Sneaker Display Case with LEDs - Completed!

This is a project I’m working on for the step-son of a good friend. His birthday is coming up, and he’s really into collecting Sneakers. They thought about buying him a sneaker display case they saw on Etsy, but I offered to make something custom. This display case is my own design, the colors chosen by them.

It’s given me the opportunity to learn a pile of new skills at once. This will be my first time working MDF with a cnc, cutting plexiglass with a cnc, etching plexi with a drag bit, using tee-mounding, wiring LEDs For edge lighting of plexi, sealing and finishing MDF, and probably a few other things.

Finished cutting all of the main shapes today except for the back panel. Next step is to slot-cut the edge of the shelves for tee molding and then start priming and sanding the panels. Ordered some plastic bits and will be cutting the plexi later in the week for the edgelit end-panels and swing-up doors. The shelves will also have led strips embedded.


Priming some of the components, but it’s getting late so I decided to play with the LEDs a little. No plexi in there yet but I think it’s gonna look pretty nifty.


Very nice. It will look great

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So… the controller for my LEDs failed. Cheap crap and I need something better quality. Does anyone have any favorites for LED suppliers?

I’ve gotten a few items from here


Finished the display case. Happy with the design, I think it looks pretty cool.

Not as pleased with the execution. Paint was an absolute nightmare, for one. Could have protected the plexi better too after it was cut… assembly was finicky and I had a bunch of touch-ups…

But I’ve l earned many things on this project and I’m thrilled with the experience it’s given me. While there are many things that I would do differently on the next go-around, it looks like it was designed, and I call it a win.

There are edgelit led’s at the ends, and lights in the top of each shelf, all are hidden decentlyl.

The one thing you don’t see are the plexi door fronts- they slide in grooves that are cut into the sides, and they have stainless bar handles on front, but I’ve left them off for transport. the paper is also still on the doors. I’m looking forward to a picture from the recipient, in-use with it fully set-up.

Anyway, pics:


Rob, thank you - I got my replacement lights from this company and was really happy with them. Good recommendation!


The recipient of the case sent me a photo of it in it’s new habitat.
He is thrilled, and I’m proud.


Professor Ecks,

Your grade is a well deserved A ! Congrats on your fine work.

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That really really looks better with all the paper off! +1

PS. Looks like the step-son is a younger person. I hope you built a deodorizer into it! :smiley:

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Haha! Yeah he’s in his late teens. But he’s a real sneaker head. The ones he’s got in this case are worth a few thousand from what I understand. I don’t know a single thing about collectible sneaker culture but I doubt there’s any chance these will ever need deodorizers. These shoes are treated with more care and reverence than just about anything I’ve ever owned. It’s kinda wild.

I hope they don’t end up like my shoe collection did. I had brand new shoes in my closet from 2006 and one pair of DVS shoes the foam sole material simply dry rotted and crumbled even though they were in a box in a climate controlled home with no light hitting them. My other DC shoes the soles turned from white to yellow. I’m a quadriplegic so my shoes never get actual mileage on them and it killed me to toss 2 pairs of new shoes that are no longer in production into the trash.

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I’m sorry to hear about what happened to those sneakers…. To be honest, you’ve spooked me a bit. I’m curious, do you happen to remember whether there were any mothballs or dessicants like damp-rid in the closet?

I don’t know whether those things would actually affect the sneakers. but I’m wondering whether they could
When I was building the box, and decided that I needed to paint it, I was worried about whether off gassing from the paint might affect the shoes. I gave the paint extra time to dry and cure, so hopefully OK, but your experience is making me wonder

I think it was just poor grade foam used by the manufacturer that just gets brittle over time as it ages