Sew Your Own Light Up Leggings [Instructables How-To]

<p>Illuminated clothing doesn&#8217;t have to be viewed from afar&#8230; here are a few tricks to light up your legs.</p>

Kathleen Flood

Yesterday we featured a newly-launched illuminated clothing label, MOON Berlin, who pride themselves on fashioning ready-to-wear light-up clothing that doesn’t look like something off the set of TRON. The classic mix-and-match pieces, along with more formal evening gowns graze a happy medium between conceptual couture and outfits that might be better suited as Halloween costumes.

Functional light-up clothing is still hard to come by, mostly because it’s expensive and not readily available (yet) at your local department store or favorite boutique. But if you’re looking to add a little subtle glow to your wardrobe (or just make running at night safer), it’s almost easier to take matters into your own hands. Here are the cliff notes for an Instructables light-up leggings project that’s simple enough to sew in an afternoon.

The picture above shows the materials you’ll need…including conductive thread, two battery holders, two coin cell batteries, two ohm resistors, and a handful of LEDs. You’ll need to map out your circuit on a piece of paper before you start sewing. This particular project uses a 6-LED circuit for each leg.

Put the leggings on, mark where you want the LED’s to go, and grab a piece of cardboard to use as a buffer between the cloth and your skin. When you start sewing, start from the bottom (or the LED closest to your foot). Sew up the front of the leggings attaching only the positive nodes. Connect the thread to a resistor, then work down the back of the leggings attaching the negative nodes (again, reference the picture above). When you’re finished, this is how the hardware should look. Then you’re ready to snap in the battery and beam on!

Visit the Instructables How-To for further instruction, more detailed photographs, and tips on where to buy materials. If you liked this soft-circuit project check out Switch Craft, a book by Alison Lewis, that features fashion and electronic projects for beginners. You can also find more technology inspired fashions and inspiration at