Saturday, February 9, 2013

You Light Up My Heart

The first valentine's day of our married life, my husband came home with a special handmade gift.


Okay, it's hard to see what it really is until you plug it in....


Ta-da! A light-up heart for valentines day! I don't have pics for a full tutorial, but I can give you the gist of how it went down if you're interested in tackling some LED art for a special someone. He just bought a frame, a red photo mat, and a string of red LED lights with flat heads. (he planned ahead and got the lights on clearance after Christmas, but you can also order them here) He drew the shape he wanted, a heart, on the cardboard backing that came in the frame. He looked at how far apart the holes for the lights needed to be spaced - you can see in the pic below that even when the green parts are set together, there is still some space between the bulbs. 


He went around the heart making a dot where each bulb would go, making sure they were at least that far apart. He used a drill bit that was the size of the bulbs to drill a hole at each spot. Then he poked a bulb into each hole (they just stick through a bit, shallow enough that the glass is still in the frame). He also used acrylic paint to paint the cardboard a matte black .


Here's what that mess looks like on the back.
The bulbs that are poking through the front are wedged tight enough that they just stay in place. He also says as he went around he filled every third hole working around so the cords would be more stretched out instead of piling up super high.


The rest of the bulbs were lined up around the mess of wires, facing out, and hot glued in place. That way when we plug it in, it back lights the frame as well! Pretty spiffy, N! After that he just added the hanging hardware, making sure the wire was long enough to reach past the thick pile of cords on the back when he hangs it up.


Now just plug it in and admire your work! You could do some really cool things with this for a guy too! Maybe trace the logo from his favorite team or favorite brand of soda? Could be fun for making him a man cave space! Here's a pic at night that shows how the light shines out around the frame too:


And of course I have a little something for the grandparents! We got B's train set out this week and he has been playing with it non-stop.


He looks like such a big boy! And he's always running around yelling "Choo choo!"


Do you have a favorite DIY valentine gift you've given or received?

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