EL wire graduation dress

Close-up of EL wire

My sister wanted me to make her graduation dress. When talking about it I asked if she would like it to light up. After the initial “How would that work?” question and looking at pictures of EL wire she loved the idea. I proceeded to buy some samples of EL wire and tape from Adafruit to determine how exactly we would do it and what the design would be. We finally settled on a five color Celtic knot design using EL wire that would match a wrist tattoo she wanted to get. The next step was a trip to Metrix Create: Space to look at EL wire colors. From there we settled on green, red, blue, orange, and purple. We looked in to ordering EL wire from a local distributor but do to cost and simplicity of having ends already on the wires we went with Sparkfun. Initially the intent was to put the wire directly in the dress but later we decided that it would be better to make a separate “belt” with the wires.


Dress lit up (front)



In the end I had to redo one of the end splices and learned that they are actually very easy to do, especially when following the excellent tutorial at Adafruit.