In a brilliant combination of old craftsamnship and new technology, Spencer shows off some leather cufflinks that have embedded EL panels. Spencer had a friend with a laser cutter that was going fairly unused. He really wanted to play with cutting leather on it, so this project was born.


He started by drawing up the iconic Space Invaders pixel art in illustrator. Then, they started burning leather with a laser. Apparently it took a bit of trial and error to keep the laser from completely burning away the little borders between the pixels. He then made an EL panel sandwich between two layers of leather. The laser cut one facing outward and a nice soft layer against your skin.

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Spencer has been experimenting with some interesting combinations of video game imagery and leather for a while now on his Etsy shop, but this appears to be his first foray into adding electronics into the mix. I would easily call this a success. If you’d like to see more of the work, including some really beautiful laser etched leather that doesn’t include elctronics, you can find tons of pictures on his facebook page.


Caleb Kraft

Caleb Kraft

Community Editor for Make:
I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

I’d always love to hear about what you’re making, so send me an email any time at [email protected]

  • LiquidBeef

    Sweet! This would make for some interesting LARP / CosPlay / Ren Faire garb.

  • rijalmrq


  • PaulKinsky

    Are those EL panels? I don’t see any power source & on etsy it’s described as glow-in-the-dark.

    • thestorm7777777

      My thoughts exactly! What magic is this, that he’s not showing a power supply?!?!

      • Exponentially Awesome

        Hi Guys. There are 2 different versions, one uses a super bright, glow in the dark material and the other uses EL panels, you can see the inverter in pictures here
        I also did a pretty in-depth write up of the build process here:

        • thestorm7777777

          Wow!!! I totally missed that pic of the inverter before! That’s so perfect!!! Thank you! These are absolutely brilliant!

          • Exponentially Awesome

            Thanks! They where a lot of fun to make.