- 2x EL panel
- 2x tiny inverters-- either coincell or 1xAAA type, with batteries
- 2x small pieces of fabric to secure inverters
- plain thread and sewing needle
- sharp craft knife and cutting mat
- sharp scissors
- metal ruler
- vector graphics software (like Illustrator or Inkscape) to aid in design (optional)
- plain copy paper
- high-top Converse sneakers
Round All Star
We chose to make a circle with vector graphics software, but you could also draw one with a compass.
Find the phosphor side of the EL panel-- it has a plastic overlay you should leave in place.Trace the circle onto the plastic overlay with marker near where the panel's wires connect.
Sometimes the edge of cut EL panel can give you a little electric shock when you touch it-- you can optionally seal the edge with clear nail polish or the craft glue you'll use in a later step. This will also help make the shoe mod more durable.
You can use the star tool in Illustrator-- while holding down the mouse button you can use the up and down arrow keys to change the number of points in the star, and also hold down the 'alt' key for a star with parallel lines.
Remove the vinyl's backing and stick the star to the phosphor side of the EL panel. Pay attention to the wire connector on your EL panel-- it should face up toward the top of the shoe when you stick the star.
Plug in your inverter and test that your EL panel lights up.
Carefully place the EL panel on the glue and pinch to the shoe for 1 minute for good adhesion before allowing to fully dry for 24 hours. You can use clothespins as tiny clamps.
Skip to the "Inverter & Battery" page to complete your modded shoes.
Rubber Star Badge
Use a seam ripper or small pair of scissors to cut the threads holding the rubber star badge to the shoe.
Then use a sharp craft knife to carefully cut out the star from the center of the rubber badge.
Inverter & Battery
Secure the wire leading from the inverter down the tongue of the shoe in the same manner as you did the wire from the EL panel. Plug the cables together and tuck the junction between the laces and check for a comfortable fit.
A 1.5" circle of EL panel is about as much as this tiny coincell inverter can power at once, and the battery life is about an hour before noticeable dimming. You can increase battery life by upgrading to the 1xAAA inverter (which is only marginally bigger but a little heavier) or try making cutouts where the EL panel is not used (less panel = longer glowing).
This guide was first published on May 14, 2013. It was last updated on May 14, 2013.