Hannah’s plush nightlight concepts

Here are my three ideas!


1. Friendly Dragon

I want to make a friendly dragon for a child’s bedroom (to scare off monsters under the bed or in the closet). The LEDs would be scattered in the flame, and it would be cute to make the dragon out of patterned or brightly colored fabric like in the book “My Father’s Dragon”. It would be neat to diffuse the light under the flame fabric to make it look more like it’s within the fire.


2. Contellation

This would be more for adults who enjoy a more rustic aesthetic. I thought it would be nice to embroider some extra swirl patterns and just make it a square pillow shape. I also thought there could be a series of these with different popular constellations and maybe even star signs (like Aquarius, Taurus, etc.)


3. Snowflake

A pretty compliment to long winter nights! This may be for people who enjoy seasonal decorating. As a plush nightlight, I would definitely make the snowflake arms fatter but maybe add more snowy colors and detailing.

All three of these would be especially pretty with twinkle LEDs.

Ironman Teardown

Otherwise known as “the cool Ironman toy I’ll never get to use”


I chose to see what was going on inside this toy I found at a thrift shop. I think it was supposed to be an Ironman sleeve, but there were no batteries inside when I got it and I think it was already partially broken, so I never saw it turned on.

first image

I only used a couple of tools to take it apart: a tiny Phillips head screwdriver, a pair of needle nose pliers, and a sharp piece of metal to pry things apart. Here is what I found inside:

open toy

final spread with labels


I managed to find all of the electrical components online, as well as most of their datasheets. I put all of the information and links in this table, including the purpose of each component!

While many of the plastic parts for this toy were injection-molded, the electronics were sourced from a variety of companies and the entire toy was likely assembled by hand. The palm light was welded closed, while the battery pack was glued (hence the broken pieces in those two circles!). The rest of the parts were assembled with six different kinds of bolts.

The two design elements that interested me most were 1) the conductive strip in the wrist hinge and 2) the fact that the palm light part of the toy is the only part that was welded shut. It took me a little bit to figure out the function of the conductive strip, but I think its purpose was to make the palm light turn on when the wearer’s wrist was bent (flexed) and off when the wearer’s wrist was straight (relaxed). With a bent wrist, the two conductive strips in the hinge would touch, closing the circuit (turning on the light), but when relaxed they would separate, opening the circuit (the light stays off). Pretty neat. As for the one welded part, I suppose it would have been a bit impractical to use bolts in that part of the toy. Perhaps it was more important to keep the Ironman aesthetic despite the required welding equipment.

For more pictures, click here.


Hannah’s Fun with Lesson 1

Hi there! As some of you may know, I have a bit of prior experience with Arduino, coding, and circuits, but these initial lessons were a really great refresher for me and helped me gauge my current level. I tried to add a few lines of code here and there (including for-loops, if-then statements, and arrays), and coded from scratch whenever I felt comfortable. Here’s what I got:

 Add More LEDs

Here is a nice little sequence of lights.

It looks cool when you go a little faster.

Then I changed up the sequence a bit.


I wanted to this with all five LEDs. I tried couple of ways to do it… the one below definitely did not work.

I think it’s because I was trying to do some things with for-loops that I may have made too complicated. I simplified it to a nice, neat array below.


Here’s the plain circuit.

Then I put some newsprint over it to diffuse the light.

And then I cut a layer to make a somewhat creepy jack-o-lantern sort of thing.

That’s All!

And please let me know if you need help with your circuits! I am happy to help if you’re feeling intimidated. I promise it’s not as scary as my jack-o-lantern.

Hannah’s Bio


Hello! I’m Hannah. I just graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where I majored in Mechanical Engineering. I am originally from Northern Virginia near Washington, DC, and my parents still live there with our two dogs. Beyond being a student, I have been an outdoor educator for the past six years and I love getting people outside. I also play ultimate frisbee.

Portfolio: hannahrudin.myportfolio.com