DThis post is re-blogged from New Things I’ve Tried by Jill Dawson. She mixed some Sassy Feet! techniques with cool, high-tech elements to create a very cutting-edge handbag with little lights that illuminate in different patterns.

Check out her original post here:

Fun With Neopixels! by Jill Dawson – Saturday May 16, 2015


I’ve been playing around with paint and a Gemma microcontroller (to learn how to program individually addressable neopixel LEDs).

Gemma would be incredibly valuable for teaching students about eTextiles, because they are less expensive than LilyPad Arduino boards, as well as being smaller, and quite easy to program!

For this purse, I used a Gemma, a LilyPad push button, three sewable snaps, conductive thread, and 2 coin cell batteries (in a holder) to power up nine neopixels.

From start to finish the process took three days.   This was largely due to the fact that I had to strip the leather and hand punch all of the holes that I sewed conductive thread through.

Using the Adafruit Neopixel library, and the button cycler code, I was able to customize the colors to match my bag.


Here are some pictures of the purse that I just finished transforming!  (In the event that you are wondering about the process or supplies that I used to paint and seal the leather, you may want to check out  If you’d like to know where I got my inspiration for creating an “electronic handbag” check out:


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