Monday, November 10, 2014

I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas!

I had noticed during my recent shopping trips to my 2 local Restore locations, that they were bursting at the seems with these fabulous ginormous light bulbs.


So, I set out on a mission to figure out something crafty to do with them since I really didn't have the need nor the fixture for a 1000 watt light bulb....

I always thought that the painted light bulb ornaments people make that I have see at craft fair and festivals are adorable so I thought I would build on that to create something cute and crafty.

These snowmen are extremely easy to create and assemble. The possibilities of textures and finishes are also endless, so I picked my top 4 and will list the materials and steps for each finish.

Basic materials needed:
Light bulb
Styrofoam or other base material
Styrofoam sealer
Black Felt or thick black paper for hat brims
Glue and spray adhesive
Felt for bottoms
Either felt or ribbon or other matrial for scarves

Step One: Get your bases and hat brims ready. I am recycling basic Styrofoam that was used as packing for my printer as well as blue marine Styrofoam from the marina across the street from me that was heading to the dump. I cut the pieces to my desired size using a Styrofoam cutter I got at my local craft store until it broke and then I used a sharp steak knife. Next I cut out a hole in the center large enough for the base of the bulb to fit tightly inside. I found the easiest technique for that was positioning the cap from a can of spray paint on the block in my driveway and pushing it through with my foot and then used a wood skewer to poke through the bottom side and push cap back out of the foam. After you have your base cut, you will need to seal all surfaces with foam sealer (from craft store.) This will keep your foam from melting later when you apply glue or paint to it. Place foam aside and let dry.
Prepare hat brims by cutting a "donut" shape with black felt or paper with the center hole large enough to slip over the metal screw in base of the bulb.

Step 2: Paint bulbs
The type of paint is solely based on either whatever you have laying around or desired finish.

    •For a iridescent or "Mercury Glass " finish I simply used a "pearl finish" spray paint and did several thin layers until I achieved the desired effect.


    •Opaque white finish or for a "fluffy" textured snow finish you can use either white spray pain in several thin layer or an acrylic or latex paint.

     (* Tip: If you will be painting with an acrylic or latex paint, stir in a bit of mod podge in with your paint to make it "stick" to the glass and less likely to scratch or peel off.)



    •Clear Crystallized finish: I simply used Clear glaze spray paint and sprinkled "icey" glitter onto the freshly applied wet paint.


**The Styrofoam sealer dries fairly quick and I was able to use my bases to hold the bulb while the paint dried.

Step 3: Final finish on Bulb
Glitter glaze and seal

For iridescent and Mercury glass as well as the "crystallized" finishes:  simply applied a clear gloss glaze spray paint.

For plain flat white, I used a satin clear coat spray paint.

☆"Fluffy" Textured: I used  glitter and "spray spackle" and "textured ceiling repair" (both from Restore) and sprayed bulb in light layers letting it dry before applying additional layers. A flat clear glaze spray paint can be used in light layers but not necessary.

♢ Paint the base (the metal screw in part) of the bulb black

Step 4 Assemble bulbs and bases:
You may use either hot glue or a foam safe glue as well as spray adhesive to attach the bulbs to the foam base. Once bulb is in place, begin applying your finish textures. Some different ideas are:
      ☆spray glue and flakey glitter.
      ☆spray spackle
      ☆"snow" material

Step 5 Final Finishes:
▪Attach hat brims with a small drop of glue. Paint or glue faces and buttons on. (I used a black "puffy paint" sold in the fabric paint section of the craft store) Use tiny twigs for arms or brown floral wire or simply paint them on.
▪I used recycled tiny plastic ornaments for one of those green ceramic Christmas trees for most of my noses by simply cutting off the stem and gluing to the face.
▪Tie scarfs made from ribbon or yarn around their necks.
    *I also used a white gel pen on black construction paper to create the "Let it Snow" and "Merry Christmas" etc. signs and simply glued them in place.

Imagination is the key, use what you got laying around to make your snowman extra special and creative.