Make Your Own Custom Glowing Etches




About: Hi, I'm Ben. I like mechanical engineering, and using free stuff/"junk".

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

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Step 1: 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

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

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....

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!

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!
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    13 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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


    11 years ago on Introduction

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


    11 years ago on Introduction

    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)


    11 years ago on Introduction

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

    instructable plexi2 001.jpg