Introduction: Make Your Own Custom Glowing Etches

Picture of Make Your Own Custom Glowing Etches

I will be showing people how to make a glowing design track-board-thing with only a few things. The idea for this came from this instructable by SLIMGUY379

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

1. Some 1/4 inch(or thicker but 1/4" is best) plexi glass. You will only need 1.5"/1.5" pieces
2. LEDs. Small 1/8" ones. Any color.
3. A sharp pointy object
4. A paint stirrer or other piece of wood/plastic 1/8" thick.
5. some conductive tape. Aluminum foil and glue should work.
6. 1/8" drill bit and drill
7. Power supply right for the LEDs you have. I used a 4.5v wall transformer and a 100 ohm resistor.

Step 2: Make the Stand

Picture of Make the Stand

1. Put some conductive tape on either side of the paint stick/other object. (going across the long way on the biggest sides towards one medium sized side of the stick/other object.)


3. clean up.

4. Find a way to make it stand up with the taped edge up. For now I'm using a vice.

5. Hook up a power supply to the two pieces of tape. (+) to one side and (-) to the other.

Step 3: Carve the Plexi Glass

Picture of Carve the Plexi Glass
Use the sharp pointy tool to carve your design into the plexi glass. It doesn't have to be deep. I have a few tips for this process.

  • To separate the paper from the plexi glass easier, soak them in citri-solve for a minute or so.
  • Put a picture under the glass.
  • Have only one light on when you are carving.
  • line up the shadow of the tip of the carving tool with the line on the paper you want to carve.

Step 4: Drill....

Picture of Drill....

Drill a 1/8th hole in the bottom of your design. Doesn't need to be very deep. This step can be done at any time...

Step 5: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!
Put the LED into the hole in the plexi glass and put the whole thing on the stand. Enjoy!

  • Try different colored LEDs
  • Take pictures of your designs and post them in comments!


tgiv014 (author)2009-03-25

I want to see if i can use my schools CNC mill to etch something in a plexiglass panel, not sure if they'd let me, but it'd would be pretty clean and look a little nicer.

benthekahn (author)tgiv0142009-03-25

Yeah, I have never been that good at drawing or related things such as etching small, intricate designs, but a CNC mill is good at that.

tgiv014 (author)benthekahn2009-03-26

I can barely even draw, and I know a knife and plexiglass would make that even worse for me. But I love the concept.

frikkie (author)2008-10-03

I think if one uses an negative off an photo to etc on plastic.It would be like an negative off someone in colour.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-06-22

Nicely done. I'm definitely going to try this out soon, well, first I have to etch something, or find the thing that I got from somebody that looks like the first image. +5/5 stars. (added to favorites)

benthekahn (author)2008-06-18


=SMART= (author)2008-06-18

Dammit i need some plexiglass, when i get some ill do this, it looks very cool :D

bumpus (author)=SMART=2008-06-18

i need some aswell... OFF TO HOME DEPOT!!

=SMART= (author)bumpus2008-06-18

ill have to wait untill the weekend :(

bumpus (author)=SMART=2008-06-18

i have to wait till 6 o'clock :(

=SMART= (author)bumpus2008-06-18


=SMART= (author)=SMART=2008-06-18

5* + Favrouited too :P

tech-king (author)2008-06-18

also on the cool list, ible coming soon, is the long lost painted plexi etching technique.

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi, I'm Ben. I like mechanical engineering, and using free stuff/"junk".
More by benthekahn:Reflective Motorcycle Tiger StripesLeather Motorcycle Seat from a Leather JacketEasily Pay a Cash Toll on a Motorcycle
Add instructable to: