The perfect DIY gift, nightlight, decoration, project, … and it’s super easy to make!
This beautiful project consists mostly out of an embroidery ring, some fancy fabric, and our lovely BrightDots. Funny enough, the BrightDots are programmed to twinkle in bright white, but because of the fabric, it looks like there are lots of colors coming through!
We chose to make the Canis Major constellation because it was easy to mimic with less than 10 BrightDots (and because we love dogs and Harry Potter). Try to do the same, because the more BrightDots you use, the harder it is to make the constellation and the more power it will consume. Plus, we’re not the space police so you can leave out a star or two in order to make it more practical.
Find out how you can make this awesome ornament in the tutorial below!
- ESP32 wearable development board ( VMW101)
- small BrightDot pack x2 ( VMW102)
- soft electrical wires
- template of an astrological sign (we’ve used the Canis Major or Sirius)
- nice fabric (preferably a dark color)
- normal sewing wire (preferable something light grey, so it stands out from de fabric)
- embroidery hoop (diameter of 23 cm)
- 1 x Lithium Ion battery or a 3 x AA battery pack
- USB a to micro b
- stripping pliers
- soldering iron
- sewing needle
- fabric scissors
1. Programming the Wearable Development board
Not familiar with Arduino yet? Then check out their ‘Getting Started’ page here and learn how to program your microcontroller.
Never programmed an ESP32 wearable development board (VMW101) before? Check out the manual here!
We’ve made an example code that makes 8 singleton BrightDots sparkle in white, just like the night sky! You can download the code here.
2. Prepping the connection
Check out the electrical connection scheme below and use it while soldering the connections. Do not start soldering yet! We will explain all the steps below.
POWERING THE CONSTELLATION
Before we move on, you need to decide how you will power your project. As you can see in the connection scheme, we chose to connect the development board to a Lipo battery and we added an ON/OFF switch in between. But you can also use the 3 x AA battery pack (VMW11).
We will solder the wires on the pins of the battery shield.
3. Making the constellation
1. Place the fabric over the inner ring of the embroidery hoop and secure it by putting the outer ring around the inner ring and tightening the screw. Make sure there is enough excess fabric in case you need to tighten it later on.
2. Place Template on fabric and mark where the stars will be on the inside of the ring (you can do this by using chalk).
3. Measure the approximate distance between each star, so you will be able to estimate the length of the wires between each BrightDot.
4. Now cut the wire into pieces that will fit between the BrightDots and strip all wires on both sides. Remember, you will need three pieces of wire to connect one BrightDot to another.
5. Solder the connections between the BrightDots according to your connection scheme. It should look something like the connections in the picture above. Do not solder the connection between the first BrightDot and the development board yet!
6. Now place the connection of BrightDots on the fabric as preferred, along with the development board.
7. Sew the BrightDots in place but make sure it isn’t too obvious on the front side. Also, make sure each BrightDot is positioned onto the chalk markings to get a good result.
8. Sew thread between the BrightDots so the astrological sign becomes clear!
9. Connect the battery, power switch and the wearable development board to the circuit.
10. Cut the Fabric around the hoop and you’re done!