Noisy pompoms: build an e-textile instrument

Important note: Registration to this workshop does not include the kit. Please purchase the kit from Sam Topley on Etsy here.

What’s in the kit? The kit comes with a pre-soldered printed circuit board, e-textile material, a speaker, a mixed bundle of brightly coloured yarn and one crocodile clips. Batteries not included.

What you will do in this workshop:

In this online workshop, we will craft with electronic textiles to make a new musical instrument.

The workshop will provide an introduction to working with e-textile materials and DIY craft techniques, to enable us to make a new musical instrument to play and experiment with.

In this hands-on and craft-focused workshop, we will explore ideas in e-textiles, DIY electronics and experimental music making, to learn how e-textiles can be used within an electronic circuit and how we can be creative with crafts to make a fun and playful interface to perform with.


  • Electronic textiles (e-textiles)
  • Experimental music making
  • DIY electronics
  • Textile handcrafts


No prior knowledge or skills are required. This workshop is a great introduction to electronic instrument building and is suitable for any age (younger children should be supervised).

The instrument will be built from a DIY kit, which will be posted to you in advance of the workshop. The kit includes all of the materials you will need to construct the instrument.

The instrument will be made with tools found around the home. You will need:

  • scissors
  • recycled cardboard (approximately cereal box sized)
  • 9v battery
  • tabletop workspace

About the workshop leader:

Sam Topley is a sound artist from Leicester, UK. She works with textiles to create handmade electronic musical instruments and interactive sound art work. Her practice explores ideas in music, technology and textile handcrafts, to make new instruments such as giant noisy pompoms, knitted or ‘yarnbombed’ loudspeakers and DIY electronic musical instruments with e-textile interfaces.

Topley shares her work internationally through workshops, exhibitions, performances and presentations. Recent projects include commissioned work by Dubai Maker Faire, TEDxLeicester, Goldsmiths University of London and the University of Manchester.

Sam is a doctoral researcher at the Music, Technology and Innovation – Institute for Sonic Creativity (MTI2), De Montfort University (Leicester, UK), where she also lectures in experimental music, creative music technology and community arts practice. Her PhD is co-supervised by Nottingham Trent University and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Follow Sam on social media: FacebookInstagramTwitter.