I've got the LEDs, I've got the shift registers, and I tested it all on a breadboard. I figured I'd go pick up some pegboard and start building the small LED matrix. The first iteration of this little project will be a simple 8x8 matrix with blue LEDs. I'll use 2 74HC595 shift registers.
I cut a piece of the peg board and laid it smooth side down on my desk with a quarter under each corner to allow the LEDs to poke out. I plugged the hot glue gun in and went to get some coffee. Once back I began gluing the LEDs in...I got four LEDs glued in before my hot glue gun broke...great. Looks like I'll have to wait to finish this stage of the project.
The only plus side to my hot glue gun breaking is that I gutted the casing and I'm going to turn it into a toy 'laser' gun for my son...I'll post about that project later though