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Step-by-Step Guide: How to EL Wire – Master the Craft Easily!

by | Dec 30, 2023 | How To

Welcome to our step-by-step guide on how to EL wire! In this comprehensive tutorial, we will walk you through the process of planning, mock-up, layout, securing, and adding details to your EL wire installations. Whether you’re looking to create stunning costumes or add a unique touch to your car, mastering the craft of EL wiring has never been easier.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to plan your EL wire project by researching suppliers and selecting the right color and weight of wire.
  • Create a mock-up to visualize your design and determine the length of EL wire needed.
  • Strategically lay out the wire and secure it using appropriate techniques for optimal performance and visual impact.
  • Pay attention to the details of your installation, such as blocking out areas with matte black tape and customizing components.
  • Connect all the wires, test the battery packs, and experience the glowing effect of your illuminated masterpiece.

Step 1: Planning

Before diving into your EL wire project, it’s crucial to start with proper planning. Consider the following factors to ensure a successful installation:

  • Research and choose reliable EL wire suppliers that offer a variety of colors and options suitable for your project.
  • Take into account the color and brightness of the EL wire to match your desired aesthetic or theme, whether it’s for costumes, cars, or other creative endeavors.
  • Determine the requirements for your project, such as the length of wire needed and the capacity of battery packs, to ensure optimal performance.
  • Strategically plan the layout of the EL wire, considering how it will be secured and positioned to achieve the desired visual impact.

By carefully planning your EL wire project, you can ensure that you have the right materials and a solid foundation for a successful installation.

el wire planning

Choosing the Right EL Wire Suppliers

When it comes to selecting EL wire suppliers, it’s essential to choose reputable sources that offer high-quality products. Consider factors such as customer reviews, product variety, and pricing. Some popular and reliable EL wire suppliers include:

Supplier Website
Supplier A
Supplier B
Supplier C

By choosing reliable EL wire suppliers, you can ensure that you have access to a wide range of colors and options to bring your project to life.

Step 2: Mock-Up

Once you have completed the planning stage and gathered all the necessary supplies for your EL wire project, it’s time to move on to the mock-up phase. Creating a mock-up allows you to visualize your design and make any necessary adjustments before moving on to the actual installation.

To create a mock-up, you can use yarn or other materials to represent the EL wire. Start by laying out the yarn according to your planned design, making sure to include any bends, curves, or intersections that the EL wire will need to follow. This will help you determine the exact lengths of EL wire needed and ensure that your design will work as intended.

During the mock-up stage, it’s also important to consider the placement of battery packs and power supply. Make sure to position them in a way that is both convenient and secure. This will help you plan how and where to hide the battery packs during the installation process. Take the time to experiment with different placement options to find the most optimal solution for your particular project.

Remember, the mock-up stage is a crucial step in the EL wire installation process. It allows you to spot any potential issues or challenges before committing to the final installation. Take your time to make adjustments and refine your design until you are satisfied with the mock-up.

el wire project ideas

“I created a mock-up of my EL wire installation using yarn, and it made a world of difference. I was able to see exactly how the wires would connect and where the battery packs would go. It helped me determine the perfect lengths of EL wire needed for each section and made the installation process much smoother. I highly recommend taking the time to create a mock-up before diving into the actual installation.”

Table: Mock-Up Checklist

Mock-Up Checklist Notes
Plan the layout of the EL wire Consider the design and any bends, curves, or intersections
Position the battery packs Find convenient and secure placements
Experiment with different options Refine the design and make adjustments
Ensure the mock-up meets your vision Make changes until you are satisfied

Step 3: Layout

Once you have finalized the mock-up of your EL wire design, it’s time to move on to the layout stage. This step involves outlining the traces of the wire on the actual garments or surface and laying the EL wire in place. By carefully planning and executing the layout, you can ensure that the installation meets your vision and achieves the desired impact.

Start by using chalk to mark the desired path and placement of the EL wire. This will serve as a guide during the installation process. Take into consideration the design elements and any specific patterns or shapes you want to create. Visualize how the wire will interact with the overall composition and plan accordingly.

Once you have marked the traces, lay the EL wire along the designated path. Use tape or adhesive solutions to secure the wire in place temporarily. As you lay the wire, make adjustments as needed to achieve the desired layout and ensure that the wire is taut and free from any kinks or twists. Pay attention to the positioning of battery packs and any connectors that may be required to power multiple sections of EL wire.

