Thursday, November 08, 2012

Halloween light up Sunflower

As I mentioned in my previous post about the zombies, we had a Plants vs Zombies theme.  My daughter wanted to be a sunflower that would light up.  I'd just begun to play with soft circuits at this point, so I said, "okay!"  In February I started researching what I would need and ordered some El Wire to figure it out.  The El wire was actually pretty easy to use once I had played with some.  I ordered a driver for it, soldered the El Wire to a little plug and it was ready to blink.

Next I created a paper pattern.  I used a soccer ball as my head model and for a long time had soccer ball with a paper flower taped to it hanging out in the living room.

I started the head piece with craft foam to provide structure, but still be soft.
I sewed satin with an organza overlay for the petals.  I had to really baste it to keep it from moving all over.
Next I hand sewed the El Wire to the edge of the flower petals on the satin, and then flipped the organza layer over the El Wire.  (I haven't trimmed the inside edge of the flower so it won't fray while I'm handling it to sew on the El Wire.)
 I sandwiched the flower petals and the flower "face" in between the two sides of the headband.
 Here you can see the El Wire under the organza, and the face of the flower in the unfinished head band.  I put velcro on the head band to close it under the chin.  I also had to add some clear elastic to the back of the headband to keep it from slipping forward.  I finished the face with eyes created from the bowls from two black spoons, with a white highlight painted on.
 Here are the basic elements of the pot.  The pot had a rim that was supported with thin (1/2") upholstery foam.  And then a rod of fiberglass to form a hoop to keep the circular shape.  The bottom of the pot was basically a skirt that fell from the rim of the pot.
I enclosed soft rope in the hem of the "skirt" to help it hold its shape while hanging, but allow it to flex for walking.  
 I made the roots by applying a two part clear resin to bits of rope that I'd frayed.  The resin helped the roots keep their shape.
This is how the pot was tied on and formed the "dirt" of the pot.  This was a straight piece that was added to the Pot rim.  (I sewed it on before I sewed the rim and enclosed the foam.) It also serves as the channel the fiberglass rod was threaded into.  The top is gathered on a shoe lace which ties at the waist.  
 The leaves also used craft foam inside to give them body.  The stem is basically a "vest" that fastens in the back with velcro.  The bottom of the stem is tacked to the "dirt."

Here is the video of the El Wire blinking in the head piece.

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