Picture of How To Make Two Daft Punk Outfits with Helmets
For my 30th Birthday I decided to have a D-Themed costume party, my girlfriend Kylie and I decided that we would go as Daft Punk. The costumes were quite involved to make, but we had lots of fun and they looked great!

We used a lot of resources from the internet, including a great article on how to stitch EL wire into clothes that I found here: http://www.instructables.com/id/how-to-add-EL-wire-to-a-coat-or-other-garment/.

I also learned a lot about prototyping boards (particularly the Arduino, and its clone the Seeeduino) and really enjoyed tinkering around with LED Arrays, learning the difference between common cathode and common anode, figuring out how breadboards work, and just generally collecting heaps of post at work from various electronics and EL wire companies.

Here's a few videos showing the final result, so you can decide whether you want to bother reading any further:

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
Quite a few bits and bobs went into the outfits, here's a list of what we used.

Before you start, I'd recommend finding a talented, amazing girlfriend who can sew 100m of fishing wire and 75m of EL wire into two outfits and have the result look just like the Daft Punk originals. You can't have mine though.


1. Two Pairs of Jeans.
2. Two Jackets.
3. One Black Fabric Dye Pack.
4. 65m of EL Wire, cut to different lengths and pre-soldered to order.
5. Four KL10 Power Packs for the EL Wire.
6. Four 1.5m EL Wire Extension Wires.
7. Four 1-3 EL Wire Splitters.
8. 100m of Fishing Wire.
9. Two Blunt Sewing Needles.
10. One Box of Plasters.
11. Four 9v (PP3) Batteries.


1. Two Black Box WIred Motorcycle Helmets.
2. Two Black Visors (not street legal in the UK).
3. Two 5m Lengths of EL Wire, pre-soldered to order.
4. Two KH4 Battery Packs for the EL Wire.
5. Two Seeeduino (Arduino clone) Prototype Boards.
6. Two Max7221 LED Control Chips.
7. Two Breadboards.
8. Two 8x8 RGB Common Anode (Cathode would have been better) LED Arrays.
9. Two Handfuls of Jumper Wires.
10. Four AA Batteries.

I will upload the code I wrote for the Arduino that controls the LED array so you can use that too if you like. Even if you want to change the display it's probably easier to start with something that works already.
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hailton11 months ago

Hi, friend.

how do I do so that the image is rendered in 4 Led Matrix 8x8 with 4 MAX7219?

I'm going to get lucky
Thanks for the inspiration guys! I went a slightly different direction from your instructions. Instead of the LED control chips, I bought a LCD Backpack from sparkfun.com. It's expensive ($60) but saved me a lot time in wiring it all together since all I needed was 5 jumper wires. I think it's coming up nicely (looks crooked but that's because I'm still tweaking the program and haven't taped it in yet):
hey let me buy one if you have another 1, russiankin@gmail.com
Edit: that would be a LED matrix with backpack: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/760
derektroywest (author)  br0ken_shad0w3 years ago
Wow, the helmet looks great dude. Send me a video once you get it all going!!
Da_Fudge4 years ago
Your guide inspired me to make a similar thing for my grade 11 formal. We ordered 16 MAX7219's, 16 Red LED Matrix's, a heap of batteries, 2 Arduino's, but only 20m of wire (10 red, 10 blue).

I wish we had have bought more wire, as we ran out, only being able to just outline everything. We also went to the op-shop and bought some second hand dinner suits, and put our wire on those. We ran out of time to finish them properly, and didn't even manage to get any of the matrix's hooked up and working. On the afternoon of the formal, we threw together a night rider scanner and sound sensitive jaw of LED's.

I WILL be rebuilding these, using the matrix's, more wire, and maybe even some sequencing...

