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At World Maker Faire NYC I was inspired by Rachel Hallenga's exhibit Duct Tape Bling. Kids love duct tape. The bright colors and patterns are irresistible. Throw in some LEDs, batteries and conductive thread, put some velcro on the table, and all sorts of interesting wearables start to emerge. The project I use to get kids started is a light up cuff. Some of the kids have been working with me a while and have started using parallel circuits. We work on the sticky side of the duct tape. Here's what it looks like:
I like that you can stick the tails down on the duct tape to avoid short circuits. Leave the thread hanging past the tape to make the switches. Test the circuit to make sure it lights up before you put a backing piece of duct tape on.
The switches are fun. I like to use sticky velcro. Making the thread cross in opposite directions ensures a connection. Staples are a good idea. Sometimes the velcro is stronger than the adhesive holding it to the duct tape. If the staples are conductive, they can help make the connection for your switch.
But that's how I do it. As usual, the kids have way more interesting projects than I do!