During the layout stage, it’s important to take into account the colors of the EL wire and how they will work together to create the desired effect. Experiment with different combinations and arrangements to find the best visual harmony for your project. Once you are satisfied with the layout, proceed to the next step to secure the EL wire in place for a long-lasting installation.

el wire installation

Example Layout for EL Wire Costume

Component Color Placement
Gloves Blue Outline fingers and back of hand
Shirt Green Outline neckline and sleeves
Pants Red Along side seams
Shoes Yellow Outline the soles

Step 4: Securing the EL Wire

Now that you have laid out your EL wire according to your desired design, it’s time to secure it in place. Properly securing the EL wire ensures that it stays in position and maintains its visual impact throughout your costume or project. Here are some methods you can use to secure the EL wire:

Method 1: Hand-sewing

For the main body of your costume or project, you can hand-sew the EL wire into place using a whipstitch or another suitable technique. This method not only ensures that the wire is securely attached but also allows for flexibility in adjusting the wire if needed. Make sure to use a strong and durable thread that matches the color of your garment or surface to create a seamless look.

Method 2: Adhesive Solutions

For other components of your costume or project, such as helmets or accessories, you can use adhesive solutions to secure the EL wire. Products like Krazy Glue or fabric glue can be applied to the back of the wire and pressed onto the surface. This method is quick and easy, providing a strong bond between the wire and the material. Be sure to follow the instructions on the adhesive product carefully for best results.

When securing the EL wire, it’s important to space out your attachment points evenly along the wire to prevent any potential damage or disruption to the overall design. Additionally, be mindful of any areas where the wire may be subject to movement or rubbing, and reinforce those sections with extra stitching or adhesive for added durability. With the EL wire secured, your costume or project is one step closer to completion!

el wire installation

Method Advantages Disadvantages
Hand-sewing – Provides a secure attachment
– Allows for flexibility in adjustments
– Time-consuming
– Requires sewing skills
Adhesive Solutions – Quick and easy
– Strong bond
– Limited adjustability
– May not be suitable for all materials

Step 5: Details

When it comes to your EL wire installation, paying attention to the details can make a big difference in the final result. By adding some thoughtful touches and customizing certain elements, you can take your project to the next level. Here are some ideas to help you add those finishing details:

1. Block out areas with matte black tape

Using matte black tape, you can strategically block out certain areas of your design to create more user-friendly and visually appealing patterns. This technique can help enhance the overall look of your EL wire installation and make it stand out.

2. Ensure easy access to battery packs

While you want your EL wire to shine and be the star, it’s important to ensure that the battery packs are easily accessible. Consider hiding them from the front view, perhaps by attaching them to the back of your costume or using clever placement. This way, you can easily turn on and off the lights without any hassle.

3. Customize for specific components

If you’re adding EL wire to specific components like gloves or helmets, take the time to customize the installation for those items. Pay attention to the shape and size of the components, and carefully weave the wire around them to achieve the desired effect. This level of detail will make your project truly unique.

4. Finishing touches

To complete your EL wire installation, consider adding some finishing touches. You can create custom labels with the name of your project or iron-on transfers with fun designs. These small details will give your project a polished look and showcase your creativity.

el wire project ideas

By focusing on these details, you can elevate your EL wire project from ordinary to extraordinary. Utilize matte black tape, ensure easy access to battery packs, customize for specific components, and add those finishing touches. Remember to experiment and have fun with your designs. Let your creativity shine through!

Step 6: Turn Me On

Now that you have completed the installation and secured all the EL wires in place, it’s time to connect everything and bring your project to life. Follow these steps to turn on your EL wire creation:

  1. Double-check that all the wires are properly connected to their respective battery packs. Ensure that the positive and negative terminals are correctly aligned.
  2. Verify that the battery packs are functioning correctly. Check the power supply and make sure it is fully charged or has fresh batteries.
  3. Once everything is set up, turn on the EL wire by flipping the switch or pressing the power button on the battery packs.
  4. Step back and witness the mesmerizing glow of your illuminated masterpiece! Enjoy the vibrant colors and the stunning effect of the EL wire installation.

Whether you have created a costume, illuminated a car, or embarked on any other creative project, seeing your vision come to life is truly rewarding. Dance, move, and showcase your creation to the world!

Remember to handle the EL wire and battery packs with care. If you plan to wear the installation, ensure that everything is securely attached and comfortable to move around in. Safety should always be a priority when working with any electrical components.

