Carter’s Halloween Costume

Winkin’, Blinkin’ Shirt

My costume was a shirt with the light of 5 neopixels diffused by white ping pong balls. I downloaded the code with help from Becky to get a random pattern of white lights. The hardest part beyond looking with glassy-eyed wonder at the Arduino code was keeping a steady (and once, a red-hot) hand to solder such a tiny thing repeatedly to 6 different wires per pixel. I had to resolder a few pieces and learned that the energy flow only goes one direction on pixels. The thread I had to sew the neopixels through the tiny holes in the fabric and around the wires was weak so I sewed it many times through creating a wild mass that looked like a bird’s nest…..but it held. Between the sewing and a small amount of hot glue for attaching the ping pong balls, I was sure the costume would fall apart in route to school so I brought plenty of supplies. Much to my amazement, the costume was perfect for the whole evening.

While I picked the costume because I thought it would be cute and doable, I would probably refashion my plush nightlight to be an eyeball and make another 10 or more blinking eyes. I think a multitude of lights would create a more impactful visual show. Also, other than the ball on my back the other lights ran down my arm. I would probably have varied the placement to be in different parts of my trunk too.

Items needed for costume.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/4356 for the neopixels
one Adafruit Gemma circuit, 3 different colors (for keeping things straight) of many-thread wire, solder, ping pong balls, one cheap long black shirt from Goodwill, battery pack and 3 AA batteries, hot glue, thread.

Circuit diagram


Arduino code – eyeball

Progress pics

Shopping for the shirt at Goodwill with handsome Harry
Inspo eyes
Repeated warnings
Hours soldering in the South Classroom
Lined up
Nice!
Will it hold?
In the light