Soft Circuit Kits Round-Up

When I first got interested in soft circuits, getting materials was a combination of ordering free samples and sourcing items on your own. Luckily in the last few years things have changed and there are a variety of kits available to get you started with e-sewing. Back in December, Becky @Craftzine did a nice Holiday Gift Guide for getting started in wearables that included some must-have items like conductive thread, a multimeter, and the LilyPad Arduino. I’ve decided to gather up info on some LED sewing kits that I’ve found so you can pick the one that suits you best. Scroll down for a chart comparing them w/ details on what’s included in each individual kit.

StitchLits

Kate Hartman offers the StitchLits LED Sewing Kit on her Etsy store. It is a nice little set to get you started with sewing LEDs, I especially like the way it is packaged in a little tin. There is even a needle and needle threader included so you can literally get started as soon as you open the package!
(Images via KateHartman.com)

SternLab LED Sewing Kit

Becky Stern’s kit is available at the Makers Market and her Etsy shop. Another nice starter kit, she also includes your choice of colors for the LEDs (red, green, blue, white, or yellow). Becky has a great video tutorial on using the kit for those of us who like to watch, rather than read, instructions. She also has a downloadable pattern if you’d like to use the design she demos.
(Images via Sternlab.org)

Aniomagic’s Beginning & Intermediate Kits

Aniomagic has lots of great little modules for creating interactive and electronic crafts. I like how they divided the kits into levels, a very basic beginner kit and then an intermediate kit with some more goodies. And the packing is so much fun! (Can you tell I’m a sucker for great product packaging?) Again, lots of good tutorials and ideas can be found at this site, as well as a great shopping experience.
(Images via Aniomagic.com)

LilyPad E-Sewing Kit

The LilyPad has an official e-sewing kit available at both MakerShed and Sparkfun, which includes some LilyPad LED boards (very easy to sew and look pretty sturdy) and LilyPad Button Boards. The great thing about this kit – you get a whole spool of conductive thread (75 yds).
(Images via Sparkfun)

Comparison Chart

Name Where to Buy Price Conductive Thread LEDs Battery Battery Holder* Extras Instructions
Aniomagic Beginner’s Sewing Kit Aniomagic $5.00 ~2 yds
(1) LED Sequin

(1) 12.5 mm CR1216 coin cell

Fabric Battery Holder
n/a Beginner Kit
Aniomagic Intermediate Sewing Kit Aniomagic $15.00 ~3 yds
(2) LED Sequins

(1) 12.5 mm CR1216 coin cell

Fabric Battery Holder
Fabric Push Switch, Tilt Switch, 3x4in Fabric Swatch Intermediate Kit
SternLab LED Sewing Kit MakerShed
Etsy
$15.00 2 1/3 yds (7ft)
(2) 5mmColor: Red, green, blue, white, or yellow (your choice)

(1) 20mm CR2032 coin cell

Coin Cell Holder
Snap LED Sewing Tutorials
StitchLits Etsy $20.00 3 yds
(3) LED Sequins
Color: White

(1) 20mm CR2032 coin cell

Coin Cell Holder
Needle, Needle Threader, Snap How to Sew StitchLits Instructable
LilyPad E-Sewing Kit Sparkfun
MakerShed
$49.35
$39.95
75 yds (1 spool)
(5) LilyPad LEDsColor: Bright White

(2) 20mm CR2032 coin cell

Coin Cell Holder
(3) LilyPad Button Boards

*it looks like most of these kits use the same type of coin cell holder…

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