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Resplendr Glowing Rainbow LED Scarf

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

A luxuriously soft, glowy scarf for staying warm, festival season, the holidays, staying lit while walking the dog, or just because you want to shine like the awesome person you are!

Here's how you can get your hands on a Resplendr Glowing Rainbow LED Scarf:

*Batteries (and USB cable) not included: power your scarf with any USB power bank and micro USB cable.

This project is divided into four sections: programming the board, making the scarf, soldering, and then putting it all together.

The project uses optional 3d printed parts. If you don't have access to a 3d printer, you can order the 3d printed parts from my shop, a local 3D printer (see: Shapeways or Hubs), or skip it all together.

If any of these modalities are new to you, try to tackle one at a time. You can do it!






Programming the Board

If you get a kit directly from me, the board will already be programmed with a series of animations. Refer to this section if you're taking the OG DIY approach or if you’re interested in updating the LED animations at a later date.

The Adafruit Gemma M0 is a low cost microcontroller that can be programmed in three different ways: with the Arduino IDE; by editing the file with your favorite text editor using CircuitPython; or via Microsoft MakeCode. When you connect the board to a computer or power bank via a micro USB cable, a light should come on. If a light doesn’t come on, check that the little switch on the Gemma is in the ON position.

The animations on the scarf are written in Arduino using the FastLED library. Follow the instructions on the Adafruit Arduino IDE Setup page to download the latest release of the Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment).

Install the FastLED library in the Arduino IDE by selecting Sketch, then navigating to Include Library, Manage Libraries and searching for FastLED. Install the most recent version.

Download the latest Sample.ino file from github and open it in the Arduino IDE.

Under Tools, select the Board Gemma M0 from the list. Plug the board in and ensure that it's in the ON position.

Verify the code with the checkmark. If you get a "Done Compiling" message, "Upload" the code with the right arrow.


Make the Scarf

In this section, make the scarf!

Set the batting aside until the end when you put it all together. Gather the fabric, zipper, & some straight pins, along with your sewing machine setup. If you have a serger, you can serge the edges to begin with or serge the edges together instead of using your regular machine.

  1. Lay the fabric on the table with the fuzzy side up. Place the zipper on top of the fabric, about 3 or 4 inches from one of the bottoms with the zipper pull at the top and facing the fabric. Align one side of the zipper and pin it into place on one side. Use your sewing machine to sew one side of the zipper in place.

  2. Lay the fabric out again with the fuzzy side up. Align the other side of the zipper and pin it into place on the other side of the fabric.

  3. Use your sewing machine to sew the other side of the zipper in place.

  4. Unzip the zipper if it was open.

  5. Fold the scarf in half lengthwise. Pin together. Sew the sides together.

  6. Turn the scarf inside out and set it aside.



In this section, you’ll attach a tactile button and a strip of NeoPixels to a Gemma M0. If you haven't soldered before, check out a tutorial on soldering and practice a bit beforehand.

  1. If there are any plastic nubs on the flat black bottom of the button, cut them off. Cut two opposing diagonal legs from the button.

  2. Place the button on the back of the Gemma, with one of the legs in the hole labeled GND and the other labeled D2. Solder in place.

  3. Identify which direction the LED strip is oriented, with the arrows running away from you. Solder 3 wires to the LED strip.

  4. Connect and solder the (Red) wire from the NeoPixel 5v to the Gemma Vout; the (White) wire from the NeoPixel GND Gemma GND; and the (Green) remaining wire from the NeoPixel “DataIn” to the Gemma D1.

  5. Test your lights! Connect your power bank to the Gemma and ensure that it’s switched into the on position.

  6. Seal up your solder joints on the board and LED strip with hot glue or e6000. If using e6000, let it dry with sufficient airflow for 24 hours.*

  7. Place the Gemma into the 3D printed case bottom & screw into place.

  8. Place the on/off switch onto the top and attach the lid.

*Note - if you purchased a kit from me, you won't need to do anything for these steps.


Put it Together

In this section, complete the scarf.

  1. Lay the tulle out on your work surface, and place the batting on top of the tulle.

  2. Lay the pixels on top of the batting facing up, at least an inch below the edge & sandwich the tulle and batting around the pixels, with the tulle on the outside.

  3. Use straight pins to hold the sandwich closed. The pixels should be on the opposite edge of the batting and no where near being sewn together. They will shine through the thickest part of the batting so we won't see any specific pixels.

  4. Sew the short edge on top and long edge together, removing the straight pins. Do not sew across any wires or pixels.

  5. Slide the pixels into the scarf. Stash your power bank inside the scarf.

You're done! Enjoy being super glowy!

Tag your posts with #resplendrscarf to see other great glowy creations!


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