"Shivers" The Penguin


  • Penguin pieces
  • Teknikio Motionboard
  • Teknikio Batteryboard
  • Conductive thread
  • 2 squares of conductive tape
  • Black (non-conductive) thread - not included
  • Stuffing - not included


  • Needle
  • Scissors - not included


Locate all of the felt pieces to make your pattern. The should be included pre-cut in your kit.

These include:

  • 1 black piece for the front of the penguin body (no wings)
  • 1 black piece for the back of the penguin body (has wings)
  • 1 white belly piece
  • 2 white circles for eyes
  • 1 orange triangular piece for the beak
  • 1 orange piece for the feet and bottom of the penguin

If you did not purchase the Shivers the Penguin Kit, you can use this template.


Plan Your Circuit

In this circuit, the two conductive squares will act as a switch. When you touch them together they will complete the circuit and the activate the motionboard, causing the penguin to shiver.

Once you have sewn the penguin together, your batteryboard will be located on the bottom of your penguin, the motionboard will be located on the belly, and the switch will be located on the wing and belly.


Sew the Face and Belly

Lay out the eyes and beak pieces on top of the white belly piece to make the penguin’s face.

Thread your needle with regular, non-conductive thread. We recommend doubling the thread to make it easier to sew with. Tie a knot at the end big enough that it won’t pull through the felt. This will require tying the knot in the same place several times. If you need more tips for sewing, check out the Fabtronic Guidebook.

Next you’ll attach the bottom of the penguin to the front piece of the body.  Align the pieces so only the feet stick out, then using a running stitch sew only along the side of the bottom piece that has feet. You may want to pin them together at you sew. Secure with a knot and trim the excess thread.


Attach the Motionboard

Thread your needle with conductive thread. We recommend doubling the thread for a stronger electric connection.

Place your motionboard on the back of the front piece of the penguin body. The back is the same side your feet will be sewn to. Hold the motionboard in place while you sew through the fabric and the hole on the right. Loop around the board and the fabric 3 - 5 times.


Sew the Motionboard to the Batteryboard

Use a running stitch to sew from the motionboard to the bottom edge of the front of the penguin body. Make sure you are only sewing through the body piece of the pengin. Then sew onto the bottom piece where you will attach your batteryboard.

Hold your batteryboard in place while you loop around one of the holes marked with “+”. Only sew through the fabric on the bottom.


Sew the Body to the Belly

Layout the belly with the face onto the front of the penguin body. Using non-conductive thread, sew around the edge of the belly with a running stitch to anchor it into place. Secure with a knot and trim the excess thread.


Attach the First Conductive Pad

Place one piece of conductive tape down on the right side of the penguin’s belly. This is where the wing will fold down to make a switch.

Using conductive thread loop around the remaining hole on the motionboard 3 - 5 times, then use a running stitch to sew to the conductive pad. Loop around the conductive pad 3 - 5 times, then secure your stitches with a knot and trim the excess thread.


Sew Back of Penguin to Body

The stitches you should sew during this step are marked in red. You can use whatever color thread you prefer. We recommend black to match the body of the penguin.

Using non-conductive thread, attach the back body of the penguin body by sewing it to the front piece. You will only sew around the edge of the front piece. Do not sew the back to the bottom piece yet because you still need to stuff it.


Attach the Second Conductive Pad

Fold the wing of your penguin in to touch the belly. Mark the spot where the wing meets the first conductive pad. Place your remaining piece of conductive fabric tape in this spot to make your second conductive pad.


Test Your Circuit

Now you can test your circuit! Place your battery with the “+” side facing up into the holder on the batteryboard. Fold the wing over so that the two conductive squares make contact, you should feel a buzz in the motionboard!

If the circuit is not working:

  1. Check that your battery has enough charge to power the motionboard! If you have a voltmeter you can make sure the battery is above 2.5 volts.

  2. Check that your positive “+” and negative “-” connections do not cross or touch.

  3. Check that your thread is tight around all the conductive holes.

You may need to take out and re-sew your connections.


Stuff Your Penguin and Sew Shut

Now it’s time to stuff the penguin! You may use cotton balls or another soft material. Fill the back opening of the penguin with your stuffing until he feels fluffy, but not too stuffed!

Using non-conductive thread, sew the bottom of the back of the penguin body to the bottom piece of the penguin. Secure with a knot and trim the excess thread.


Customize Your Penguin

You’re all done! Next you can sew your penguin a hat or a scarf from scrap fabrics you have around the house! If you know how to knit or crochet, you can make a hat and scarf from yarn. You can make Shivers an igloo or sled from scrap cardboard, or use your favorite crafting material to make your penguin a friend.