Introduction: Make an L.E.D Emblem Light!

How to make this cool L.E.D lit emblem using a sheet of acrylic. You can also watch the video for more guidance.

What you need

Thick A5 sheet of clear acrylic plastic.

Base - I used the lid from a Lego box

Strip of colour changing L.E.Ds

Hot glue

Stencil of emblem or custom stencil

Rotary tool with attachments

Step 1: The Base

Picture of The Base

The A5 sheet of acrylic (plexiglass) I purchased from ebay. It's 2cms thick so I found a Lego box lid for the base. I used this because its hollow underneath and simple to cut using a knife. I chopped a strip out of the centre so it was thick enough to hold the acrylic. I also mad ridges at either side so the acrylic would slot in.

Step 2: Carving the Design

Picture of Carving the Design

I used a batman stencil for the design but you could easily create your own custom stencil. I taped the stencil to the acrylic and placed it down on a soft surface to prevent the back of the acrylic from scratching. I used a rotary tool to carefully etch the acrylic. I used a rounded pointy end piece in the tool for the out line and a the sphere end piece to colour in the design. It will take a while to completely fill the design. You don't need to carve to deep. Just enough to rough up the acrylic so the design looks etched.

Step 3: Adding the L.E.Ds

Picture of Adding the L.E.Ds

Once I finished the engraving I placed the base on to the acrylic and stuck it in place with hot glue. For the illumination, I'm used a mains powered strip of colour changing L.E.Ds I have loads of these left over from previous projects. I chopped off a small strip and stuck them directly under the acrylic with a few blobs of hot glue. I also used a curved file to file out a groove for the mains wire to fit through the back of the base. Simple!

Step 4: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

Watch the video here-

There we have it! A cool lit up acrylic emblem!

Have fun and be creative!


pachytrance (author)2015-12-29


txcoder (author)2015-12-08

If it doesn't have to be "deep", just roughed up a bit, why can't you just attach the vinyl stencil with craft paste and etch the design in with a craft media blaster?

brad.spiszer (author)2014-12-03

Great Instructable. I'm thinking of making one of these myself, except I'm planning on using one of those acrylic displays (like for baseballs) and doing the display on all four you think that would work? Thanks

Azza_12 (author)2014-11-27

I'm going to make this but i cant find any acylic can anybody send me a link or tell me a website to where i can find some


Vincent20130401 (author)2014-11-05

I like it.

claire.richardson.71 (author)2014-10-09

What type of connector is it to the LEDs? Where can I find that? VERY COOL PROJECT

Mrdewdew (author)2014-10-08

Might have to make one of these with a heart for the GF! Nice job!

Roland S (author)2014-10-06

cool I will have to try this so you can use any emblem?

Erchan (author)2014-10-06

I just voted this cool project. is there any probability to using leds with batteries?

I mean to try for wall decoration.

dguinn2 (author)2014-10-03

nice idea. bet you could get the same effect using another etching method. for example acid or sandblast, might save some production time.

Bowtie41 (author)dguinn22014-10-05

I agree.I've made several similar projects using a sandbalster.Anything to make the surface opaque works,even steel wool or fine sandpaper sanding in small circles works well.

jtmcdole (author)dguinn22014-10-05

I was going to say sandblast as well as use two piece of media so the etch floats in the middle. Nice job by OP!

askjerry (author)dguinn22014-10-05

Sandblast would work, as would a chemical enchant such as a mild solvent. Acid however would likely not do much to plastic... that's why acid ships in plastic containers. A laser engraver or CNC machine would also work well. (I've used both)

One thing I would look for, some of these LED strips produce heat and have adhesive backing... they should be adhered to a strip of metal to dissipate the heat. I've built things like this with LED strips... and the LEDs will fail as they do not get proper cooling. It only takes about 1mm of metal to dissipate the heat... a thin strip of circuit board will even work... but solid metal is better.

Ward_Nox (author)dguinn22014-10-03

or even just some sand paper

DaniH10 (author)2014-10-05

Hey Man this looks awesome and is quite possibly a gift for some of my friends in the future, just a quick question about how much does the entire thing cost? under $30 would be desirable for me but I fully understand if it's over that.

BastardlyDungeon (author)DaniH102014-10-05

I bought my acrylic from lowes for like $3 for the sheet. The rotary tool I got from Radioshack for about $30

BastardlyDungeon made it! (author)2014-10-05

Woo! This was LOADS of fun to make! I actually want to mount mine with colored LED's to shine against a wall as an imagine projection. I couldn't take a picture of that, since I was using my phone to project - but it looks PHENOMENAL

AK47_4Every1 (author)2014-10-05

simple & effective = perfect

yellowcatt (author)2014-10-05

If you were to have a weather proof housing you could make an illuminated house sign.

You could even include a small solar cell and rechargeable batteries.

techno man (author)2014-10-03

boubou_360 (author)2014-10-03


joaoduarte (author)2014-10-03

pretty awesome, I might make one :D

mascroft (author)2014-10-03

Awesome! Is the etched design on the front or back?

soheil feizi (author)2014-10-03

nice job

saqlainmushtaq (author)2014-10-03

great job

raptor_demon (author)2014-10-03

very cool, i am considering this using a laser cutter.

azharz (author)2014-10-03

Very nicely done! You earned a follower!

goldlego (author)2014-10-01

That's awesome! You did a fantastic job! It seems simple enough to do... I may have to try this sometime!

mist8k (author)goldlego2014-10-02

Thanks! yes, give it a go!

marcoboers (author)2014-10-01

Incredible how you got the surface roughened up so nice and evenly with the rotary tool. I think I will try it for myself ;)

MicioGatta (author)2014-10-01

Great! I really like to do this. Not Batman. Star Trek, X-Files, Cats, Astronomy or something else, but it's great :) Fav!

tomatoskins (author)2014-10-01

Well that turned out looking great! I've always wanted to make an edge lit display. I'll definitely keep your design in mind!

About This Instructable




Bio: I make science and how to videos on the interwebs. youtube-
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