Halloween Costume Project Proposal – Anne

I will be making a light up talking sorting hat based on the the one in Harry Potter.

The first two images are the ones I am using for reference. The last image is a “sorting hat” I purchased online. The hat is not only too big but doesn’t read as a sorting hat – there is no distinctive grouchy face. However, it’s the correct colour and there’s enough material to pull it apart with a seam ripper and re-cut and reassemble it. I’ll make an armature out of chipboard, wire and polyfill for the distinctive brows and mouth.


  • 2 eyes that light up and are animated
  • 1 led in the mouth cavity that lights up with the eyes (TBD if this animates the mouth or is just weird).
  • “down lights” that wash over the wearer’s face when the eyes are lit. Colours will correspond with the Hogwart’s House the hat assigns
  • a “voice” that is activated and plays after the eyes are lit

Circuits, Psuedocode and Code resources


When vibration detected, neopixel jewel eyes light in animated sequence. Once eyes are lit, voice is activated and plays a .wav file from a selection of .wav files (if included in the final sketch, the mouth area led lights). As voice is talking, a secondary downlight from bright leds wash over the wearer’s face.

That said, two different boards will be creating this illusion. The Arduino Uno board will be used for all the light effects. The second board — the Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board will be on a separate trigger and will serve up the sound files.

Circuit for NeoPixel

Circuit for Audio FX Sound Board and Speakers

Tinkercad does not have the parts for the sound board. However, what is key here is that the FX Sound board is a standalone sound solution that does need Arduino to run. Just hook up to power and speakers and attach a trigger switch to play the .wav files.

Here is a sample of what the FX board circuit looks like that will be modified for this project:


(2) neopixel jewels for the eyes

(2) neopixel 60 quarter rings for the under hat brim down lights

(1) Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board (part #2217)

(1) either vibration switch or simple on/off switch

(1) floppy hat to pull apart and rebuild

(2) ping pong balls for diffusing the eyes

(1) translucent shimmery fabric for over the eyes for effect

chipboard, wire and polyfill for forming the brows, nose and mouth

(2) battery packs

vibration switch (to trigger lights)

membrane led keypad (single key to trigger sound)

Arduino Uno board

permaproto breadboard

The sorting hat scene from the first Harry Potter movie for reference: