This project is rated PG because it does entail using sharps and electrical stuff.
If you do the fancy version, it also requires the use of a glue gun. (I cooked a little bit of the pad of my left thumb last week with one of those. Ouch!)
What we are going to do is take your everyday boring string of holiday lights from this:
So let's get started!
For the first step you will need a string of old holiday lights. If you can find the low- to no-heat kind or a short string of LED, those would be ideal.
You will also enough boxes to cover each light. For the example you see here, I used Japanese fun-sized candy boxes. Many stores are already carrying merchandise for Halloween and you should be able to find bags of small boxes of candy with pretty nifty designs. Barring that, you could always use raisin boxes or go to an international market and look around for very small boxes that look interesting. (And hey, it's a good way to taste of food you might not ordinarily have in your pantry.)
These boxes are roughly 1.5 x 2.5 x .75.
Now, this is where you need to ask yourself if you want to do this the quick and dirty way or if you want to take a little more time and make these suckers the fancy schmancy way.
Let's do quick and dirty first:
1. With an x-acto knife or the sharper end of the blade of a pair of scissors, cut a small "x" into the lid of each box.
2. Close the box and push a light into the "x".
3. Once you have pushed the light in so that only part of the wire sticks out, pull gently on the light so that it pushes the flaps of the "x" back up. This will help the string of lights grip the boxes so they don't fall off.
Viola! Candy box lights! You're so fab!
The fancy-schmancy version:
1. Gently take the boxes apart by finding the seam and separating it so the box becomes one flat surface.
2. Using clear contact paper or removable laminating film, cover the flattened box. They pretty much work the same, but I prefer duck brand because it's clearer and more forgiving if I have to reposition it.
The easiest way to do this is in strips of two so the film is anchored down by the other end while you place the boxes design side up on the backing paper.
3. Once you have them positioned, it's a good idea to use a rolling pin to flatten out the strips so they don't have bubbles or huge wrinkles.
4. Then take an x-acto knife or a small pair of scissors and cut away the excess film. Remember to cut between the rounded flaps and the smaller side flaps!
5. With an x-acto knife or the sharper end of the blade of a pair of scissors, cut a small "x" into the lid of each box.
6. Fold the box back into its original shape.
7. In the picture below, you should see a small white flap with angled ends on the lower edge of the folded box.
Using a glue gun, put a line of glue on that flap and then attach the flap just above it. Be very careful not to burn yourself! (Maybe you're more coordinated than I am. If so, please accept my apology.) The best way I've found to smooth it out while the glue is still hot is to take a square-ish chop stick and press it along the inside seam, making sure the box stays in shape. This is actually easier than it sounds.
8. Once the glue has cooled, close the box and push a light into the "x".
9. Once you have pushed the light in so that only part of the wire sticks out, pull gently on the light so that it pushes the flaps of the "x" back up. This will help the string of lights grip the boxes so they don't fall off.
Dude! Consider yourself illuminated!
How do they look?
I'll let my favorite spokesmodels, John T. Scopes, John, Paul, George and Alanis model them for you.
John T. Scopes goes coocoo for Choco-Baby!
George says, "My sweet lord, these lights make me think of those fun parties at Nirvana!"
So have fun. Be safe both while you're making these and after you've put them up. Just as you would do with any any electrical decoration, be sure to turn it off if you leave the room. Check back often to see what I've made and what DIY projects I've posted.
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