Introduction: LED Jellyfish on a Stick
Hello! This Instructable walks through how to make a light-up jellyfish decoration.
Step 1: Bill of Materials
In this design, I used:
3 wire coat hangers (free)
3 strings of 6', 20 LED lights (battery operated) ($10 for a set of 4)
medium-gauge (25 lb test) wire (already on hand)
white masking tape (about $4)
2 yards white stretchy sheer fabric (I paid $20 at a fabric store, but I bet you could use a sheer window treatment or similar)
Step 2: Frame Out Your Jellyfish
Take a wire hanger. Bow out the bottom to form a cuved edge. Bend the "shoulders" of the hanger towards the curved edge to get a basic mushroom shape. You don't need to over-work it, but round off sharp corners if you have them. Straighten the hanger hook, too.
Once you have a shape you like, bend the other two hangers to match. It doesn't need to be perfect.
Once you have three matching forms, nest each inside the other. Tack them together at the top with masking tape. Jiggle things around until everything is spaced roughly evenly. Tack them together at the bottom to hold everything in place (I tried wiring them together, turns out the tape is a lot easier and holds it a lot better.)
Take your wire and run a length around the edge of your jellyfish frame. I twisted the wire around each hanger as I went, and then tacked it with tape to keep things from moving around.
Run a second wire around the upper portion of the jellyfish frame, about halfway between the top and your first wireline.`
Step 3: Rig the Lighting
Start at one edge of your jellyfish frame. Using the masking tape, run the LED light all along the edge of the hanger. You'll have to play with the length a bit to get it to come out evenly. (With the lights I used, I found that doubling over the wire between each of the lights shorted up the string of lights just right, so that I could run the length of a hanger without having any excess.)
Run the other two strings of lights over the edge of the other two hangers, taping things in place as you go.
Step 4: Drape Your Jellyfish
When I first tried this design, I bought a fancy shimery fabric that looked very aquatic and interesting. The problem was that the frabic wasn't stretchy at all, and I had a really hard time getting a smooth "drape" across the jellyfish frame. I then picked up a (much cheaper) stretchy white sheer fabic, and it was a lot easier to work with.
First, I ran a circle of masking tape around the bottom of the Jellyfish. This became an anchor point for gathering the fabric.
Drape the fabric over the top of the jelly fish frame. Trim the excess. Working around, gather the bottom edge and tack it to the masking tape bottom edge. This is where the stretchiness of the fabric comes in handy - you can pull and gather and smooth the fabric as you go, tacking it down and creating a nice smooth Jelly-like outside.
Step 5: Add Tentacles
Take the remainder of your fabric and cut long strips, about 2-3" wide. sew or tape them to the bottom of your jellyfish. My tentacles were about 3' long, but size it how you like it. You could also use other materials (an unwound loofa sponge or christmast galand), whatever you have around.
You can mount your Jellyfish on a stick by inserting the unbent hanger end into a stick or tube and tacking it in place (I had a 2' length of 1/2 PVC on hand that I used for this purpose, but you could use anything, really).
Light it up! You now have a jellyfish on a stick.
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