My niece is planning to have a Disco themed birthday party this year, and so we've been looking for cheap disco lights for her party. For Halloween, we had several blinking LED light up decorative ghost that were bought from the dollar store. While ghost would be fine for a Halloween party... they probably would not do well for a Disco party. I contemplated taking the light up ghost apart to simply salvage the LED, but didn't want to destroy the decoration which we will probably use next Halloween. So, I came up with this simple idea for turning a Halloween decoration into a really cool light-up disco light.
1 Cardboard box
1 random LED Holiday light-up decoration
1 sheet of tinfoil
1 sheet of tissue paper
1 sheet of construction paper, poster-board or mat-board that fits over box opening. Can also use a pre-cut mat frame.
1 can of spray paint- Black works best -OR- Wrapping Paper -OR- Construction paper
Color tissue paper
2 inch Brads
Step 1: Prepare a Box
The first step is to spray paint a cardboard box. You ideally want to find a box that is just slightly bigger than whatever your light-up holiday decoration is. If the box is too big, the decoration might not provide enough light to be visible. You only need to spray paint the outside of the box. In my case, the decoration will probably be used in a very dark room, so I wasn't concerned about neatness. Cut the flaps on the open end of the box to about 1 inch. You want to leave a little bit of the box flap on the box to tape a mat frame. Insert tin foil to the back of the box and tape. The inside of the box will not be visible, so don't worry too much about neatness.
If you don't have spray paint, you can alternatively use construction paper or wrapping paper to cover the outside of the box. It won't look as neat, but in a dark room, it will do just fine for a decoration.
Step 2: Frame Window
The next step is to create basically a mat window for your box similar to a mat that is used in a picture frame. To create the mat window simply trace the size of open end of the box by laying the box face down upon either a black poster-board or large sheet of black construction paper. Ideally a stiff paper or mat board would be used, but I just used simple construction paper.
Once the rectangle has been cut to the size of the box opening, you want to cut out the inside area. Measure approximately an inch or two around the outside area and use a ruler to draw out the central region to cut out. Use either scissors or an exacto knife to carefully cut out the middle. This will create a window frame.
Take a sheet of tissue paper and cut it out to be approximately the size of the window frame or mat window. Fold the edges of the tissue paper so that you can tape or glue the tissue paper to the backside of the window frame. You can alternatively staple the tissue paper to the window frame.
You can add decorative elements to the tissue paper by cutting out small pieces of colored tissue paper and gluing it to the base sheet. I recommend thinning your glue with water and applying it very gently with a disposable brush. Tissue paper tears easily and the glue can bleed through, so apply carefully. I put a dab or two of glue on the back of the small decorative tissue paper strips, than coated the top surface in a thin layer of glue. When the glue dries, it has a stained glass like appearance.
Note: I noticed that tape does peel off after a period of time, so use staples if you want your decoration to be used over a long period of time.
Step 3: Attach the Frame to the Flaps of the Box
Finally, attach the top of the frame to the box flap on the top of the box using either tape or staples or glue. Make sure you don't attach the frame to all the flaps as you will need a way to insert your leftover light-up holiday decoration. Keep in mind, you will need to lift the mat frame like a door to insert your light element and to turn on your light. Tape, staple, or glue one side to one of the flaps of the box. Alternatively, use two Brads, one on each corner to secure the frame to the box, spreading the back tabs of the Brads apart to affix the frame to the box. To hold the window frame closed, you can either use Brads to pin the lid closed, velcro, pins, or a small piece of tape. If you use brads, the back tabs of the brads that hold the lid (the window frame) closed will not be opened on this end and will have to be removed to open the lid.
When ready to use, simply turn on the light-up decoration and insert it inside the box behind the window covered with tissue paper. You can seal it closed with additional tape, or for a re-usable version, add velcro to the bottom flap to hold the window to the box.
Step 4: Safety
Tissue Paper and Cardboard are flammable! Yes, I know that is hard to believe but it is true. Do not put inside this Disco Party light any open flames or lights that get very hot. Lights like Halogen lights can get extremely hot and catch the box on fire. Use only lights that are cool to the touch such as LED lights or very low wattage bulbs. Never leave unattended.
Step 5: Attach Frame to Box
Now you have a very cool disco light made from left-over holiday decorations!
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