Let Your Imagination Shine

With the power supply connected and your EL wire installation glowing brightly, you have successfully brought your project to completion. Now it’s time to let your imagination run wild and explore endless possibilities with EL wire. Here are a few project ideas to inspire your next creative endeavor:

  • Create an eye-catching light-up sign for your business or event.
  • Add a touch of magic to your dance performance with an illuminated costume.
  • Design a unique light installation for a festival or party.
  • Transform your bike or skateboard into a dazzling ride with EL wire accents.
  • Add a futuristic twist to your home decor with illuminated artwork or furniture.

The only limit is your imagination! Have fun exploring different ideas, experimenting with colors and layouts, and continue to refine your skills as you become an EL wire master.

Power Supply Tips Installation Tips
Regularly check the battery packs and replace batteries if needed. Securely fasten the EL wire at regular intervals to prevent damage or disruption.
Carry extra batteries or a backup power supply for longer events. Use adhesive solutions like Krazy Glue for non-fabric surfaces.
Keep spare connectors and wires on hand for quick repairs. Pay attention to detail, using matte black tape to block out specific areas.

Step 1: Measurements

When creating EL wire wings or other large-scale installations, accurate measurements are crucial to ensure a perfect fit. Start by sketching out the desired wing shape on A3 paper or a suitable material. Measure the length, width, and periphery of the wings to determine the exact dimensions. This step is essential to ensure that you have the correct amount of EL wire and supplies from reliable suppliers. Take your time with this step to avoid any issues during the construction process.

el wire for cars

Measurements play a crucial role in achieving the desired outcome for your EL wire wings. Make sure to choose the right EL wire suppliers that offer high-quality products to ensure the longevity and performance of your project. Taking accurate measurements will set the foundation for the rest of the construction process, allowing you to create stunning and well-fitting EL wire wings.

Now that you have the measurements, it’s time to move on to the next step: creating the iron base and covering for your EL wire wings.

Creating the Iron Base

To create the form of the wings, you’ll need thick and thin iron wire. Use the thick wire to shape the wings according to your measurements. Connect the different sections of the wire frame using the thin wire, securely fastening them together. Soldering or other suitable methods can be used to ensure a strong connection. The iron base provides the structure and stability for your EL wire wings, allowing them to maintain their shape.

Covering the Iron Base

Once the wire frame is complete, cover it with fabric using a sewing machine. Select a fabric that is durable and suitable for your desired wing design. Carefully sew the fabric around the wire frame, ensuring a tight and secure fit. This step not only adds an aesthetic layer to your EL wire wings but also helps protect the wire and improves overall durability.

With the iron base and covering in place, your EL wire wings are starting to take shape. In the next step, we will explore how to connect the wings to each other for a cohesive and functional final result.

Step 2: Iron Base and Covering

Creating the form of the wings for your EL wire installation requires a sturdy base and a covering to bring it to life. Start by using thick and thin iron wire to shape the wings and connect the pieces together. The thick wire will provide the structure while the thin wire will ensure a secure connection. Use suitable methods like soldering or wire twisting to secure the wires together, ensuring a stable and durable frame.

Once the wire frame is complete, you’ll need to cover it with fabric to give the wings a finished look. Using a sewing machine, carefully sew the fabric around the wire frame, making sure it is taut and wrinkle-free. Choose a fabric that suits your project, whether it’s a lightweight material for delicate wings or a sturdier option for larger installations. Take your time to sew the fabric evenly, ensuring a smooth and professional appearance.

With the base and covering complete, it’s time to add the EL wire to your wings. Start by manually sewing the EL wire around the wings using fish thread or other appropriate materials. Take care to follow the contours of the wire frame, creating an even distribution of illumination. Secure the EL wire at regular intervals to keep it in place and prevent any potential damage during wear. By sewing the EL wire onto the fabric covering, you can achieve a seamless integration of light and design.

Remember to take breaks and work in a well-lit and comfortable environment to ensure accuracy and precision in your iron base and covering process. With attention to detail and careful execution, you’ll be one step closer to transforming your vision into a stunning reality.

el wire installation

Step 3: Making the Wings to Each Other

Now that you have completed the iron base and covering of your EL wire wings, it’s time to connect them to each other to create a cohesive and wearable piece. To do this, you will need the back of an old backpack and some wires.

Weave the wires through the wings, connecting them securely. Ensure that the wires are tightly woven through the iron base to provide strength and stability. Use a glue gun to secure the back of the backpack to the wings, ensuring a strong bond. Allow the glue to dry completely before handling the wings to ensure they are securely attached to each other.

