Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DIY Constellation Light

I originally got the inspiration for this project from Refunk My Junk. I started off following her tutorial but then things changed a bit. I will talk about that as we go. 

Ok, so here are the materials you need:

  • Large Canvas
  • Spray Paint - the original creator used Midnight Blue but I could not find it so I just a flat Black
  • White Chalk Pen/Marker
  • Some sort of LED strip lighting. I used this one from Ikea.
**You will not need the lights shown in the first picture for my version of the project

So first, I just spray painted the canvas. As you can see it was not even. I am terrible at spray painting but I think it actually worked out because the night sky has dimension to it.

Then I started to draw my constellations with a pencil. I looked at a picture of the summer constellations and kind of just drew what I wanted to. I am not an artist in anyway so this task made me kind of nervous - hand drawing something? Oh dear.... 

It actually turned out really well though. I mean - come on Lauren, how hard is it to draw dots and lines? Anyway. I did keep it simple though and only drew the more simpler constellations. Brandyn asked me why I didn't draw Aquarius (we are both Aquarius) and I responded with, "Well, as an Aquarius, we are very complex creatures.....and the constellation was too" ... Seriously. Aquarius was crazy. 

Then I went over the drawings with the Chalk Marker. 


Then I wanted to represent distant stars. In the original tutorial, she said she "splat" the chalk marker. I could not figure out how to do this for the life of me so I just decided to put random dots. I was very nervous to do this part because I didn't want it to look intentional but I didn't want it to look ... well ... stupid! So I just decided to do it and I randomly just threw the chalk pen down all over board (I didn't literally throw it, that wouldn't work.). It actually turned out pretty good.... See this project has a common theme - me being surprised at my ability. 

 Then I took a craft knife and poked holes where all the dots were. 

Here is where the project changed. As you can see, I am poking the garden lights through. In the original project, the garden lights stick through the canvas and light up that way. When I did that, I didn't like it. The lights fell out and it was really bulky on the other side. It just frustrated me so I decided to do without them. 

I leaned it up against the window because I thought - hey with the holes, the light will shine through. That stayed there for a bit but I needed to figure out a new solution to the project because it didn't really look nice to have a big canvas blocking the window.... That is when I went and bought the led lighting strips from Ikea.

Once I put it together, I stuck the strips on the back of the canvas like shown in the picture

Then I bundled up all the wiring (bane of this project's existence) and taped it down. The tape did not hold it. This was only temporary until I stuck it on the wall using command strips (which would hold it in there)

And here it is - all hung up and pretty! I must say, I do like this version better and am pretty proud of myself for it. I am not an artistic, crafty person so this was a huge accomplishment for me. We are going to put a few things up beside it - it won't stay solo up in that spot forever.

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