Class 3 Homework: Plush Night Light Project Kickoff

plush campfire by Gustav Dyrhauge

The primary objective of this project (and most important evaluation criterion) is an exploration of light diffusion using LEDs and soft materials. All other elements are secondary (including interaction). Take lots of photos and video during your process of your material experiments, pattern design, and prototype construction.

get inspired with 13 ideas for diffusing LEDs (click for more info in the Instructable)

For homework this week you’ll create a blog post about your plush night light prototype . Be ready to present your idea and prototype at next week’s in progress critique.

For homework this week (due on the blog 8pm Tuesday 9/24), please:

  1. brainstorm and sketch three ideas for your next project: a plush nightlight! Your plush nightlight should:
    • have a story (who is it for? why does it light up like it does?)
    • be made from primarily fabric (sewing preferred but knit/crochet ok, some rigid elements ok)
    • diffuse LED light in an interesting way (no more than 8-10 LEDs)
    • contain a simple LED + battery circuit (no Arduino just yet)
  2. Practice your soldering skills! Wires, LEDs, switches, circuit boards– try them all! a good resource is the Adafruit Guide To Excellent Soldering.
  3. Make a circuit diagram for your plush toy. Phil B’s “Let’s Put LEDs in Things!” guide will come in handy and has additional soldering tips. You can draw it out by hand or use Tinkercad Circuits.
  4. Acquire materials for your Plush Nightlight project. For your project you’re going to need some LEDs, a switch, and a battery pack (or a battery pack with a switch already on it). Order early if you are having anything shipped, so you have time to work and play with your materials! Here are some recommended sources:
  5. Create the first prototype of your Plush Nightlight. Here are some resources:

Blog posts are due 8pm on Tuesday 9/24, and should include:

  1. Title: “[your name]’s Plush Night Light Proposal”
  2. Category: Works in Progress/Proposals
  3. photos of your prototype
  4. image(s) of your pattern
  5. your circuit diagram
  6. description of your night light’s story and target user
  7. description of the parts and materials you plan to use
  8. images of your three early brainstorm sketches

Author: Becky Stern

Making and sharing are my two biggest passions! I'm a Content Creator at Autodesk and part-time faculty at SVA. Check out all my Instructables and find me as @bekathwia on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.