricity?
A type of energy or power fueled by the transfer of electrons from positive and negative points within a conductor.
Electricity is measured in power units called Watts (W).
Current is the rate at which an electric charge flows. Imagine the charged electrons as a river – current is how quickly the river is flowing.
Current is measured in Amperes/Amps (A).
Voltage is what makes electric charges move – it is the ‘push’ or pressure from the circuit’s power source that moves charged electrons (current) through a conductor. As a river, voltage would be its force or power.
Voltage is measured in Volts (V).
Resistance is a measurement of how much the component will reduce the current flow. Resistance is like a pipe that current flows through – a bigger resistance means a smaller pipe, so the current flow is less.
Resistance is measured in ohms (Ω).
What is a circuit?
An electrical circuit is a path in which electrons from a voltage or current source flow.
An electrical circuit includes a device that gives energy to the current, such as a battery; devices that use current, such as lights or motors; and the connecting wires between devices.
Direct current (DC) is one-directional. The positive charge flows away from the positive terminal of the power supply (e.g. the battery) towards the negative terminal, moving through the circuit to get there.
This is why some components need to be connected in a certain way, for example batteries, which have positive and negative markings to show you.
Some components, like LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) have one long ‘leg’ or (the positive pin, or anode) and one short pin (negative, cathode), so that you know which way they are “facing” in the circuit and what direction the current should flow through them. Other components may also have an anode/cathode but will be marked a different way.
Some components, again like LEDs, require extra resistance to be added to circuits too (in the form of resistors) to limit the current through the LED and prevent it burning out.
In your Tinderbox Makerbox kit, you have all the components to make a simple circuit and they are marked by the manufacturer to show you how to connect them.
Always be careful when working with electronics and practicing circuits.
1. Use the glue dots to affix the battery holder into the palm of the left glove. Do not put the
battery in yet. Also use the glue dots to affix the tip of the LED to one of the squares of felt.
2. Prepare the felt touch pads to begin with. Do a looping knotted stitch at the edge (this is
important to attach the line of power). Then make stitches all the way along in a loop to cover
the felt in stitches.
3. Do this for all four felt patches.
4. Use a glue sticky tab to attach these patches to the thumb and index finger tips on both gloves.
They should be at the top of where your fingernails would be.
5. Then use the extra thread to stitch around the patches in, using a knotting stitch.
6. Make sure that the knot where you started it is on the side at the very tip of the finger.
7. Now join them up.
8. Do a knotted looping stitch with the conductive thread on the positive hole on the Lilypad to
9. Now run to stitch upwards to the felt patch on the thumb and make sure it it connected to the
thread on the patch. End it.
10. Now attach it around the negative hole and run up to the patch on the index finger.
11. End it.
12. On the other glove, take the normal thread and stitch on the felt patch.
13. Now thread up the conductive thread. Attach it around the longer leg of the LED. Then run the
stitch up to the patch on the thumb.
14. Now end it and then loop it around the shorter leg. Run it up to the index finger patch and attach
it to the patch.
15. Now slot the battery in and turn it on.
16. Make a heart shape with your fingers and all going well, it should light up!
Watch this video with Lab Apprentice Rhona who’ll take you through making the gloves from scratch!
Click to run this interactive instructional leaflet that lets you turn the pages as you go.