How-To: Indestructible, Floating LED Lanterns

Indestructible LED from MAKE Volume 30

Indestructible LED from MAKE Volume 30

Steve Hoefer likes to wander the aisles of the hardware store in his spare time, always on the lookout for that something something that strikes his fancy. He may not need it for a current project, but it’s bound to come in handy sometime. When he spotted some curious PVC caps and plugs that fit together into little airtight pods, he didn’t know they’d end up on the pages of MAKE Volume 30 as the basis for his Indestructible LED Lanterns project.

From his intro:

The result: simple, rugged, floating LED lanterns that glow for days. They’ve survived being submerged for a week, frozen, and laundered in the washing machine. I even hit one with the lawn mower, and it still works. When they get dirty, just hose them off.

Just in time for summer gatherings (and mischief), you can whip up a set of these lanterns in no time. Check out Steve’s how-to on page 132 of Volume 30, and right here on Make: Projects.

Look for Volume 30, hitting newsstands on April 24. Or, if you’re a subscriber (thanks! we love you!), it’s likely in your hands as we speak.

Frozen Indestructible LED from MAKE Volume 30

From the pages of MAKE Volume 30:

MAKE Volume 30Until recently, home automation was gimmicky, finicky, and user-hostile. But today, thanks to a new crop of devices and technology standards, home automation is useful, fun, and maker-friendly. In the special section of MAKE Volume 30, we’ll show you: how to flip any switch in your home with a smartphone, home automation without programming, controlling your HVAC with an Arduino, a webcam security system, and a wall-mounted Notification Alert Generator (NAG) that plays timely reminders as you walk by. Plus, you’ll build a Yakitori Grill, a robust R/C flying-wing airplane, sturdy furnishings from PVC, and more!


6 thoughts on “How-To: Indestructible, Floating LED Lanterns

  1. Alex says:

    No love for digital subscribers? When will it be available online?

    1. Goli Mohammadi says:

      Hi Alex,

      The digital edition of Volume 30 is live now. Are you having problems accessing it?

      1. Alex says:

        Yep, definitely am.

        Normally I get an email saying it’s ready, but haven’t got that yet.

        If I go to I can’t see any references to it.

        On there is a thumbnail for 30, but no link like there is for all the back issues.

        Aha! If I go to – success!

      2. Goli Mohammadi says:

        Glad you could get access, Alex! Sorry, apparently it was a couple of days later than usual, but we’ve put a system in place to ensure that doesn’t happen again. Thanks for your support!

  2. Custom Built Exhibition Stand says:

    Custom Built Exhibition Stand

    How-To: Indestructible, Floating LED Lanterns | MAKE

  3. Make: Inventions "Etch A Sketch" | Make: says:

    […] problem solver.” He has contributed projects to the pages of MAKE, including his Indestructible LED Lanterns, Secret-Knock Gumball Machine, and Haptic Wrist Rangefinder. We’re thrilled to have him […]

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

View more articles by Goli Mohammadi


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).