Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Crafty DIY : Heart Light Feature

So the other half suggested that fairy lights made into the shape of heart was a step too far, and that a star would be much less girly in our small home. Then he went away for the weekend and I failed miserably at making a star, so a heart it was. I made one for my Mum too, this one pictured is hers, so it is a little neater round the edges than ours. I'm not sure what it is about me and hearts at the moment. It's not usually my style, but I like what it stands for. Maybe I'm just feeling the love.

After my colleague's very kind Mum had scrabbled around in her garden to find me some chicken wire for our shabby chic notice board (thanks for your efforts by the way!), I had loads left over and didn't want to waste it, so scribbled down some ideas, but fairy lights always win with me, and this is what I made.

This was fun and easy to make and just needed a little patience to cut out the shape and a touch more patience to thread the lights through the wirework. In hindsight, if you care about maintaining well-manicured hands, it’s probably worth wearing some gloves when cutting the chicken wire. If only I considered these things up front, I wouldn’t end up the hands more suited to an ripe old fisherman, but I think that’s the only health and safety heads up you will need here.

First, cut out a template of your desired shape out of newspaper and lay it on some chicken wire (I doubled layered mine for stability) and then gently cut around the template with the wire cutters on a pair of pliers. Don’t get overzealous and cut several bits of wire at one time, remember my man hands yeah?

Fold any messy mesh bits neatly into the edge and try to leave whole rings around the side of your shape if possible as you will need to be able to thread the first round of fairy lights through these. Next, spray paint the whole thing white so that it doesn’t just look like you’ve stuck chicken wire on your wall.

Once completely dry, you can begin threading your fairy lights through, which can take some time but as long as you do one complete round with the lights secured around the wire, the rest of the lights can be tucked in here and there until all the lights are fitted securely around the outside of your shape.

Choose fairy lights with LEDs for low cost running and white or clear cable to appear hidden when hanging in the daytime. Simply add a ribbon hoop to hang the light feature (I had to hang it high so was not able to tie a bow, but once you have a hook in the wall, a bow might finish it nicely) and keep everything crossed when it comes time to flip the switch. Its a real ‘ta da’ moment!

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