Plants & Koalas: Evie’s Week 4 Sewing & Soldering HW

 

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New friends: My real monstera plant + plush monstera nightlight

Plush Prototype #1

Say hello to my first plush nightlight prototype 🙂 It’s a monstera deliciosa plant.

I had a great time with sewing/soldering practice and prototype creation this week. I went through several different iterations in my head that involved different LED placements, but I think I finally landed on a simplified version that I am excited to hopefully move forward with. If you’re curious, you can view my original idea for the nightlight here. Photos and process below.

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Paper stencils of my leaves!
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Sewing on the subway home / Adding wire to the foam sheet

For fabric, I chose felt because I wanted it to be opaque enough to reflect a shadow on the wall. Being determined to make the leaves as “leaf-like” as possible, I used two layers of felt and a thin layer of foam sheet in between.

Additionally, I wanted to make the leaves & stems bendable so that you are able to bend and position the plant as you would like, wherever it is situated in your home. To do this, I used thin wire and wrapped it around the foam sheet shape of the leaf and stapled it. These ugly staples were covered by the two layers of felt. I then hand-sewed the leaves together using a simple row stitch.

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Playing with LEDs & shadows in the bathroom

Lighting Experiments

Originally, I thought about including tiny little sequin LEDs in the stems of the leaves, but after thinking about it, I decided it would be more fun to play with the shadows of the leaves against walls. I ended up going to Tinkersphere in East Village – and woah there were so many options to choose from (though unfortunately no pink ones…)!

Because I wanted this plush nightlight to give off a sort of “tropical” vibe, I decided to go with color LEDs. I think I’m going to end up using blue, green, and yellow LEDs together (each leaf will have a different color).

I also bought a few jumbo fast-changing RGB LEDs and tested them out with a coin cell battery. Way, way, way too aggressive for this light.

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Circuit Diagram

Not totally sure I did this correctly, but here is my preliminary schematic circuit diagram using traditional symbols. I’m also not sure I wired correctly in this diagram, as I’m planning on wiring each LED/resistor directly to battery wires like in the Adafruit tutorial (unless there is a better recommended method).

For the final version, I am thinking about adding leaves onto the plant, and with each leaf there will be a new LED – so it is possible that there will be more resistors and LEDs needed.

At Tinkersphere, I ended up also getting a 4x AA 6V battery pack just in case higher voltage was needed to support more LEDs. I think I do still need to locate lower Ω resistors, as the lowest ones I currently have are 180 (unfortunately Tinkersphere was sold out of ones from 50 – 150 Ω.

 

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Front + backside of inside of backstitched koala

Koala Friend!

And last but not least…I now have a new Australian friend. After having a bit of a mishap with the sewing machine / my koala friend during the last class (it turned out very ugly), I ended up undoing the stitching and sewing it by hand. I used a backstitch for most of the way around the head piece and then closed it up with a ladder stitch. Additionally, I used some scraps from the boyfriend’s old t-shirts.

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Koala + plush nightlight friend have found a new home

Author: Evie

A freelance photographer / writer working to inspire curiosity and world travel.