Jenna’s Instructable Draft


SECTION 1: Display Circuit

  1. First you’ll need to wire together all of the pixels. Attach 5V, ground, and a line for the pin through each pixel as shown, leaving about [dimension] of wire in between each one.
  2. Connect the end of the pixel strand to 5V and ground on the AC adapter as well as ground on the Arduino UNO. Connect the middle wire to pin 2.
  3. Test that the pixels light up using the Arduino sample code [name].
  4. If it doesn’t work, here are some troubleshooting tips:
  5. Next you’ll need to hook up one of the xbee modules. Place the xbee module on the xbee adapter, then attach the assembly to your breadboard.
  6. Reference the above circuit diagram to connect the xbee adapter pins on the breadboard to the Arduino UNO.
  7. That’s it for this circuit – next, constructing the display housing.

SECTION 2: Display Construction

  1. Cut out hole in [dimension] wooden back panel using laser cutter or jig saw. This is where the power supplies will attach to. See [file name] for location and dimensions.
  2. Use wood glue to attach the sides ([dimension]) of box to the back panel. Then use [length] wood screws to secure the top and bottom pieces ([dimension]).
  3. Mount the Arduino UNO and circuit to the inside of the base, as shown.
  4. Next it’s time to assemble the LED housing. Start by cutting out the LED holes in the cardboard back panel. It doesn’t need to be exact, but aim to place holes at [dimension] increments, as shown above.
  5. Assembly the cardboard box following the schematic above.
  6. Mount the pixels on the cardboard with [material].
  7. Take the [dimension] black cardstock and cutout [dimension] rectangles and the through holes at the corners.
  8. On the back side of the cardstock, glue on the [transparent material].
  9. Glue cardboard box onto the black cardstock, being sure to align the rectangular pockets for the LEDs with the rectangular cutours on the black cardstock.
  10. Cutout [dimension] holes into the acrylic piece.
  11. Screw the acrylic and cardboard assembly into the front face of the wooden box with [dimension] wood screws.
  12. Great! You’ve finished the display. Now it’s time to make the band.

SECTION 3: Band Circuit

  1. Start by attaching your other xbee module to the xbee adapter, as you did for the display module.
  2. This can be wired the your Flora as shown in the circuit diagram above.
  3. Next you’ll need to hook up the accelerometer to the Flora, connecting 3V, SDA, SCL, and GND.
  4. Solder the leads of the lipoly battery to the Flora.
  5. You’ll want to test that the accelerometer is functioning properly with [name] example code.
  6. At this time you can also test that the xbee modules are functioning with [name] example code.
  7. If all of this is in order, it’s time to build your band!

SECTION 4: Band Construction

  1. You can 3D print the housing for your band’s electronics using this STL file:
  2. Create the band by sewing [material] through the loops of the 3D printed housing as shown.
  3. Place the electronics in their respective spots, then cover them up with the 3D printed lid.

SECTION 5: Finishing and Testing

  1. Plug in the 5V adapter for the LEDs and the USB charger for the Arduino UNO to the back of the display.
  2. Load [name] code to Arduino UNO and [name] code to Flora.
  3. Start drawing! The code is set to increase one bar every 10 minutes of drawing. You can adjust this setting in the part of the code labeled [name].


Josh’s Final Project Ideas

I’m still working on my ideas but here is what I have so far:

1. A light fixture that uses a chinese yo-yo or diabolo. The LEDs or OLED would be on the diabolo and it could be placed on a string between two sticks which move up and down to maintain the spin. If you want, you could control the tilt of the diabolo lamp for reading or some other activity. All of this would work with a gyroscope or accelerometer.


2. A clock, timer or general notification device that uses bubbles. I would have a container filled with water or a transparent viscous liquid that makes the bubble slower to rise and a way of adjusting the rate/size of bubbles that are emitted.

3. An app that allows people to play a city scale version of Stratego. It would be called Streetego.

I have too many subjects that I am interested in so it’s hard to narrow it down but I will come up with some other ideas for class.

Jenna’s Final Project Ideas

For my final project in making studio I have a few different ideas.

First, on the thread of my dance based projects, I wanted to explore movement and emotion. I would aim to be able to distinguish between different emotions or dance styles based on the movement data collected. One idea for an application would be movement-controlled music, in which the music is based off of how the dancer is moving, not vice-versa.

