Fig. A: Plan your design, thinking about positive and negative shapes. Fig. B: A small sharp pair of scissors makes
cutting easier. Fig. C: When piercing, make sure to touch
the legs of the solar cells. Fig. D: Pushing the legs flat
together makes for a secure connection. Fig. E: A line is
easy to begin with. Fig. F: Bend the legs as close to the
base as possible. Fig. G: Double check the diagram to
make sure the capacitor is correctly oriented.
your pattern on section A (Figure A). Use small
scissors to cut the shapes (Figure B).
ground to ground – this type of capacitor can blow
up if connected backward.
2. Build the solar circuit.
a. Carefully study Diagram 1, also available at
craftzine.com/06/wear_solar, paying attention
to the components and connections.
d. Connect the 1N5818 diode to the capacitor’s
positive leg, and connect the resistor to its ground
leg. The diode keeps the charge from leaking out
of the capacitor; pay attention to the direction of
the diode by looking for the stripe (Diagram 1). Use
pliers to carefully twist the component legs around
the capacitor leads. Snip off any excess wire.
b. Connect the solar cells together in a series as
shown in Diagram 1. Following line C on the pattern,
pierce the legs of each cell through the felt. Each
cell has a positive leg (+) marked by a small dot, and e. Finish the circuit by connecting the components
a ground (-). Connect each cell’s leg to the following with wire, following the circuit placement diagram.
cell’s leg of the opposite value (Figure C) on the Prepare each piece of wire by stripping off ½" from
back side of the felt. Use pliers to bend the touching the ends with wire strippers (Figure H).
legs together flush against the felt (Figure D). Each
cell delivers 0.5 volts — which alone is not enough
to power the LED. Connected in series, all 10 cells
combine to produce just under 5 volts (Figure E).
f. Cut a piece of wire that runs the length of the
fabric. Attach one end to the positive leg of the
capacitor, in front of the diode. The other end will
connect to the female snap switch (Step 4).
c. Bend the legs of the capacitor flat (Figure F).
Match the ground (marked with a stripe) and positive
leads of the capacitor with the solar cells. Sew the
capacitor into the fabric (Figure G). The capacitor
stores the charge from the cells. Be sure to match
g. Find the LED’s positive and ground legs (see
Diagram 2); usually the longer leg is positive, but you
can test with a watch battery to be sure (Diagram 3).
Pass the legs through the button from the outside of