Friday, April 29, 2011

soothing light DIY

Ever since I moved into my Brooklyn apartment, I have been struggling living without having a reading light. The problem is my stubbornness--I wanted by bed facing the windows and therefore sacrificed space for a bedside table and a close-by outlet. After countless restless nights, laying in bed in the dark, a light bulb went off (haha). Instead of drilling countless holes and spending lots of money on an overhead light fixture, I decided to make something out of cheap and accessible materials--newspaper and flour. That's right folks, the beautiful art of paper mache.
Here's some pictures for a fun and easy DIY..I chose the word "rest" to remind me to turn of my brain, and relax a bit with a book or sketchpad, a way to decompress and shut off my brain for sleepy time. Choose whatever work or object makes  you happy.
Here are some links for "glue" recipes. You can cover balloons or molds, though I just used newspaper and duct tape as my base. I made each letter, let them dry, then attached them together with more paper strips and glue.
Then i took a simple strand of xmas lights, wrapped them around a magazine.

Then I covered the actual lights with painting tape so only the cord would pick up the spray paint.

 I recomend taking both your creations and lights outside to spray paint, and doing a couple layers. Its also nice to blend colors--here I added a bit of metallic gold for some glisten. After both are dry, weave the light strand around the letters....A take off the more intense marquee lights.
 Afterward, I used fishing line to hang it on my wall, so it looks like "rest" floats above me.

 **note: sometimes its difficult to find an extension cord with a flip switch.  This is easily amended. Simply buy a switch (like the one shown below)....
 Then divide the cord, slice and strip the smooth cord, and wrap the metal around the  internal screws of the switch. I had a bit of trouble with this but if you ask your local handy person at the hardware store, they do a good job of explaining.

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