Get in the mood for Valentine's Day with these hearts that light up when they touch.
Each heart has a magnet switch and magnet hidden along the side edges and once they are lined up with each other, a circuit is created and true love is declared!
The hearts are hand sewn and are made out of felt but any fabric could be used. The shapes could also be machine sewn together instead.
A miniature cell holder has been used along with a PCB LED that glows through the fabric. The cell holder can be accessed in order to change the battery via a small gap in the stitches on one of the sides of the heart. Each circuit is slightly different to the other. They are relatively easy to create although the positioning of the magnet and switch are key to the success of the project.
These hearts have not been padded but padding could be added if required. A stronger magnet may be needed if padding is added in order for the two edges to meet. A popper may also need to be added to the opening in order to keep it closed.
Learn how to:
- Create an E-Textiles project from scratch.
- Use a Miniature Cell Holder & PCB LED.
- Add a Magnet Switch to a basic circuit.
Level of difficulty:
- Intermediate - some knowledge of circuits and basic textiles needed. Creating the circuits is relatively easy (intermediate level) but making sure that the circuits mirror each other & getting the switches and magnets positioned in the right place makes this project a little more tricky.
In order to create your Valentine Magnetic Hearts you will need:
- Felt fabric in two colours (approx. 20cm square).
- Embroidery thread in two colours (stranded embroidery thread has been used in the image but the project could be machine stitched instead).
- 2 x Miniature Cell Holders and Cells.
- 2 x PCB LEDs (white has been used in the image but other colours could be used).
- 2 x Magnet Switches with Magnets.
- Ordinary sewing thread in matching colours.
You will also need the following equipment:
Step-by-step guide to making your Be My Valentine Magnetic Light-up Hearts.
Cut out the fabric using the paper templates. Use small scissors to cut a square hole in the centre of the larger heart front pieces. The hole must be large enough for the LED to poke through.
Stitch the smaller heart into position on top of the large heart front. I've used a blanket stitch and stranded embroidery thread has been used in the image. However, other hand stitches could be used or, alternatively, a sewing machine could be used.
Create a second heart in the same way as the first heart.
Use the conductive thread to oversew the negative side of the LED into position on the back of heart 1.Note that the LED is facing into the hole in the fabric and can’t be seen as you stitch.Take care to make sure that your stitches only go through one layer of fabric and can’t be seen on the right side.
Position the miniature cell holder along the edge of the heart as shown on the paper pattern. Stitch from the negative side of the LED to the negative side of the cell holder using small running stitches and then oversew the negative side of the cell holder into place.Note that the cell holder has 4 holes but only the ones with the silver edging are used in the circuit. The other holes are just to add stability. Note that the cell needs to be easily accessible in order to change it so make sure that the open side of the cell holder is facing out towards the edge of the heart. Check your running stitches don’t go through to the right side of the fabric as they should be invisible.
Using a new piece of conductive thread, oversew the positive side of the cell holder to the fabric.Again, make sure that the stitches don’t go through to the right side of the fabric.
Stitch running stitches to the opposite side of the heart where the magnet switch will sit (use the paper pattern to help you get the right position).Oversew one side of the magnet switch into position, making sure that the magnet is facing the fabric (it doesn’t matter which hole you sew through first).Again, make sure that the stitches don’t go through to the right side of the fabric.Take care to make sure that the negative and positive sides of the circuit don’t touch each other.
Using a new piece of conductive thread, oversew the second side of the magnet switch to the fabric.
Use small running stitches to get to the positive side of the LED and oversew into place.
Use ordinary sewing thread to sew the other 2 holes in the cell holder to the fabric.These are stabilising holes and are not part of the circuit.
Cut a small piece of felt and stitch to the edge of the heart shape, leaving the outer edge open (see paper pattern for guidance).This is where the magnet will be placed.
Slide the cell into the cell holder to check that the circuit works (place the loose magnet on the switch to turn it on).
This is what the back of heart 1 should look like.
On heart 2, oversew the negative side of the LED into position so that the centre of the LED is poking through the hole in the fabric.
Position the miniature cell holder along the edge of the heart as shown on the paper pattern.Note that this is a mirror image of the first heart and is not positioned in the same place.Stitch from the negative side of the LED to the negative side of the cell holder using small running stitches and then oversew the negative side of the cell holder into place.
Oversew the positive side of the cell holder into position. Use the paper pattern to position the magnet switch in the positive side of the circuit.Don’t forget to use separate pieces of thread when stitching up to the magnet switch and then again from the switch to the LED. Stitch a piece of felt fabric in place to hold the magnet.Note that the magnet is not facing towards the fabric on this heart and can be seen. Use the paper pattern along with the first heart to make sure that the magnets and switches on both sides of the hearts will match up.This image shows the back of the finished second heart. Note how it is a mirror image of the first heart.
Insert the magnets into the small pockets.Check that the circuits work by matching up the magnets and switches.
Place the backing fabric onto the back of the heart and stitch around the edge to hold the two layers together.If you are using a sewing machine to stitch the layers together, use a zip foot as this will allow you to avoid the magnet and cell holder and will allow you to get close to the edge of the fabric.
In order to access the cell holder to change the cell, leave a small hole big enough to access the cell.To make the hole invisible, use the same decorative stitch you have used along the single layers of fabric.
Test the completed hearts by touching the two magnets and switches together, and enjoy!
Download a pdf version of this page here
Download the cutting pattern here
This tutorial was produced for Kitronik by Julie Boyd
who is a specialist in E-Textiles design.
©Kitronik Ltd – You may print this page & link to it, but must not copy the page or part thereof without Kitronik's prior written consent.