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Pet Halloween: Because dogs are people too

Add some LilyPad hardware to your pet’s Halloween costume because it's adorably hilarious, and you can.

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Friends. It is October, and the time has come to officially acknowledge that Halloween is around the corner. I am sure I’m not alone when I say that I have already started working on my own costume because, man, these things take forever. This year I’m also working on a little get-up for my puppy, Stuart, because he is exceptionally adorable in costume.

Let’s break down what’s going on here. I bought an extra cute shark costume for dogs from Michaels. I chose this costume over some others because it had a lot of structure to it. The fins also provided a space to hide some of the larger elements. When making wearables, for humans OR for pets, it’s important to consider the needs and comfort of the individual wearing the project, as well as the material needs of the hardware. A flimsy fabric will not work. Learn from my mistakes.

Hidden in between the lining and fabric is a LilyPad MP3 with a LiPo Battery. The LilyPad MP3 is hot glued to the lining so it remains in place. There is a microSD card inside the LilyPad MP3 with the "Jaws" theme track stored.

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A small Hamburger Speaker is plugged into the LilyPad MP3 speaker jack and stuffed into the center fin. The back of the fin remains open over the speaker's output to allow for maximum sound.

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In order to get all of these parts in place, I needed to cut along the seam of the fin on either side, as well as slightly above the fin.

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The LilyPad MP3 comes pre-programmed with a really useful program that I used in this project. The board features five digital I/O pins. When grounded, they will trigger a track from the microSD card. The microSD card should contain up to five tracks, named with the numbers ‘1’ to ‘5’ according to the pin that will trigger the track.

In making this costume for my pupper, I knew I wanted to be able to control when the sound is triggered so I could annoy surprise people at my own will. I labeled my track 1.mp3 and added it to my microSD card. Then I took two pieces of hookup wire that were about as long as a dog leash and twisted them together using a power tool. I poked a hole into the costume right next to the T1 and GND pins and threaded one end of my twisted wires through it. Then I soldered the white wire to T1 and the black wire to GND. I sewed the wires up a leash, leading to a few inches below where I hold the leash.

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I soldered each wire to either side of a momentary pushbutton. When I tap the button with my thumb, the "Jaws" theme music is triggered.

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The diagram below illustrates the final circuit.

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While a lot of costume making is a very slow process, this was a rather quick and easy project. So no excuses, friends! I expect all of your puppers and doggos dressed to impress this Halloween. Just look at this cuteness.

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Are you planning to dress your pet up this Halloween season? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!

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