The idea for my night light was inspired from the concept of how kids are scared of “monsters under the bed”. I wanted to change or reduce the fear within kids by creating a cute monster that the kids can hug when they go to sleep. My monster, named Randall Boo, lights up when you hug. The lights are placed in the main hug touch points, like the arms and the heart.
The materials I used for the project were:
- Soft stretchy orange fabric
- Dark blue silk-like fabric
- Thread – white and orange
- 3 white LEDs
- Stranded wires
- 3 100 ohm resistors
- Heat shrink tubes
- Battery pack with switch
- 3 AAA batteries
- White cotton stuffing
I was very excited for this project as a lot of things I did were for the very first time. I made a plan on what materials to use, where to place the LEDs, how to sew the pieces together and so on.
I started my process with the soldering of the LEDs as I wanted to make sure I had enough time to get the lighting up of the LEDs right. The soldering was a lot of fun and getting the LEDs to light up was a very proud moment for me!
The sewing was a little challenging since my plush monster had a few parts that had to be stitched together. I had to plan out my sewing steps as my LEDs were positioned in different areas of the plush toy. Since I had LEDs in the arms, I had to place them before stitching it all together. Hence, I used the machine to sew the different parts and hand sew the different parts together instead of using the machine.
Another challenge I faced during the process was the breaking of my circuit. After all the components were put together, the battery wire broke from the parallel LED circuit as I had forgotten to add the heat shrink tubes there and hence, had to re-solder the battery wire to the circuit. This time I remembered to add the heat shrink tubes!
Here are some more pictures of my process:
If I had more time to work on this project, I would have definitely added more “sass” to my monster character like I have shown in my initial sketch. I would have added a belt, more flare to the pants and arms and a pocket to the pants to keep the battery pack. I also wanted to add velcro to the arms so that the arms would stick when you hug it. Moreover, I would have experimented a bit more with the LEDs to see what combination of the LEDs worked the best for the toy.
Even though this project was quite challenging, I definitely learned a lot. I can sew a button or a small tear with confidence now! And Randall Boo is going to be my desk buddy from here on!