Holiday String Light Centerpiece



Introduction: Holiday String Light Centerpiece

About: I like to make stuff, and I am always thinking of new ideas.

From the maker of Electronic Cross Stitch and other fun projects, I present to you a fun but strange centerpiece. This disk-shaped platform covered in festive holiday fabric features an illuminated glass jar in the middle that is filled with old Christmas light bulbs. Around the edge is plenty of space to set out candles, small food items, and more.

This project is also made up of many recycled materials. (old Christmas light bulbs, filament spool, spice jar)

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Materials you will need:

  • 2 white LEDs
  • One 3v, 0.2A DC power adapter
  • A large glass spice jar with the lid
  • 100~150 dead Christmas light bulbs, taken out of the strand (see picture)
  • 2 short wires
  • Holiday themed fabric
  • 3d printer filament spool, (or similar sized piece of wood or foam)
  • Optional- Heat shrink tubing

Tools you will need:

  • Soldering iron (and solder)
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue (plastic) sticks
  • Heat gun (if using heat shrink tubing)
  • Wire cutters

Step 2: Shell the Lights

After you have taken all of the light bulbs out of the strand, "shell" them by pulling off the bottom plastic part. (usually the bottom part is green or white)

Dispose of the bottom plastic parts, but keep the glass bulb.

See pictures for more details.

Step 3: Solder the LEDs

If you do not know how to solder, you can learn with this Instructable.

Punch a hole through the plastic lid of the jar and pull the power adapter wire through. (the end of the wire where the LEDs will go should be on the inside of the lid)

Use the wire cutter to expose the copper on each end of the 2 short wire sections and the end of the adapter wires (usually there is one big wire with 2 wires inside: red=positive, white/gray/black=negative).

Solder the positive end of the first LED to one wire and the negative end to the other. (see first picture for positive and negative)

Solder the positive end of the second LED to both of the positive wires (from the adapter and from the other LED)

Solder the negative end of the second LED to both of the negative wires (from the adapter and from the other LED)

Plug in your circuit to test it out!

Step 4: Secure the LEDs

Apply heat shrink tubing if you have some. If not, put a little hot glue around the exposed wiring and solder connections to prevent them from touching.

Hot glue one LED (the one not on the longer wire) to the inside of the cap (facing down).

Let the other LED (the one on the longer wires) hang from the cap. You may want to hot glue a paperclip to it to keep it in place.

Step 5: Put the Lid in Place

Put the jar lid through the hole in the center of the filament spool. The lid on my jar fit perfectly, but if your lid doesn't, you may need to cut the filament spool if it is too large, or add something in between if it is too small. Make sure the LEDs are facing up (on the inside of the lid) and the cord is facing towards the bottom of the spool.

Punch another hole through the lid, large enough for one of the bulbs to fit through.

Screw the glass jar into the lid.

Step 6: Add the Bulbs

Slowly drop the bulbs into the glass jar until it is filled up. This must be done with the lid on, upside-down, so that the middle LED stays in the same place.

(I forgot to take a picture during the process, but here is one after it is complete.)

Step 7: Secure the Jar

Cut holes or channels for the adapter wire to go through so that the centerpiece can sit flat.

Glue closed the holes on the bottom, and add hot glue to keep the lid and wires in place.

Add foam to any indents on the filament spool to flatten out the surface.

Step 8: Decorating the Centerpiece

Add holiday fabric, candles or other festive decorations to complete your work of art.

Step 9: Display!

Light the candles, turn off the lights, and plug it in!

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this Instructable, consider voting for me in the Holiday Decorations Contest.

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