Ghost shoes are the more ethereal version of the shoes that get tossed onto telephone wires. These are solar-powered and so they charge every day to glow every night.
Dedicated to Paul.
Step 1: Hack Up a Garden Light
I bought six garden lights for $10 and proceeded to chop them down to the bare essentials. All I wanted was the solar panel, the circuitry, and the battery. The LED is going to get tossed so don't worry about how bright it is at first.
Step 2: Glue in the Battery
These lights are meant to get bounced around and tossed so you want the battery snug in its spot. Grab a glue gun and secure it in there.
Step 3: Replace the LED With a Better One
Chop off the LED and solder in a more efficient diffused one.
Step 4: Start Making Some Shoes
This method of tape-castng has been used by artists such as Mark Jenkins to cool effect and it's extremely easy to do.
Start off by wrapping your shoes with plastic wrap. Make sure you pull it tight and get all around.
Step 5: Wrap With Packing Tape
Now, with some clear packing tape, you're going to wrap the shoes again. Make sure to get a couple layers off the stuff all round. Again, make sure to keep it nice and tight.
Step 6: Cut Yourself Out
Take an X-acto blade and cut down the top of the shoe. You should now be able to get the shoes out. This is easier if you're not wearing the shoes any more.
Step 7: Reseal the Shoes
Take some more packing tape and seal the tops of the shoes again.
Step 8: Shoelace Panels
To be shoes, these will need laces with a good and sturdy connection to the shoe. I cut out some clear pieces of acrylic and drilled a couple holes for the nylon rope to go through.
With these done, insert them inside the shoe and tape them down.
Step 9: Insert the Light Kit Into the Shoe
Place the light kit inside the shoe and tape it up one last time.
Step 10: Tie the Shoes Together
Tie the laces together so you have some ghost shoe bolas ready to go.
Step 11: Throw 'em Over!
These shoes are a little sturdier than I imagined and they can be thrown. The best method I've found is to toss them overhand at a wire.
So go find a street with some wires that is also sufficiently dark. These LEDs are bright, but at 20 feet up they can get lost in the streetlight wash so do a bit of legwork to find an ideal spot.
Many thanks to Tim, Miriam, and Miles who helped me with the inaugural shoe toss.
Step 12: Make Them With Kids!
Vera in the Netherlands recreated the Ghost Shoes with a big group of kids. You can see the class page here. Be sure to click "show normal version" on the top right for easier reading.