Intro: How to Make a LED Winter Flower
I need something for Christmas for my front window, especially since I destroyed the stain glass thing I was going to put up (sigh). On Pintrest, someone pinned a floor lamp, made with rope lights and rope. Lovely, yet boring. I avoid boredom. So I decided to take the basic premise, and add my own twist to it. One twist was based on a scrap fabric rug I made years ago, and another is based on the fact that I just put up new shower curtain and realized that here was a great source of plastic yarn (plarn: http://www.plasticbagcrafts.com/make-plarn/ ). So here is How to Make a LED
Star Winter Flower.
2 - 18ft. LED Rope lights (your choice of color)
A frosted shower curtain (a clear one would do, too)
If your rope lights are neophytes, please take them out of the box and get them as straight as possible. If they maintain the curl they got from being in the box, your star will have a twist to it, which is neither attractive nor easy to work with (trust me I know). My rope lights were first, turned on, to make them warm and easier to work. I then strung them along the stairs and hall all night. This contributed to their being straight.
First cut the shower curtain into a bunch of 1½ inch strips. I used by rotary cutter and mat, with a straight edge to make this a quick and easy project. I used about half of the plarn the curtain provided.
Next, start at the end of the rope which does not have a plug, using zip ties; create 5, 7 inch tall loops in the rope. One zip tie will be tight at the base of each loop, and one will be lose and close to the top of the loop. Make the lose zip tie at the base then slid it up toward the top of the
star flower. Much easier than any of the other ways I tried. Stretch the loops around into a circle, where the last loop can connect to the first loop. If they are lying flat, you are well on your way to having an attractive star flower, if they are not flat, don’t be afraid to clip the zip ties and start over again, working the twist out of the rope by twisting it in the opposite direction. Trim off the ends of the zip ties.
Now using a piece of plarn, tie the beginning of the light rope to the part of the rope that starts the overlap. Fold down the opposite end of the plarn three times and stick the Safety pin into it. Close the pin. This act like a needle. The head of the pin will allow you to poke the plastic strips between two ropes, like a needle though fabric.
You are going to make figure 8’s around the two adjacent ropes. With the two ropes side by side, you will thread the plarn out and around the right rope, with the safety pin going down between the two ropes, then the strip go out and around the left rope, with the safety pin again bring the strip down between the two ropes. Keep doing the same thing over and over until, moving along the shapes of the
star flower, you almost run out of plastic strip.
When you have about 3 inches of plarn left, remove the safety pin, and grab a new strip. Put one end of the new strip up against the end of the old strip.
Fold the ends down
and with scissors, cut a small snip.
Unfold the two ends, and take the opposite end of the new strip and slip through the little cut coming from the back.
Pull the whole new strip through the hole,
when you get to the end you pull a little tighter and it makes a small smooth knot. Reinsert the safety pin and you are now ready to keep going. Every time you start to run low on plarn, add a new piece.
One rope will make it a little over twice around the
legs pedals of the star flower. Two ropes will make it a little over 4 times around the star flower. When you reach to top of one leg pedal, with a little bit of rope left over, use a zip tie to make a tight connection to the body, and tie a knot in the plarn. Cut the end of the plarn and you are done. (+/- 2 hours of work here)
Ready, plug it in! Wow, isn’t it wonderful. I’m going to hang mine in my front window and see if I can get any response from my neighbors and friends. Let me know what you have done with yours. The day after Christmas, I will see if I can score some cheap rope lights, and see if I can figure out the star shape. Wish me luck.