In addition to an Adafruit EL wire starter pack (or EL tape starter pack), each of my students also gets:

  • Adhesive! I prefer E6000 because it is super strong and flexible, sticks to almost everything, and it doesn't require mixing-- it's available in multipacks of smaller tubes. Some people don't like it because it's kinda stinky. You can also use quickset (5 or 7 minutes) epoxy. Hot glue isn't so great for this.
  • Round toothpicks - for working with the E6000 - each student gets a small handful in their bag. Pick them up at the grocery store or on Amazon.
  • Invisible thread - like fine fishing line, this polyester filament is strong, flexible, see-thru, and you can sew with it! I get mine from Stuff4. Each student gets an entire spool.
  • Pack needles
  • AA batteries
  • EL splitter
  • 2x In-line power wire (male) - this way students can have up to three total lines of EL wire coming from the inverter
  • Extra heat shrink tubing - useful for masking sections of EL wire to make dotted lines, etc.
  • Tiny lighter - for shrinking heat shrink

I usually charge students a $35 materials fee - roughly $20 for the EL starter pack (although hackerspaces and educators can qualify for special pricing or volume discounts), the rest for the items in the above list plus expendibles like hot glue sticks, the instructor's demo supplies and the like. I also pick up a few sound-activated and 4xAAA inverters in case a student's design requires one-- get enough supplies for everyone to comfortably share and create in a generous environment. They should leave feeling empowered to finish their project or take on a new one- and not like they have to buy a bunch more stuff to do it. You can always use extra supplies for a future class!

You may wish to pick up a few embroidered "learn to solder" badges to give to students if it's their first time soldering.

This guide was first published on Jul 29, 2012. It was last updated on Jul 31, 2012.

This page (Extra Supplies) was last updated on Jul 31, 2012.

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