How to Add 3 Standard LEDs to a Bag


This project shows you how to attach 3 standard LEDs into a ready made bag.


The electronic circuit is stitched straight onto the bag fabric and is hidden away inside a pocket in the bag (a bag without a pocket can be used but the pocket acts as a useful protection for the circuit). The pocket allows for the LEDs to be switched on and off easily and for the battery to be changed. It is a good project for anyone who understands how to do a basic circuit using one LED and who wants to be a little more adventurous and learn how to add more LEDs to a circuit. The LEDs are pushed through a hole that has been cut in the fabric. Note this technique is most suitable for a fabric that doesn't fray.

Learn how to:

  • Attach an e-textiles circuit directly onto a ready made product.
  • Make a circuit using 3 standard LEDs.

Level of difficulty:

  • Beginner.

Parts list:


In order to add 3 LEDs to your bag you will need the following:

You will also require the following equipment:

Step by Step guide to adding 3 standard LEDs to your bag

Step 1


The diagram above is an example of how the circuit can be made. It shows the components parts on paper with coloured lines representing the different sides of the circuit.


Note that there are different positions the cell holder and LEDs can be in depending on the area they are being sewn to, see another example left. The configuration used on the bag in this project has been chosen because of the size and shape of the bag being used. Notice that no matter what the position of the cell holder and LEDs all the negative sides of the circuit match up to each other as do the positives and at no point do the thread pathways meet or cross over each other.

Step 2


On the inside of the bag unstitch the pocket along one edge to allow access to the area where the circuit will be stitched.


Cut a small hole in the fabric big enough for the legs of the LEDs to go through the fabric. Be careful not to make the hole bigger than the base of the LED but to make it big enough so that the legs can sit apart from each other.


Use round nosed pliers to twist the negative legs of the LED (you will probably find it easier to turn the bag inside out). To avoid confusion leave the positive legs untwisted and just work with the negative legs. Push the loops flat against the fabric all facing a similar direction.

Step 3


Oversew 6 to 8 stitches through the leg of the first LED into position using conductive thread. Take care not to let stitches go through to the right side of the fabric.


Sew several running stitches to get to the second LED. Keep the thread tight in the fabric.


Oversew 6 to 8 stitches through the second LED and then repeat the process for the third one. Make sure there are no breaks or joins in your thread.


Stitch running stitches to get to the negative side of the cell holder.


Oversew the negative side of the cell holder into position. Cut the thread close to the cell holder when finishing off.

Step 4


Twist the positive legs on the LEDs to form loops. Lie the legs flat on the fabric surface pointing away from the negative legs.


Using a new piece of thread oversew the positive leg that is next to the last negative leg you stitched.


Sew small running stitches to the second LED and oversew it into place then repeat the process for the third LED.


Stitch small running stitches to the positive side of the cell holder. Make sure the positive thread circuit doesn’t cross over or touch the negative one.


Oversew the positive side of the cell holder onto the fabric.

Step 5


Push the cell into the holder. Hold the cell along its sides and place it into the holder with the positive side up.

Step 6


Hand stitch the pocket side back into place.   Download a pdf version of this page here pdf_icon.gif This tutorial was produced for Kitronik by Julie Boyd who is a specialist in e-textiles design.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published