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DIY: Glowing Heels On the Go - Rodarte Style

After seeing Rodarte's light-up heels early this morning, I decided to make some for myself. The task seemed simple enough, but I think I over extended my schedule and didn't realize how little time I had to give to this project today. Anyway, I promised a DIY by the end of the day and here it is. With only an hour to do a light test and take photos with my iPhone, I was able to make a slipcover for the heel of my shoe with embedded light. The concept works, but it still needs tweaking for it to pass the fashion police. So...I promise to work on this during the coming weekend and add instructional photos and graphics for an easy DIY everyone can do. Stay tuned for updates!


  • Pair of high heeled shoes
  • Scissors
  • 2 colored LEDs (must run on 2.8- 3V)
  • Hearing Aid Batteries (size 10)
  • 5mm Heat Shrink Tubing
  • 4 Magnetic jewelry clasps (flat on both ends)
  • Conductive thread/or thin conductive wire
  • Fabric (pick one with a good translucency for the light)
  • Paper and pencil
  • Needle, Thread & Fabric Pins

 Step 1: Make a pattern for the height and width of your shoe heels with paper and pencil. Make one pattern for the back of the shoe and one for the heel itself.


Step 2: Cut the pattern out of your fabric and sew it with the right sides together to make the heel slipcover. 

Step 3:  If you do not have a sheer fabric or one that lets light out easily, remove some of the threads on the warp of the fabric so that your light can shine through. In the picture below, I pulled out the black threads from the back and left room for the LED to shine through the front of the fabric.

Step 4: Sew on the battery pack with conductive thread to the wrong side of your fabric. Be sure that it is on the inside of the heel and protected against the elements as best you can. (The battery pack instructions are in the the Basic Section of Switch Craft. The packs are made of magnetic clasps, hearing aid batteries, and heat shrink tubing)

Step 5: Sew on your LED by twirling the legs and sewing on the corresponding + and - sides from the battery pack. This should light your LED!

Step 6: Stitch a small bit of ribbon to the bottom of your heel sleeve to cover and protect any stray threads. Then, sew a length of ribbon (about 10") to the top of your heel sleeve. Tie the ribbon around your ankles and leave!

When your LEDs burn out, you can make another battery pack or just wear the heel sleeve as a design element.



I love it! Going to make a pair for comic con. Pix will be coming!

Monday, June 28, 2010 - 00:40

A new post is up with much better information, check it out Here:

I have a professional shot of the shoes, just need the photographer to send it over :)

Alison Lewis

Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 14:55

um, think you could take some better pictures?

Friday, March 12, 2010 - 16:26