How-to make an LED shirt by Craft-zine

hand-made LED shirt

the first issue of Craft: magazine, makers of MAKE magazine, is really excellent. There is, not only a feature story on Diana Eng, but also an extensive article on how to make your own programmable LED array shirt, with surface mount LEDs! Surface mount LEDs are really hard to work with because of their size. However, Janet Hansen obviously proves it’s not impossible because that’s what she mainly uses. Anyway, back to the Craft: zine article…

sewing surface mount LEDs

It is written by Leah Buechley, a PhD student in computer science and member of the Craft Technology Group at the U of Colorado at Boulder. The article has some great tips on sewing with surface mount LEDs and electronics in mind. It uses the AVR, which is a great microcontroller but not easy to learn for electronics newbies.

However, the AVR is part of Arduino, a new electronics platform cheaper than the Basic Stamp and easier to use than the PIC. What more can you ask for? You can program with processing to hook up your wearable project to graphics on the computer. Its own scripting language is very much like processing and very easy to learn. It’s about time someone came out with an open source electronics platform!

Another link worth checking out is Craft:’s page on LEDs.


Filed under: art, DIY, new media, opensource, physical computing, technology

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