Introduction: Cool DIY Light Up Shoes

About: Roboticist and Tinkerer. Passionate mentor to some and mentee to others. Learner for life.

I made this project to teach young kids the concept of electricity and to show them how LEDs work. Turns out its a great way to start hands on with LEDs. So all you young makers sit tight and go through this short and easy to do instructable and I promise you will end up with a pair of really cool light up LED shoes in an hour or so. Since this is my first instructable ever, please point out any mistakes you find and I'll gladly rectify them.

The best part about this instructable is you do not need to be a rocket scientist to make it and you do not need any high end tools or equipment. All the stuff I've used is dirt cheap.

Step 1: List of Components and Tools

You will need:

  1. Wire
  2. 9V battery (with clipper) - 2pcs
  3. LED strips
  4. some masking tape (regular tape works well too)
  5. Solder iron and solder wire
  6. Wire cutter

Step 2: Cutting the LED Strips

This step is pretty easy. All you need to do is cut the led strips into equal lengths. Now when you start cutting them, you will notice that there are metallic solder pads and an SMD resistor after a regular number of LEDs probably after every 3rd LED. So remember to cut your strips in multiples of 3 LEDs. If you dont include the resistor your LEDs wont glow. Depending on your shoe size you can cut 3,6 or 9 LEDs per strip. Check the picture for a clear idea of how to cut it.

You'll need one strip for each side of the shoe. So if you want to make this for one pair of shoes you'll require 4 Led strips of equal length.

Step 3: Soldering the Wire

You'll want to setup your soldering iron and heat it up properly before this step! Soldering wires onto the solder pad was a pretty easy job. The best way to do it is to drop some solder onto the pad and then Reheat it with the iron and solder the wire onto it. If you're not too confident with soldering, please ask an adult to help.

Generally the right solder pad is the positive terminal and the left one is the negative or ground terminal. You'd want to solder the positive terminal of one led strip to the positive terminal of the other and the negative of one strip to the negative of the other. The length of the wire would be anything between 10-15cms depending on your shoe size and placement of LEDs

Once you're done connecting the strips you can take one of the clippers for the wire cutter and solder the red wire to one of the positive terminals of the LED and the black wire to the negative one. Test your connections by clipping on a 9V battery. Your LEDs should glow unless you have a loose connection or if you've got the polarity wrong.

Do the same for two more LED strips.

Step 4: Completing the Shoe

So now that you've got all your electronics working you can focus on sticking your LEDs on your shoe. The LED strip comes with 3M double sided tape on the back. All you need to do is peel off the sticker and stick the strips on either side of the shoe.

You can braid the wires together to make them look neat or you can cover them with masking tape and then make some cool doodles on it!

The 9V battery can either be strung at the back of the shoe with a small pouch that you can stitch out of scrap cloth or it can be pushed between your shoe lace and the tongue of the shoe. It can also be pushed into the side of your shoe if youre comfortable with that. Remember to power the LED strips on each shoe with a separate battery!

Happy Making :)

Make It Glow! Contest

Participated in the
Make It Glow! Contest