Picture of Kids
This instructable will show you how to build a spaceship control panel prop for young kids from inexpensive, readily-available materials.  The interactive light-up panel adds a little excitement to those cardboard "spaceships" that seem to appear after you buy some large appliance.

Qty-2    8x10 Plexi Sheet (0.093" thick) (Available at HW stores for <$2
Qty-3ft   1x2 Pine (preferrably the higher grade that has square edges, this makes the frame look
                 better than if you use the more common rounded-edge 1x2's)
Qty-9  Single-pole (SPST) toggle switches
Qty-16  Red/Green flashing LEDs
Qty-4    Automotive (12v) paddle switches
               (mine were lighted, but that's not really necessary)
Qty-8    12V LED Panel lights
Qty-1    LM7805 voltage regulator
Qty-8   390ohm 1/4watt resistors
Qty-1    9V battery clip

Aluminum Duct Sealing Tape
18-20gauge wire
solder + Soldering iron (15-30w)

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Step 1: Build the Frame

Picture of Build the Frame
The supporting frame is built out of 1x2s and 1 1/2" screws.  (Yes, the carpenters among you can cringe and wish I'd built a better-looking  frame.  Not to worry, this all gets covered up with aluminum tape, so these corners won't show).  Note that frame is size just a tiny bit larger than the 8x10 plexi sheet itself.
TurdFurgasen5 months ago

I can't seem to find the right 12v panel lights. Can you recommend the place you got them?

ARJL (author)  TurdFurgasen5 months ago
Hard to find! can see why you had problems finding this.
Anything that operates on 9-12v and is roughly 12mm round will work and "look right". You would just have to adjust the sizes of holes you drill, and adjust them in the powerpoint template i provided also. The ones I bought were ~$4 each.
Search EBAY for "round "indicator light" 12v led to find more.

Here's one that's very similar, but you have to buy 15 to get good price:

Here are some examples- 1 is very similar but more $$$, the others would also work.
Also look cool:

ARJL (author)  TurdFurgasen5 months ago
Let me have a look. I got them from a local store. The search term would be "12v LED panel light". I'll respond in a little while when I find an equivalent online supplier.
TurdFurgasen ARJL5 months ago
That would be great! Thank you.
sarahmh1 year ago
Is there any way I could purchase one of these from you - I am not very handy and LOVE this for my son's space room?
inezneal2 years ago
ok so for the panel .we buy the the plexi and then send it through a printer with that layout pdf? is that how you got the picture on the plexi?
ARJL (author)  inezneal2 years ago
You don't print directly on the plexi. At office supply stores you can find clear sheets with sticky back to print on. You can then peel off the back and stick it on to the plexi.
inezneal ARJL2 years ago
thank you for responding. im serious about attempting this .
ARJL (author)  inezneal2 years ago
One other comment. I printed on translucent sheet and affixed them to the "front" side of the plexi. In retrospect, I should have taken regular WHITE "letter-size self-adhesive laminating sheets" (like by Avery or Post-It) and put the (reversed image) sheet on the BACK of the plexi. That way the shiny side is on the front, and the printed sheet is protected...
ARJL (author)  inezneal2 years ago
Good luck! it's a neat toy, a particularly good starter. I had intended to make other panels and put them together into a rocket mockup, but my kid's interests went another direction.
chipper353 years ago
Nice!! I've been looking for something like this!!
Ddraig4 years ago
You could add one of these cards to it and properly wire it up and it would work as a usb joystick on the computer. Then you could use something like pinnacle game profiler to set the buttons to run various computer commands.
Wasagi4 years ago
I would love to make one of these and mount it on my wall, all I need is some better soldering experience and a run to the shops!
ARJL (author)  Wasagi4 years ago
Fortunately, there are instructables for that too!
Wasagi ARJL4 years ago
 haha, yep!
great writeup! looks like the kids will have a blast with that
ARJL (author)  xerodesolate5 years ago
Thanks!  It's ultimately planned to be 1 of 3 panels on a larger frame.  This was the easiest of the 3 since it doesn't have a microcontroller on it.
pun intended