Former Tinkerer in Residence, Jie Qi, introduced us to making paper circuits way back at the PFA and we've had a blast exploring the possiblities of creating circuits on paper ever since. Jie has continued to tinker with paper circuit technology and developed amazing circuit stickers! Her company, Chibitronics, has stickers that can add effects like blinking, fading, and twinkling to your creations.
For the Gala we decided to combine the technolgies of the Chibitroics ciruict stickers with wearables to make fun, fashionable, light-up accessories! We started by making some prototypes in the Learning Studio to try it out ourselves first. I wanted to start by making a paper flower headband that has lights that fade on and off. It took a couple tries to make the base layer of the flower, but eventually I found a shape that worked both aesthetically and as a platform for making the circuit. The velcro dot in the middle also made it easy to attach and detach the other layers to turn the lights on and off.
We thought hats and pins would be a good complement to the headbands and fascinators. Here's a pin we made with the heartbeat effects sticker and a paperclip switch to turn it on and off.
This hat uses the blink effects sticker. One thing I love about the effects is that you can create alternating blinks by placing the lights on different positive and negative pathways with the signal line.
With these prototypes and examples made, we were ready for the event. We set up our workshop in a corner of the after party area. Gala-goers began filling the space as soon as we opened.
This pair made an amazing Claire-Danes-a-la-Romeo-and-Juliet-era-inspired tiara and bolo tie (which became a headband of sorts).
Fascinators were definitely the most popular accessory of the night. Here a few examples of the variety of designs we saw that night.
This hat had a twinkle function, similar to Ryan's blinking tophat.
There were even some designs we didn't expect, like this statement piece necklace!
The gala was an amazing night, and it was great to try a new twist on electronic wearables with the Chibitronics lights and effects stickers. I can't wait to try this activity in the Tinkering Studio sometime soon!