There are a large number of different fairy light designs available but sometimes you just need something that screams out your (or a loved ones) name, personality, etc! Combining a set of cheap lights and a glue gun will result in a unique design that you can tailor to your needs.
I wanted a set of lights to hang in my daughter’s room so I spelt out her name but you could just as easily use this method to create custom shapes (I am thinking cars, snowflakes, pumpkins, etc).
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Step 1: Supplies
The lights used in this project were purchased from Dollarama for only a couple of dollars. They originally had some plastic caps on them which were pulled off and disposed of (i.e. put into a drawer until I can think of something to do with them...) leaving the LED exposed.
- Chain of white LED lights
- Hot glue gun
- Parchment paper
- Indian ink
- Paint brush
Step 2: Form the Lights
I have attached a video that runs throught the process or you can follow the steps below and the still images. Please note that it was relatively difficult to balance the hot glue gun, the parchment paper and the camera so the still images are not quite how I do it. The main difference is that the glue around the edges looks to be dry prior to adding the LED, this is incorrect and you want to try to have all the glue uncured prior to adding the LED, filling the letter in and smoothing.
The letters can be done freehand but it is a lot easier to print off a stencil. Use a fairly simple font and make it large enough to be easily read whilst hanging on the wall.
Lay a piece of parchment paper over the stencil and run a bead of hot glue around the outside of the letter. Push the LED into the top of the letter and fill it in with hot glue making sure that the LED is completely encased in glue. The depth of the LED will make a big difference as to how the hot glue lights up. I recommend experimenting before starting your project.
Lay a second sheet of parchment paper over the still liquid glue. Gently push down to smooth the surface and fill any voids.
Wait until the glue dries and then pull off both the top and bottom parchment paper.
Use a pair of scissors and a craft knife to trim the edges.
Step 3: Optional - Decorate
The lights can be improved further by adding some colour.
The colour needs to be relatively transparent and I tried both water colours and acrylic before deciding that Indian ink gives the best results. While not as transparent as water colour, Indian ink gives a lot richer finish. The third image show a comparison of the finishes:
- Yellow - water colour
- Red - Indian ink
- Orange - acrylic
As you are painting onto plastic, the first coat looks pretty patchy but I found that if you left it to dry, the second coat covered well and a third was not required.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Hang your lights on your tree, bed head, wall etc and enjoy a simple but rewarding project.
Participated in the
Hot Glue Speed Challenge