Not only is this my first instructable, but this is also the first Christmas that I have my very own Christmas tree! I get to decorate it how I want! My very favorite thing in this world is my cat Neo, but let's not get into that! A close second is Batman :) So I had this idea to go along with a black tree of course! Now typically one would put a star or angel on the top of their tree. Maybe a Mario star perhaps. Not me, I took things that I had sitting around and made a bat signal tree topper! That's right! I have now a very geeky Christmas tree complete with bat signal, and I'm going to show you how you can too!! It's very easy, so you don't need to have andruino skills, of which I myself lack. So have fun and hope you enjoy my instructable!
Things you'll need:
Lava Lamp (does not need to be working)
Nightlight or other form of LED (I found blue works the best)
Pliers or wrench
Spray paint for looks
Cardboard or other thick paper
Small amount of tape
Alright. We are going to take an old lava lamp and tear it down. It does not need to be working, but it should probably be one you no longer need unless you feel like doctoring it back together after Christmas.
Take the glass lava part off and save it however you like. Remove the light bulb and get ready to dismantle.
Flip the lamp over and remove the carpet covering.
You are now left with a nut in the middle. Use your pliers or wrench to take this off. This will release the light socket. For now just all the socket to gently hang there.
Here is where the fun happens. You need to get the metal bottom off. I took a hammer and screw driver and basically pounded it out. It is a thin piece of metal and the space you are pounding it into is smaller. This will cause the cone to warp some, but give it enough room to wedge it out. This make take some time, but you'll figure it out quite easily.
When you have sucessfully removed the disc you can gently warp the cone back into a circular shape with your hammer. It should not take much effort to do so.
You now must disconnect the socket from the base. Take your screwdriver and unscrew the 2 wires attached to the socket. The socket will now be free to take out.
Next give the cord a little tug to remove from the base. It make take a little force, but should pop right out.
You now have your base for the topper! Paint it how you like, I chose a silver metal looking spray paint.
The light part is an idea that just came to me. I have this nightlight in my bathroom so that I don't have to turn the light on in the middle of the night, blinding myself! It lights up my yellow submarine shower curtain so nicely and I just figured it would be perfect for a light source! I tried a yellow night light, but didn't come out with a very clear shadow. So you may have to experiment with light sources if you are unable to find the same nightlight I used, but this one works perfect!
Remove decoration if applicable.
Pry open the box.
Inside remove screws that are holding everything together.
The light part is what you will need. Warning, trust me you do not want to take this lightly. I totally was not paying attention when messing around with this and got a little shock. The plugs are not being held in by anything but wires. If you attempt to push them into a socket it will shock you. Looking back on it now I suggest using some heat friendly glue or putty to keep the plugs in place. I just made sure when I plugged it in I did it in an order that was safest. I plugged the nightlight into an extension cord first and got everything situated before I plugged into a wall. So please just be careful when messing around with this. :)
In the end you need your light source attached to an extension cord resting inside the base.
Now that you have your base and light source you of course need a signal! Take some cardboard or some thick paper and make a bat signal of your choosing! Trace the bottom opening of your base and make the edges of the signal line up with the edges of the traced circle. I colored mine black so that if it is visible on the outside it looks pleasing.
When you have your signal cut out and colored, take as thin of a piece of tape you can and tape the ends of the signal to the top of your base.
Place on the top of the tree, wait for dark and be amazed! You make have to tweak it a bit to get the light how you like it, but then your all set! I will warn you though, since I've put this up I still have yet to see Batman come to my rescue! Maybe you'll be more lucky!
Thanks for checking out my instructable! Geek on!