Light bulb of love

A few days ago I came across a great tutorial on to make light bulb decorations with heart shaped filaments. I’ve seen this craft before and always wanted to try it out. I didn’t have any regular light bulbs in my house because I’ve replaced just about all of them with compact fluorescent lamps. I was thinking about saving this craft for later when I remembered I have two plain glass Christmas bulbs left over. I figured I could make my own version of those small round little light bulbs.

The parts I made for my bulb

To start, I removed the ornament cap from each of the glass bulbs. I had some aluminum sheets that I cut strips from and embossed with lines. I curled each strip around a thick marker  to make the base for my light bulb. Using some thin silver wire I shaped my heart filament and twisted the ends together for the stem. I made a decorative base to glue my finished light bulb to out of chipboard. I inked the edges and the top and bottom areas that would be exposed with dark brown ink. I cut a circle out of paper printed with gears for the top and glued that down. I punched a hole in the middle and stuck my filament down through it to a height appropriate for the bulb. I secured the wire to the bottom of the chipboard with tape and then glued my brown velvet circle onto the bottom. With the base complete I just had to glue the silver piece to my glass bulb and then glue the finished bulb onto my decorated base.

The base of the bulb
finished bottom

I think my replica light bulb is pretty cool. I got to try something new and use up some leftover Christmas ornaments in the process. Someday I’d like to use real light bulbs and  make some interesting little things to go inside of them. At least for now I made my own version and am happy with it. I hope you like it!

Light bulbs of love

The Girl Creative

Valentine Bird Houses

On a recent trip to the fabric store I found myself wandering all of the aisles. It never matters that I have a small list and don’t really need anything else, I always have to look. I found these unfinished wood bird houses for $1 each. At that price I had to get a couple! I’ve seen them before, but not these particular ones. I really like the roof on the square one and the little heart shaped doorway on the traditional shaped birdhouse is too cute. I decided these would make a fun Valentine’s decoration.

unfinished birdhouses

Before the fun creative stuff, I used a little bit of sand paper to smooth the edges of these birdhouses. I didn’t bother making them perfect on all surfaces, just enough to avoid splinters. Once you get them sanded, wipe them down with a damp cloth to get rid of the wood dust. Now you can have fun with this project! I decided I wanted to paint these pink for the main background color. Unfortunately, I didn’t have pink paint on hand. I had to mix my own but I managed. I painted everything even though I knew I was covering some of the surfaces with paper and some with glitter. I always like to paint a surface to match the glitter I’m going to use, then you can’t see the little gaps as much.

painted birdhouses

The pink was a little darker than I wanted once it dried. I planned on glittering the heart one so that didn’t matter. The other one needed a little something. I have a giant bottle of gold sparkly craft paint, when you use just one coat it adds a nice transparent gold shine that helped to soften the pink. I painted parts of the square birdhouse with the gold.

applying glitter

I decided to glitter all four sides of the heart birdhouse. I found this glitter at the fabric store, it’s called ‘Bubblegum’. I put the birdhouse in my tray to catch the excess glitter. Using a paintbrush and regular Elmer’s white glue, I glittered one side at a time. I like to pour a lot of glitter then lightly tap it down with my finger. I let it dry a few minutes and then shake off the extra glitter. Pouring the glitter back in the bottle to use later is one of my favorite things, it always surprises me how little glitter it actually takes to cover a surface! There is no reason to throw out perfectly usable glitter.

velvet bottom

For the square birdhouse I decided to paper the four sides with this light brown paper. The pattern is lightly embossed with small silver hearts and circles with the heart cut out. I really like the soft shimmer that the silver paper and gold paint add to this. I cut all four side pieces to size, the front piece has the doorway and perch areas. I used a 1″ hole punch for the doorway and a 1/4″ hole punch for the perch, both were just the right size. I used Elmer’s glue and a paintbrush again to cover the back of each piece of paper and stuck them on. To finish the bottom of each birdhouse I cut squares of brown velvet paper to size. I also have this paper in black and use them to finish the bottom of decorative items, it adds a nice extra touch.

rubber stamped birds

I wanted to have a little bird for each house. I went through my rubber stamps and used to trial and error to find just the right birds. I also had to test out a few colors of ink and paper to get ones that I feel compliment the houses. In the end, I’m happy with the little bird in a nest tucked inside the doorway of the square house. The glittered house was a little tricky but I finally found the perfect bird to fly into this lovely house, I think the red ink really helps the bird stand out, that and I used a little foam tape to mount it. I added a bit of Elmer’s glue just to make sure it doesn’t actually fly away!

finished birdhouses

The finishing touches came next. I painted the roof trim and perch white on the glittered house. I then used a heart shaped punch to punch out hearts for the roof. I glued them down in a pattern on each side of the roof. I used about five coats of Mod Podge to seal them down. For the square house I added a white stripe to the roof, and painted the underside edge of the roof white and the top of the base white as well.

I am very pleased with how these two birdhouses turned out. For just $1 each, 99 cents for glitter, and stuff I had at home, I was able to make a couple of really cute decorations. This project can be as quick and easy or as time consuming as you want. Make something simple, make something intricate, it’s up to you!

The Girl Creative