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Animated Christmas Angel Topper

Picture of Animated Christmas Angel Topper
 

To top my tree, I wanted an illuminated angel with flapping wings.  When I couldn't find one, I made my own using a flapping butterfly (scientificsonline.com) and a "Direct LED G4" from earthled.com.  I started with an angel topper from KMart and went from there.




 
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Step 1: Acquire Tree Topper Angel

Picture of Acquire Tree Topper Angel
 

Step 2: Acquire Butterfly

Picture of Acquire Butterfly
 Available at scientificsonline.com

Step 3: Remove wings from angel

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Step 4: Keep the wings as a pattern

Picture of Keep the wings as a pattern
 You will need the wings to give you some idea of the shape and size to fit your angel.

Step 5: Paint the butterfly

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 Paint the butterfly (both sides) to try and remove the bright butterfly colors.

Step 6: Make wings

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 Use acetate (the clear stuff that you used in school to make your book reports look better than they were) and paint it white.  Apply as much sparkly glitter as possible.

Step 7: Tape acetate wings to butterfly wings

Picture of Tape acetate wings to butterfly wings
 I used packaging tape for this.

Step 8: Create spotlight bracket

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 Obtain a 6 inch long by 1/2 inch wide piece of stainless steel (I got it at the local hardware) and a 1 inch by 1/2 inch piece of perfboard.

Step 9: Insert LED light into perfboard

Picture of Insert LED light into perfboard
 

Step 10: Attach wire wrap wires to LED light

Picture of Attach wire wrap wires to LED light
 Attach two wires (about 8 inches long) to the light.

Step 11: Attach light to stainless bracket

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 Using electrical tape, attach the perfboard to the stainless steel.  Leads from the LED must not touch the stainless steel.

Step 12: Drill holes in bracket

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 Drill two holes in the end of the bracket (opposite from the light end).

Step 13: Bend bracket to fit

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 Bend the bracket to the approximate shape where it can "spotlight the angel."

Step 14: Attach bracket to angel

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 Inside the tree topper angel is a thick plastic "cone."  Drill holes to match the bracket holes and secure the bracket with two small nuts and bolts.

Step 15: Attach tie down to back of angel

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 Poke a hole through the back of the angel.  Insert wire (I used #24 magnet wire) through this hole.

Step 16: Tie butterfly wings to back of angel

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Step 17: Solder light wires to power source

Picture of Solder light wires to power source
 To supply the LED light, you need a power source.  The power supply can be anything from 10 volts to 15 volts, AC or DC, 150 milliamps or more.  You can hook either wire to either terminal on the LED light.

Step 18: Tape and secure the wires

Picture of Tape and secure the wires
 Wrap electrical tape around the solder connections.  Using clear packing tape, secure the connection inside the plastic cone (inside the topper angel).
lemonie4 years ago
Despite disagreeing with angels being depicted as richly-dressed women, this is very well photographed and nicely built.

L
Pro

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