CHALLENGE:  Create something that includes an LED that illuminates as a result of sewing a circuit with conductive thread or connecting directly to the battery.  You may choose a no-sew version or the more advanced sewable version that uses conductive thread.

EXTRA CREDIT:  Design and integrate an on-off switch.

Materials Needed (sources are hyperlinked)
Felt square (3" x 3" used here)
Light Emitting Diode (any color)
CR2032 Coin Cell Battery
Conductive Thread (if sewing the LED to the battery holder)
Coin Cell Battery Holder (Sewable)
Needle and Sewing Thread (Optional, Mending Kit used here)
Assorted craft materials (foam shapes, wiggle eyes, etc.)
Needle-nose pliers, scissors, glue
Safety pin

Simple Version (no-sew):

eTextiles Tutorial - No Sew

(Click on the image to see it full-size)
Step 1

Step 2

With a permanent marker, color the shorter leg of the LED and the NEGATIVE side of the battery holder as shown.

Step 3

Arrange your design on the felt square with the stickers.

Poke the legs of the LED into the stickers to the other side.

Step 4

Here is the front, after pushing the LED legs through

the layers to the other side.

 Step 5

Bend the LED legs so they lay flat on the back of the felt.

 Step 6

With pliers (or your fingers, bend about ½” up to a right angle.

 Step 7

Poke the leg through the hole on the battery holder.

Make a bend in the other leg, where it will fit in the other hole.

Step 8

Poke this leg into the hole in the battery holder.

 Step 9

With your fingers, bend the legs so they lay flat on the felt.

Step 10

Take your coin cell battery and look for the +  This is the positive side of the battery.

 Step 11

Slide the battery under the “backwards E”

Press down to snap it into place.

 Step 12


Step 13

Attach a safety pin, and wear it with pride!


  1. Check + and -
  2. Dead battery?
  3. Faulty LED?

Advanced Version - Using Conductive Thread:

Felt Pin Tutorial - Sewing Version

 Step 1


 Step 2
Plan your design.

 Step 3
Poke the LED through the felt.

 Step 4

The longer wire is POSITIVE.  Use the needle-nose pliers to roll up the wire into a small circle.

 Step 5

The shorter wire is NEGATIVE.  Use the pliers to roll the wire into a larger circle (so you can remember that it is the negative wire).

 Step 6

Determine which side of the battery holder is the NEGATIVE side.  Mark this side with a marker so you can easily see which side is negative.

Step 7

Sew the battery holder to the felt with conductive thread, aligning the POSITIVE side to the POSITIVE wire on the LED. Wrap the conductive thread several times around the circle, and fasten off.

 Step 8

Repeat Step 7 on the NEGATIVE side.

 Step 9

Insert battery + side UP.  If LED does not illuminate, check your connections and adjust as necessary.  Re-sewing is OK - don't feel bad!

 Step 10

Attach the pin-back at the top.

 Step 11

Admire your work and adjust as necessary.

 Step 12

Decorate and wear proudly!

Taking it Further:

Tutorial on LEDs - Sparkfun
LED Project Ideas - Instructables
More LED Project Ideas - Pinterest

Sewing a Blanket Stitch






Barbara Liedahl,
May 1, 2014, 7:24 PM