Cross Stitch LEDs

Technologies Used:

  • Arduino Lilypad USB
  • C++
  • Lilpad LEDs
  • Conductive thread

I enjoy cross-stitching and wanted to combine it with my interest in electronics. I also wanted to learn more about creating sewables, so I decided to create a cross-stitch project that would light up using LEDs. I chose a pattern that fit the subject on Etsy and then started to design the LED circuit.

Finished Cross Stitch LED Project

I wanted to create a pattern that would light up in a specific sequence, so I used an Arduino Lilypad USB to control the LEDs and create the lighting sequence. The Lilypad USB is a microcontroller board designed for wearables and e-textiles. It's sewable and can be powered by a rechargeable battery, which made it perfect for this project.

I used a combination of regular embroidery floss and conductive thread to create the cross-stitch pattern. I used regular embroidery floss to create the cross-stitch pattern and the conductive thread to sew the LEDs to the Lilypad USB. I used a combination of C++ and the Arduino IDE to program the Lilypad USB to control the LEDs in the pattern that I wanted. The project was a success and I was able to create a cross-stitch pattern that lights up in a specific sequence.


The biggest challenge I faced was stitching the LEDs in such a way that they received enough power and were connected to the Lilypad USB. Initially, I wasn't wrapping enough conductive thread around the GPIO pads and the LEDs either wouldn't all light up or some would flicker or were brighter than others. I had to experiment with different stitching techniques to find the most stable way to connect the LEDs to the Lilypad USB.