Hey there! This instructable will walk you through the steps to make an awesome light up fanny pack (or backpack, purse, etc.). It's very cost effective and takes less than 30 minutes. If you're looking for something cool and unique for festivals and parties, read on! See it in action here:
- A clear fanny pack or bag of your choice
- A string of LED fairy lights
- A hot glue gun
- Stiff fabric or felt
- Tulle, netting, or sheer fabric
Here are some links to the fanny pack and LED lights that I used in case you want to go for the same ones exactly:
When choosing LEDs, I went with these because of how soft the flash settings are (not strobe) and how compact the battery pack is. You can really use anything you like, including some packs that have remote controls which are fun - but most other varieties will mean you're carrying around a bit more weight.
Step 1: Measure Your Back on the Stiff Fabric or Felt
Line up the front of your bag with the stiff material and cut the material to shape. You can trace the outline first to get it just right and trim until it fits just inside the pocket and along the front inner surface. This fabric will keep the lights separate from what you keep in the bag, and also prevent people from seeing your personal items inside.
When you have cut out your piece of fabric, lay several layers of the tulle, netting, or see through fabric on top. You can really use any kind of fabric for both of these steps since the material of the fanny pack will hide it almost entirely. Use enough layers of the tulle to cover up the wiring connecting the lights a bit so that they do not obviously show through the fanny pack until they're on - this makes for a much more polished look and slightly diffuses the brightness of the lights. Glue the tulle to the thick fabric around all edges except for the top/zipper edge - you'll use this opening to slide the lights into the pocket you've created. By not sealing the edge, you'll be able to swap out the lights for different kinds to get different effects or replace broken ones.
If you want to save some time, you can skip adding the tulle and just glue the thick fabric into the fanny pack to make a small light compartment. Otherwise, glue the whole pocket with the hot glue gun to the inner seams of the fanny pack along the front surface.
Step 2: Insert the LEDs and Tuck the Battery Pack Into the Bag
Now that you have your pocket attached to the inside of the fanny pack, you can tuck the battery pack and switch into the regular pouch of the fanny pack. This will let you easily turn it on and off and make it invisible from the outside.
That's it! You've made an awesome bag that will surprise and delight. LEDs like this are very energy efficient, so you should get a good 8 hours or more out of the batteries, but it's always a good idea to bring a spare set since they're so small. If you give this a shot, please post pictures and let me know how it goes!