Thursday, October 8, 2015

A light up flower crown

Worbla Flowers
To go with my sugar skull plague doctor mask, I wanted a flower crown and I was thinking it would be really fun if the flowers could light up.

To make the flowers able to light up clearly I made them out of  transparent Worbla thermoplastic.  This stuff is really fun to work with.  You simply heat it with a heat gun and shape it.  Basically, I cut shapes like you would out of felt to make roses and heated them to shape them together.  I made both large and small roses, 4 of each.

My husband has been learning to add more complex electronics to our costume props so he thought it would be cool if the light up flowers would change colors based off of the movement of my head.  He designed programming and circuitry to do this.  The head motion is sensed by a triple axis accelerometer, the programming is uploaded to an Arduino mini, the lighting is done by 8 Flora RGB Smart NeoPixels, a cheap switch and the power is a 9 volt battery.  In the picture to the right, the small square board is the accelerometer, the larger board is the arduino.  Both of these pieces are much smaller than the 9 volt battery.

He used this same set up to light up a crystal in the top of his steampunk cane.  The major differences are that the cane used a NeoPixel ring and that the calibration was different.  He can turn the cane upside down and my head cant turn that far.  Basically the motion of my head causes the lights to change color and the calibration makes even small movements change the color of the roses.
hat base side
hat upside down to show dart
hat front

I made a hat base out of 2 layers of felt and one layer of really stiff, heavy Pellon interfacing.  Basically this is a very elongated oval.  I darted the back to make it fit my head.  I then wired the edge and covered the wire with bias tape.

hat back

One the base was made I stitched all the circuitry to the hat and hid the circuitry with faux rose leaves.  I then stitched the clear flowers to the hat base and accented the base with small red and large white roses.  The three roses at the back hide the arduino, accelerometer and battery.

Hat front

hat side

hat top

 Here are some pictures is low lighting with the hat lit up.  The hat does all the colors of the rainbow and more....but the circuitry is very sensitive and it was hard to find the right angle to show all the colors.  This hat is so much fun to wear and the NeoPixels are so bright!

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