I have been fascinated by Craighton Berman’s pencil sharpener/ creativity measurement tool ( for a couple years now. Though I would lose the beauty and simplicity of the current system, for my second idea, I was considering making a digital version. I use pens and markers when I sketch and therefore can’t use the pencil sharper tool. I would instead create a wearable device that measures how much you draw via accelerometry and is connected to via blutooth to a digital display on your desk.

Third, I am interested in the idea of wearable devices minimizing what you need to carry with you, and how much screen time you have. One of my favorite wearables, and one that I think is highly successful in minimizing, is the Disney Magic Band. It replaces plastic hotel cards, paper fastpass tickets, payment methods, and the need to have your reservation information handy. My idea is to design an attachment for the Magic Band (attaching via sliding on or through the through holes) that would further the utility of this band and ideally replace the need for cell phones in the parks. The most obvious idea for this is using the Adafruit camera module. Other ideas include incorporating SMS functionality, speakers, or vibration motors for notifications.

Stalaglite – the ultimate blanket cave experience

Back Story

Lexi likes to play cave explorer when she’s supposed to be asleep.  She flips her blankets over her head and grabs a small flashlight she keeps on her nightstand.  She crawls through the cave, searching for poor lost Hammy Hamster McPlushmaster.  But something about her flashlight keeps Hammy Hamster McPlushmaster in hiding.  Now she can leave the flashlight on the nightstand when she drapes her Stalaglite blanket over her bed.  Now she can find Hammy again.  Her blanket cave experience will never be the same.


Pattern making and testing on scrap fabric

Fabric selection

Tracing patterns onto fabric (below)


Cutting out patterns

Sewing into cones (below)


Cut holes in blanket

Insert cones into blanket holes

Whipstitch cones to blanket

Make dat circuit

Insert LEDs



What to do Differently

The scale of the project was ambitious considering the time frame and my sewing abilities.  I probably should have done it on a washcloth and put about 4 stalaglites on it.  That would’ve made more sense.  I think the stalaglites could be a bit smaller, and the blanket would benefit from greater diversity in stalaglite sizes.

Ideally, the blanket would use string lights and there would be lights in each of the stalaglites.

Angel’s Glow, Dinoflagellate – Karen Vellensky

It took more than 140 years to solve the mystery of soldiers’ glowing wounds after the Battle of Shiloh. The Union victory left more than 16,000 soldiers wounded and more than 3,000 dead. As troops waited in the mud for up to two days for attention from the overwhelmed medics, they noticed a strange phenomenon; the wounds of some of the soldiers were glowing a faint blue. Later on, the soldiers with glowing wounds had improved rates of recovery and survival. In light of this seemingly protective charm, the blue light was knick-named Angel’s Glow.

In 2001 the son of a microbiologist visited the battleground on a school trip. When he heard the story his curiosity was peaked. He enlisted the help of his mother to do an experiment to prove his theory that Angel’s Glow was in fact a bacteria that is bioluminescent. They were successful and thusly solved the one hundred and forty year old mystery.

Dinoflagellate, a single cell organism is an example of bioluminescence.




IMG_0539    IMG_0537

This project was fun to conceptualize and to build, but frustrating to get the LED lights to defuse evenly throughout. I used speckled teal lame spandex and teal sequined net. I attempted to create a defused effect with 12 white LEDs stuffed into the belly of the plushie with a thin layer of polyfill between the LEDs and the interior of the fabric. I might have been more successful working in a slightly smaller scale with the same amount of LEDs. If I could have done one thing differently, I would have found another kind of light source or worked with a concept that intentionally had points of light instead of struggling to get a tool to perform a function it is not capable of. I enjoyed sewing sequins which is a material I have avoided in the past.

Blue Cactus: Pink Flowers as Blue LED: Brown Table??

Hello, Everybody!  My test piece is still in progress.  I’ve been adding flowers slowly over the course of the week.  And there’s Blinky to the right! She and I are good friends, now.

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Thanks for reading!

Bonus Track:

I got really into #FreeArtFriday this past weekend.  Made a lot of pillows…  You can see where they were put out on insta. @william.clay