Erika’s Final – 1min Punch Break

Instructables link:

Take a Break, Let it Out

We’d probably all agree that physical release can be the most satisfying and relieving outlet when stress levels are high or a burst of adrenaline runs through our veins.

The One Minute Punch Break creates a healthy space for frustrations and pent up emotions, designed to turn tension into release and then a smile. Intended to be mounted on the walls of offices and co-working spaces, the massive button starts a 60-sec LED timer while each punch you make is reflected on the counter.

Is working from home driving you insane? Does your office need an anger zone? Or do you find yourself needing an outlet before a big presentation? You probably need to make yourself one of these…

STEP 1: Sketches

STEP 2: Code

STEP 3: Build

STEP 4: Finishing touches!


Erika’s IFTTT homework

Evidence of IFTTT homework:


Below is the IFTTT widget on the phone:

I think I will need to use a 5-Pad Capacitive Touch Sensor (thank you becky for the rec!) and some aluminum foil for the touch sensor conductive material. Likely, the LED screen will show the punch count, and kinda collect the number of punches it’s taken, and this data will be collected through the touch sensor. I’d use high density but flexible foam for the punching pad, wrapped in Laminated Polyester Vinyl and Coated Vinyl Fabric! I’d also need neopixels, a large push button for “start”, plywood for the backing.

Erika IoT & ideas

I ran into some weird issues with getting my board to talk to the internet. I think it worked but I don’t understand which “works” and which “doesn’t”. I have 2 options I screen-shotted here, the 1st follows the WiFi Client Basic code from “Examples”, and the second option follows the code I downloaded from instructables. I also shared the wifi connection info on the serial monitor respectively.

`1st option (from Examples – WiFiClientBasic)

2nd option (from downloaded code)

Link to video homework (blink and button LED) :


I’m so excited about these 2 ideas, i think I want to make both if i have time!

Erika’s final costume

Rey (Skywalker-Palpatine)

Rey’s character is one I not only look up to but also identify with personality-wise. Her costume was harder to put together than I thought, I bought muslin, leather straps, ace bandage, and brown boots as her accessories (and used some of them for the light saber handle). But because it was cold, I had to resort to long sleeves and layers which I left took away from the actual look.

As for the light saber, there was a ton of trial and errors, prototyping, and testing for both the light part and the handle part. A couple things that I felt I had to compromise on:

  • light diffusion (we opted for a slightly more transparent light diffusion to keep the sword thin and sleek)
  • the saber design wasn’t exactly how I pictured it would look. I went with cardboard cups taped up, and a PVC tube and parts that was cut, drilled into, and spray painted.
  • The length of the light saber was shorter than I’d like.

Process photos:

Arduino code:

Erika’s Halloween progress

I have my neopixels and gemma soldered together, it works on all the codes except for the code block I used on Tinkercad. So I’ll have to figure that out.

In terms of materials left:

  • Canal Plastics tubing for the saber
  • potentially craft foam pieces from michaels
  • Moods: rey’s scarf, leather trims
  • Ace bandage

Things I still have to do:

  • sand my blue foam pieces to the right details
  • glue my blue foam detail pieces to my PVC pipe
  • paint the blue foam with latex paint
  • spray paint the entire saber handle black
  • stick on the leather and ace bandage straps
  • drill a button hole through the saber handle


  • could I use a coin battery instead of a LiPo?
  • can I add foil around the bottom of my plastic tubing where it meets the saber handle to add more of a “reflective” quality to the sword?

Erika’s Halloween Costume


Rey’s lightsaber will be lathed from a 2inch wood dowel, which will likely be about 7-8 inches long. After a consultation with Sinclair, he suggested with lathe the pattern, slice the dowel into half and run it over the tablesaw to cut out 2 notches through the half cylinders, and then wood glue the 2 halves back together. This will create a channel to run the wires from the neopixels to the gemma.

As for the light-up section of the light saber, I’d use a long clear pipe from home depot, either add a diffusion film or a styrofoam cylinder into the pipe, and a long strand of the neopixel through.

As for Rey’s costume, I’ll wear a white/ beige tank top and leggings or maybe flowy capri pants, find some crepe scrunchy fabric from moods as the scarf that layers over the front and back, white ace bandage for the arm sleeves, and buy some brown leather straps for the accents on the belt and wrists. I can use the same ace bandage material and leather strap for the light saber handles as well. I’d probably have to get some brown boots 😀

Other Electronic items:

  • C-battery Powerbank (?)

As for the Arduino technique, I’d like to use the button cycler to create 3 animations:

  1. Color Wipe (yellow)
  2. Fade in and out (yellow)
  3. Fire Animation (yelow) – I found information about this animation here:

Newton the Night Newt – erika

Newton the Night Newt comes out at night because he has special light-up abilities. He does best in nature, burrowing around leaves, logs and his favorite, moss. His true gift is providing any kid night time solace when darkness seems menacing and lonely.



While I was shopping at Mood Fabrics, I considered using neoprene, felt, and waffle weave jersey fabric, however I settled on polyester because felt more sturdy and indicative of a night light object rather than a cuddly plush toy. After hand sewing this plush toy, I noticed irregularities and messy seams after flipping it right side up and stuffing it. Nihaa suggested using piping to cover up the seams, which I thought of hand-making using the remaining fabric wrapped around pipe cleaners, but ultimately settled on using dark gray yarn for extra patterning and to cover up the seams. I also used a zipper for easy access to the battery pack, and 6 LED lights.

One thing that did surprise me was working with the fraying of the material and realizing that it impacted the cleanliness of the seams. I tried burning the ends which was a technique I learned sewing pointe shoe ribbons, which worked temporarily. Another thing that surprised me was the material’s inability to take fabric glue. The fabric glue absorbed straight into the polyester and had no stickiness to it.

Newton says hey.

Erika’s Plush Night Light Proposal

I’m making a Nighttime Newt! My boyfriend’s niece loves newts, she picks them up and collects them everytime we go on a post-shower hike. ‘Newt’ was one of her favorite words she’d repeat over and over again. I thought it was a fitting nightlight plush toy project because of the glowy nature of their orange bodies.

Ideally, it’d be awesome if I can find fabric that mimics the red spots and orange like the pictures above. I’ll probably focus on finding a slightly translucent bright orange fabric, and test how the LEDs look under the material. Eyes would probably be a good idea, but I haven’t decided if googly eyes would just be tacky or fun (felt black eyes are probably my backup option).

I’d love to use about 6-10 LEDS, with a small LED on each limb (for light up hands and feet), and the row of LEDs running down the newt to its tail.

This is my quick attempt at sketching out the circuit diagram. Not sure if I did it right!