Thank's for the inspiration!
derektroywest (author)  Da_Fudge4 years ago
Great job mate! Looks like you guys bossed it..
joehudy4 years ago
can some one make a patern for el's fore a little kid hotwheels car
nin4344 years ago
please can u tell me where i can find a helmet like thomas bangalter, i really cant find any, and if u can, ill buy a full daftpunk suit from u, name your prise!! T_T
jensenr304 years ago
bandgeekzak4 years ago
About how much did this cost? and i am only looking to make one costume. Guy's to be exact. so i just need a rough estimate of the cost.
derektroywest (author)  bandgeekzak4 years ago
Hey dude, I'm pretty sure the costumes were about £400 each, all electronics and stuff included.
tobymac9874 years ago
Hey buddy I just had a quick question. I am about to start working on this but was wondering. I am only making 1 costume right now. So how many feet of EL wire would I need for just 1 do you think? I know in the instructions you say 65M or el wire that rounds out to like 234 feet is that right or am i mis-understanding. I only ask because that seems like alot.
derektroywest (author)  tobymac9874 years ago
Hello mate,

It does sound like a lot but I'm pretty sure I bought 70m (it was a while ago now) and we used at least 65 of it. That's about 32.5m per costume.

You could probably use somewhere around 25m per costume, but it really tends to go quickly when you're winding it around and making patterns on the sleeves, legs, etc.

Good luck!
laurieann4 years ago
Thanks for the instructable! I made a Daft Punk jacket for Halloween. Was super fun, and I made it so everything can blink or be constant.
derektroywest (author)  laurieann4 years ago
Wow! That jacket looks amazing.
finfan76 years ago
It would be awesome to put an LED equaliser in the visor of one of the helmets.
agent finfan75 years ago
When I make my suit (with several arduinos for 4 LED matrices) I'll try to do this! What I want to include is an MP3 (or maybe just Aux input) player in it. The equalizer idea isn't too bad :D
I second that motion.
I concur.
I finally have the means to actually do it, I'm finally going to start.
mspark400 agent4 years ago
You can also chain several (up to 8 at least?) max27xx chips together very easily for multiple displays. One thing to consider however is your current draw from multiple displays(on a full on intensity image, the ma's add up significantly).
Best of luck to you.

Umm can you put some pictures of the helmets to see how they turned out.
nin4345 years ago
how much will all of this cost... coz it looks like alot and im not that rich im just 13 years old
do i need to solder this at all??
derektroywest (author)  wannaburst275 years ago
 I didn't solder anything, instead I just incorporated the breadboards into the final helmets.

Would I have to use both the Arduino and the Seeeduino, or can I just use the Arduino?

derektroywest (author)  bp-builder-245 years ago
 The seeeduino is just a smaller arduino clone, it's exactly the same thing. I just used Seeduino's when I build the helmets. (One for each helmet).
J who5 years ago
 Where did you guys get the jacket that looks like theres i need to know please.
clonaciano5 years ago
how much would be the total cost for the two outfits and helmets with the EL wire and LED. Pleace respond me.
Oh!!! and by the way, it looks AWESOME!!!!!!!!!
mjlynch7125 years ago
For the EL wire, how long did each battery last for?
Vables5 years ago
How much did the EL wire cost? i leave near that shop so i was thinking of going down soon, i just wanna know how much im looking at before i go down lol.
Vables Vables5 years ago
i meant live..... sorry
I'm interested in building the helmet. Do I need to buy the breadboard for constructing the LED display?
derektroywest (author)  TheSuperSoap5 years ago
 Well you probably don't have to, breadboards just make it easier to join pins together without soldering things. You could just wire it all up without the breadboard, it's probably a bit strange to use a breadboard in a final product but I'm not very good with soldering or wiring stuff up, it was a bit of a cheat.
alright thanks! I'm not good at soldering either, so I'll follow your instructions with the breadboard.
borregotv5 years ago
just want to make sure one thing is it really 65 METERS????!?!?  are you sure?!?! thats a lot and to long, well for me; but anyways are you really sure its 65 meters?

derektroywest (author)  borregotv5 years ago
 Yeah we bought 70m for two outfits, so 35m each. I know it sounds like a lot. I think we had about 10m left over, and you could probably use less. But I reckon you're looking at 20m per outfit at least.
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