HOMEBREW ALARM PURSE
Wire up a safety system with geek chic.
By Norene Leddy with Ed Bringas and Johana Moscoso
The Alarm Purse is a simple, fashionable way
to add an audible alarm to your handbag. Tuck it
away when you don’t need it (so it won’t go off by
accident) and quickly hook it up when you do.
The latest addition to the ongoing Aphrodite
Project ( theaphroditeproject.tv/diy), the DIY Alarm
Purse is part of a series of artworks and DIY projects
that draw on the innovations of the courtesans of
antiquity to improve the conditions of 21st-century
women — empowering everyone with tools they can
make to stay safe.
1b. Cut 2 lengths of 22-gauge wire long enough
to connect the siren to the switch, and strip both
ends of each wire (Figure A, page 116). Solder 2
ends to the terminals of the switch. If you’re using a
larger switch with holes in the terminals, thread the
exposed wire ends through the holes in the metal
switch terminals, then twist, as in Figure B.
Cut two 1" pieces of heat-shrink tubing to cover
the connections (Figure C). Slide the heat-shrink
tubing up and shrink it around the terminals using
a lighter or heat gun (Figure D). If you use a lighter,
move the flame quickly back and forth; don’t let it
rest in any one spot. Once the tubing has shrunk
and cooled, pull gently on the wires to make sure
you have a secure connection.
Photography by Norene Leddy
1. Make the alarm.
1a. Place the piezo siren inside the purse facing
outward, allowing it to rest on the bottom. Measure
the distance from the top of the siren to where the
switch feels comfortable to hold. The top of the
siren will be about 3" from the bottom of the purse.
1c. Cut a strip of leather to cover the wire pair,
from the switch to almost the ends, leaving about
114 Make: Volume 19