To get into the halloween spirt, ooooooohhhhhhh, I decided to make some decorative lamps for the holiday. These were easy to make, and virtually free, except for the lights. I bought those after christmas last year, and they were on sale at walmart for $1.00 for a string of 20! I bought 5 or 6, but wish I had got lots more at that price. The key to the project is that the lights are low voltage, low amperage, do not get hot and are easy to handle. Let's get started.
Step 1: Gather the Materials and Tools
Most of the tools and supplies are shown in this step. Orange paper, black cardstock, acrylic paints, cutting tools, straight edge, etc. And of course the lights. These are regular christmas tree lights, found in any dept. or craft store.
Step 2: First Make Boxes for the Lamps
I even used a cereal box for one lamp, For the skull lamps, I wanted to use 8.5 x 11, a standard sheet of copy paper to keep cutting to a minimum. For the pumpkins, I used a 6x6in. box. Both sizes of boxes have sides that are 3 1/2in wide. I made them deep to accommodate the lights.
Step 3: Make 'Lightboard'
This is simply a piece of cardboard that fits inside the lampbox and holds the lights. I made 5/16th in. holes for the lights, and this was easy to do with the tool shown. To start the holes, I used an ice pick.
Step 4: Paint Pumpkins and Draw Skull
I had a skull pattern from my other halloween projects, so that was easy. For the pumpkins, I just drew them on orange copy paper, used a little acrylic paint, cut the eyes and features out and all of my artwork was done.
Step 5: Assemble the Face of the Lamps
I used either glass cut to size, or some 1/8th acrylic from some old picture frames. The skull and pumpkins have their outlines cut out of black cardstock to let the light shine through. Then I used a piece of vellum behind the patterns to diffuse the light a little more. For the pumpkins, the eyes nose and mouth are yellow because I painted the vellum before attaching the pattern.
Step 6: Insert Faceplate Into the Box
The faceplate slips right into place, and rests on the cardboard pieces placed earlier. Then, I just used some black paper, or cardstock, to frame the lamps. This frame is glued around the perimeter of the pattern and shuts out any light leakage around the edges, and secures the pattern, glass (or plastic), and other pieces into their respective places.
Step 7: Turn Lights on and Enjoy!
The lights can be strung together as you would for a christmas tree. They do not generate much heat, but do get a little warm. I never leave them on if I leave or go to bed. Use common sense when locating them, especially around children and pets.