Shine the Light! Turn a dollar store touch light into a shining sight of you support of Obama day or night.
The Obama campaign has a great logo, that just happens to remind me of the battery powered "touch lights" that you can get everywhere to light up your closets, storerooms or whatever. With a few simple materials you probably have lying around at home, work or school, you can turn a lamp into a cool (and functional) campaign sign.
The only skill needed is a reasonable steady hand so that you "color inside the lines".
Step 1: Gather Materials
For this project you will need:
1 round touch light - I got mine from the Dollar store for, you guessed, a dollar. You may already have one or more of these in your house anyway.
2 Sharpies, one Red and one Blue - I bought new ones (the most expensive part of the project for me) that had both fine and "chisel" points. My daughter on the other hand has a rainbow of Sharpies on hand already so this step is a freebie for her. And yes, I know that Sharpies is a brand and there are other permanent markers, but I have mixed results with other brands.
1 piece of steel wool - You can find this at hardware stores, your garage, maybe the janitors closet. What "grade" you have is not all that important. Walmart carries it over by the Paints and it is cheap.
1 Sharp pencil - Your choice, I used a mechanical pencil
1 Template - I have attached a PDF that you can print out. It does not need to be printed in color, but you can if you like.
1 Pair of scissors to cut out the template
Tape to hold the template down
Optional: a piece of corrugated cardboard (think cardboard box)
Step 2: Prepare the Lamp
In case you were wondering where the steel wool comes in, here it is. The dome of these lamps are very smooth, too smooth in fact. If we drew on the shiny dome, the color would wipe off with little effort. So the first thing we do is "sand" the dome with the steel wool.
The entire surface should feel smooth but no slippery like it does when you fort take it out of the package. You do not need to smooth anything except for the dome, and you do not have to take the lamp apart.
You can tell when you have the surface rough enough by drawing a line with a pencil. If the line is easy to draw and easy to see, then the surface is rough enough. You should be able to erase the line cleanly with an eraser. If the pencil slips or does not leave a mark you can see, then you still have work to do.
When you are done, wipe the lamp clean with something dry like a paper towel or a t-shirt.
Step 3: Prepare the Template
Now we need to prepare the template.
1) Print the template full size. Check your Acrobat print settings since by default it scales things down slightly. If your lamp is smaller or larger than mine (although they all seem to be the same size) you can easily scale the template using the Acrobat print settings.
2) Cut out along the green line. Those blue tabs that stick out are for aligning and holding the template in place.
3) Take your pencil and poke a small hole everywhere you see a little black circle. These are going to be the reference spots for our template. If you have a piece of corrugated cardboard (think cardboard box) simply place the template on it and poke away. The boxes marked "R" can be poked through as well. These holes are to remind you which sections you color in. Trust me, it can get confusing.
4) Now carefully cut along the four "cross hairs" in blue. Only cut the length of the line leaving the center uncut.
5) Turn over the lamp and find the the "top" of the lamp where the hole is for hanging on the wall. Make a pencil mark on the dome that lines up with the hole.
6) Orienting the template so that the top cut lines up with the mark you just made, tape the tabs to the lamp. The tans should reach to the ring of the lamp on all sides, so you can use them to easily center the template.
TWO IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:
1) Tape only the tabs, we will be tracing the edge
2) Since the dome is curved, the template will not simply "fit" on the dome, you will need to overlap the sections at the cut lines to get it to fit better,
Step 4: Connect the Dots
Now that the template is on, use your pencil to:
1) put a dot everywhere you poked a hole in the paper,
2) trace the outside of the circle, and
3) put extra dots ate every tab where it meets with the main circle.
The last dots are very important since they will define where the edges of the red lines are.
If you are ABSOLUTELY sure you have all of the dots on, then remove the template.
Now connect the dots with your pencil, looking at the template as a guide. Fill in the gaps where the tabs were.
One you have your lines drawn, erase any of the dots that you made that were really big. The Sharpies don't hid the dots or lines, so you don't want then to be too obvious.
Step 5: Color and Display Your Work
Finally the fun part, the coloring!
Simply color in the areas with your sharpie. Be careful to not smudge your work. I recommend two coats of color to get a good effect.
IF you color outside the lines, you can use the steel wool to erase the mark fairly easily. Just let the mark dry first so that you are not trying to clean up a big smudge.
When the lamp is dry, put some batteries in it (or not) and hand it on the wall!