Once the wings are connected, take a moment to assess their movement. Gently move the wings to ensure they can open and close smoothly when worn. Make any necessary adjustments to the wires or glue to improve the flexibility and functionality of the wings. It’s important to ensure that they can move freely without any restrictions or limitations.

Table: Materials Used in Making the Wings

Material Quantity
Old backpack 1
Wires As needed
Glue gun 1

By following these steps, you have successfully connected the wings to each other, completing the construction of your EL wire wings. The wings are now ready for the final touches, such as adding feathers, to enhance their overall appearance and create a stunning visual effect.

Step 4: Feathers

Enhance the visual appeal of your EL wire wings by adding feathers. This step will bring an elegant and captivating touch to your project. To begin, gather the necessary materials including adhesive spray and a variety of feathers in different shapes and sizes.

Once you have the materials ready, carefully apply adhesive spray to the surface of the wings where you want to attach the feathers. Ensure that the entire area is covered with a thin layer of adhesive to ensure a secure bond.

Next, start adding the feathers to the wings, placing them one by one onto the adhesive-covered surface. Arrange them in a visually pleasing pattern, overlapping and layering them for depth and dimension. Take your time to ensure that each feather is securely attached.

After you have attached all the feathers, allow the adhesive to dry completely before handling the wings. This will prevent any feathers from becoming loose or falling off. Once dry, your EL wire wings will be transformed into a stunning masterpiece, ready to dazzle and impress.

Feather Selection Tips:

  • Choose feathers that are lightweight and compatible with the weight of the EL wire wings.
  • Experiment with different feather shapes, sizes, and colors to create a dynamic and eye-catching effect.
  • Consider using feathers with iridescent or metallic finishes to enhance the visual impact of the wings.
  • Ensure that the feathers are clean and free from any debris or imperfections before attaching them.

Final Thoughts

By following this step-by-step guide, you now have the knowledge and skills to create stunning EL wire installations. Whether it’s elaborate costumes, eye-catching car decorations, or any other creative project, the possibilities are endless. Let your imagination soar and bring your ideas to life with the mesmerizing glow of EL wire.


Congratulations on completing your EL wire project! With this step-by-step tutorial, you have learned how to install EL wire with ease. Whether you’re working on costumes, cars, or other creative ideas, you now have the knowledge and skills to bring your vision to life.

Throughout this tutorial, we covered the importance of planning and research, helping you choose the right EL wire and colors for your project. We also emphasized the significance of creating a mock-up to visualize your design and ensure a smooth installation process.

By following the layout and securing techniques discussed, you can achieve a professional-looking installation. Additionally, paying attention to the details and adding finishing touches will make your EL wire project truly impressive.

Now it’s time to turn it on and enjoy the mesmerizing glow of your creation. Get inspired, explore new ideas, and continue to master the craft of EL wiring. The possibilities are endless!


Where can I find affordable and well-reviewed EL wire products?

Research different suppliers to find affordable and well-reviewed EL wire products.

How do I choose the right color and weight of EL wire for my project?

Consider the desired color and weight of EL wire for your project and select accordingly.

What factors should I consider when planning the layout of my EL wire installation?

Consider the capacity of battery packs and how to strategically layout the wires for optimal performance and visual impact.

How can I visualize how the EL wires will connect and where the battery packs will be placed?

Create a mock-up of your design using yarn or other materials to visualize the connections and placement of the battery packs.

What methods can I use to secure the EL wire to my costume or surface?

Hand-sew the main body of the costume using a whipstitch or use adhesive solutions like Krazy Glue for other components.

How can I add finishing touches to my EL wire installation?

Consider using matte black tape to create user-friendly designs and add custom labels or iron-on transfers for additional details.

How do I test if my EL wire project is functioning correctly?

Ensure that all the wires are properly connected and that the battery packs are functioning correctly before turning on the EL wire.

How do I create accurate measurements for EL wire wings?

Use A3 paper or other suitable material to sketch out the desired wing shape and measure the length, width, and periphery.

What materials should I use to create the base and covering for EL wire wings?

Use thick and thin iron wire to create the base and cover it with fabric using a sewing machine.

How do I connect the wings to each other?

Use the back of an old backpack and wires to connect the wings, securing the backpack with a glue gun.

How can I add feathers to my EL wire wings?

Use adhesive spray to attach feathers securely to the wings, creating a stunning effect.

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