Whatever possessed me to buy a whole bag of those absolutely humungous marshmallows?! Really! They are so big, that the kids cannot even fit them in their mouths.
We did roast them over a campfire in the backyard, once last summer, just for fun, when we had a bunch of friends and their kids over. The kids all ate one each and the parents, watching them try to fit them in their mouths, cut them off after that. The rest of the bag was then stuffed to the back of the farthest shelf in the kitchen, where it did not see the light of day again, until this project came to mind.
What can you do with stale marshmallows? You could throw them away, you could probably make rice crispy squares, or heat them up in the microwave to see just how big they can get (unbelievably huge) or, you can make marshmallow LED lights!
CAUTION: Do not make marshmallow lights and leave them lying around anywhere where a small child or pet might try to eat them (seriously).
Step 1: Materials and Equipment:
- ridiculously large marshmallows (Giant Campfire Roasters - best if stale!)
- wire benders
- 3V coins batteries
- 3V LED's (large red ones work well)
- stick of butter
- knitting needle
- small piece of electrical or duct tape (optional but helpful)
Step 2: Making the Marshmallow Shade
Make sure your hands are completely dry. Take one of the marshmallows, stand it on its end, and press your thumb down into the middle. Then, begin working your way around the marshmallow, enlarging the hole by pushing down into the middle, and pulling gently out to the side. You don't want to break or over stretch the marshmallow, you are just try to compress the sides to make room for you LED and battery.
This doesn't take too long, stale marshmallows have much less ability to spring back into shape that the fresh ones.
Step 3: Creating the Light Pattern
Grab your knitting needle, or another pointy tool of your choice, and begin to poke holes through the sides of your marshmallow to create a pattern for the light to come through. Poke your holes on an angle towards your inner hole, so that the end of the needle is visible in the inside. This will let more light through.
The staler the marshmallow (to a point), the easier it is to do this without getting sticky build up on your knitting needle. If you are having trouble with the marshmallow sticking, push the knitting needle into a stick of butter and then gently twirl it while you push it into the marshmallow. It shouldn't stick at all.
Step 4: Preparing the LED
First, test to make sure your LED and battery work. If the LED doesn't light up right away, you may have to flip the battery over, for the positive and negative leads on the LED to be in contact with the corresponding positive and negative sides of the battery.
Bend each of the two leads on your LED into a bit of a curl, that will allow the leads to get better contact on either side of the battery.
Stick the battery in place. You can use a bit of electrical or duct tape to keep it all together, but it makes it harder to slip in and remove the battery when you want the light off. I found that if the LED leads were close together, the battery will stay in place (but not always).
I tried a few different colours of LED's and found that the red ones seemed to give off the best glow through the marshmallow, but you can use whichever colour you like!
Step 5: Inserting the LED and Battery
Stick the LED end of your light right into the softer, stickier insides of your marshmallow shade. It should pretty much stay where you put it, since it is still sort of sticky inside.
Step 6: Turn Out the Lights and Enjoy.
Turn over your marshmallow light, and place it somewhere that will get dark. Maybe you could sit it on a small smooth rock, well out of the reach of children and pets.
Kick back and enjoy the gentle glow of your marshmallow lights.