Swatch Exchange : Week 3

The Straw Tilt Switch

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How does it work?


This swatch works as an enlarged version of a typical tilt switch. When tilted up the metal balls inside complete the circuit.


  • drinking straw
  • metal balls
  • conductive thread
  • needle
  • fabric
  • hotglue


I sewed two lead legs into opposing sides of the straw leaving a knot inside which the balls would connect. I then capped one end with hot glue, filled with a few balls and closed up the other end with hot glue. I mounted this to a piece of fabric and then sewed leads for the alligator clips to connect to the straw negative and positive leads.


I’ve seen this before in my Arduino days. I like the tactile nature of the switch, and that’s why I wanted to try my hand at it, that and a surplus of small metal balls from a previous project.



I made a few sketches. Ideas for later too!

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I had hoped to do silly strings in the beginning but my metal balls were too large for the straw and got stuck. Would have been a fun switch though. There’s always next time!

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