Light-Up Headband

Learn about simple circuits and make your own light up headband. This project uses sewable components and conductive thread to make a headband that lights up when the buttons are snapped together.  The sewable components are wearable e-textiles, they have large sew tabs to allow them to be sewn into fabric. Various input, output, power and sensor boards are available. They’re even washable (with special care)!

Safety Warning:


  • Swallowing may lead to serious injury in as little as 2 hours or death, due to chemical burns and potential perforation of the oesophagus.
  • If you suspect your child has swallowed or inserted a button battery immediately call the 24-hour Poisons InformationCentre on 13 11 26 (Australia) for fast, expert advice.
  • Make sure the battery is correctly secured.
  • Dispose of used button batteries immediately and safely. Flat batteries can still be dangerous.

What You Need:

  • 3 Red Sewable LEDs

  • 1 Sewable Coin Cell Battery Holder

  • Conductive Thread

  • 4 pairs Sew on Snap buttons

  • 1 Lithium Battery 3v CR2032

  • Yellow Felt

  • Red Felt

  • Cardboard

  • Headband

  • Hot glue gun

What You Do:

  1. Cut two of the triangular "crown" shapes out of yellow felt.

  2. Cut a piece of cardboard slightly smaller than the crown pieces. This will go between the two felt pieces to make it more rigid. Cut a 3cm square out of the middle of the cardboard where the battery holder will sit.

  3. Place two female snap buttons 10cm apart in the centre one of the yellow crown pieces. Using the conductive thread sew from one of the positive terminals on the battery holder to one of the button snaps. Then using a new piece of thread sew from one of the negative terminals on the battery holder to the other button snap. Be careful not to cross the paths of the negative and positive threads as this will create a short circuit.

  4. Cut out two star shapes from the red felt.

  5. Cut holes out of one of the stars to make room for the button snaps. Hot glue this star to the top of the crown with the snaps sewn on.

  6. Place the male sides of the button snaps on the other star the same distance apart as the female snaps on the crown (10cm). Line up the LEDs so that all the positives are on the side of the snap that will connect to the positive side of the battery and all the negatives will connect to the negative terminal.

  7. Sew the positive sides of the LEDs together and then across to the snap. Using a seperate thread do the same for the negative sides. You need to sew 3 or 4 loops into each LED to ensure there is a good electrical contact with the thread.

  8. Test that your circuit works by connecting the snaps of light up patch and crown. The lights should light up when the snaps are connected. If they don't light up make sure you have not mixed up any positive and negative terminals and make sure there are no crossed threads.

  9. Hot glue the cardboard to the top crown and then both crowns together so that the battery is completely enclosed (see the safety note regarding button batteries).

  10. Attach the remaining snaps to the headband and crown so that you can wear your light up creation!

How It Works:

The thread is made from stainless steel which allows it to conduct electricity, the metal button snaps are also conductive so when the patch is snapped in place the circuit is completed and the lights light up. The lights are sewn on in a parallel circuit as the resistance of the LED is too great (the lights wont light up) if you try and connect them in series.

What Next?

You can make a variety of different light up patches to connect to your headband just make sure the button snaps are the same distance apart!