6 Dec 2012

Retro Fabric Christmas Lights

Fabricbulbs off**Edited to add: I received several requests for these retro fabric Christmas lights to be available to purchase, and I am pleased to say that they are now available in a few different varieties in my Etsy shop.  Please check the site for the most current versions available.** I'm following in what is becoming a holiday tradition of my own, which isI have an idea for something, I make one, like the results, then either make tons, or 20 different varieties.  I've done that now with the twine trees, spray painted bags, and sewn star ornaments.  What will it be next year?
KoJo1
The move to London has meant that I have a completely blank slate for my Christmas decorating this year, because we have basically nothing.
 The fun thing about a completely blank slate is that I can go in absolutely any direction with my decorations, and that is exactly what I did with these little lights.  I looked at my stash of goodies, my blank white walls and basic furniture, and decided that I wanted little splashes of color and patterns that I could spread around the flat.
Once I got started on these, I didn't want to stop until I had tried out all of my options.  
Fabricbulbs redoffFirst I just wanted a few bright splashes of color for my tree, then I thought it would be a good way to use up some of my fabric scraps, then I wanted to make a set that coordinated, then I wanted to see them in solid colors...you get the idea.  And every combination looked better with a little red and white polka dotted one included because it just SO Christmas-y. :)
Fabricbulbs 21I'll show you how to make two versions, the Christmas light ornament, and the strand of Christmas lights.  Ready?
Fabricbulbs 1First I made a template of an exaggerated Christmas light bulb out of paper.  I traced the template on the back of my fabric, placed two pieces of fabric right side together, sewed along the line that I had traced being sure to backstitch at the start and stop of the line.  I left the bottom of the bulb open.
Fabricbulbs 2I cut out the bulbs with my pinking shears, and flipped the fabric right side out.
Fabricbulbs 3Next I stuffed it full with polyfill, 
Fabricbulbs 11tucked the ends in and then stitched the bottom closed.  Congratulations, you have a Christmas light!!  
Fabricbulbs 12Now make a few more.  Or a dozen.  Throw them into a pile, arrange them in little sets, and toss them at your kids.  But be sure to get them back-a lot of hard work went into those. :)
Fabricbulbs 5Grab some bakers twine and wooden spools, (I used the tiny 1/2 inch ones), and your hot glue gun.  Now, there are two different options for making the sockets, a Christmas light ornament or a strand of bulbs.  
Fabricbulbs 9For my single bulb I cut a strand of bakers twine about 12 inches long, tied the ends together, and used a crochet needle to tuck the knot into the hole in the spool.  I put a glob of hot glue in the hole and pulled the twine back through just a bit so that the top of the spool would be completely flat, and the twine would be secured.  
Fabricbulbs 10Fabricbulbs 13I put a big glob of hot glue on the top of the spool, 
Fabricbulbs 14then stuck a Christmas light on top, pushing it down so that any of the glue that spilled over the edge of the spool would be covered by fabric.
Fabricbulbs 15Ta da!  An ornament!
Fabricbulbs 18
For the strand of Christmas light I kept a long strand of bakers twine.  I used a crochet needle to tuck a section of the twine through the hole on the spool, 
Fabricbulbs 6and secured it with a glob of hot glue, and then pulled the twine back into the spool a bit so that the top was flat.  
Fabricbulbs 7Then I measured down the bakers twine about 9 inches, and attached another bulb in the same way.  I did this 4 more times until I had a strand of 6 evenly spaced light "sockets."
Fabricbulbs 8Then I chose the lucky 6 lights that I would attach to these sockets, hot glued them on, and admired them happily.
Fabricbulbs 20If you decide that you want to turn your ornaments into a strand of lights, simply hang up a string of bakers twine and attach the bulbs afterwards.  It's no biggie, and still looks adorable.
Fabricbulbs 31Fabricbulbs 33You can also embellish your bulb sockets if you'd like.  You could wrap them in the bakers twine, ribbon, fabric or anything else that you have on hand. 
Fabricbulbs 32 The possibilities with washi tape alone are endless, am I right? 
Fabricbulbs 38What do you think?  Sweet, right?  
More pictures of our "Christmas flat" soon.  I am adding to it and changing it up almost every other day with the help of the littles.  I love it. :)

16 comments:

Tiffany said...

Those are absolutely perfect, Erin! Love them so much! What a fun idea! Too cute! I am mad though because I have absolutely no time to make them and want to really bad! : )

DecorandtheDog said...

These are beyond adorable. I'm in love.

Cory Snyder said...

So, so cute!! I'm going to show this to my daughter. She's decorating her first home for Christmas.

Patrice said...

I LOVE these! I want a strand, just like the blue ones! So perfect.

Erin {Home Everyday} said...

These are adorable and would be perfect anywhere for Christmas decor! I'm thinking somehow using them on a wreath.

Judy K said...

I remember those types of lights. You did a great job. Visiting from Centsational Girl's party.

Molly said...

these are so darn cute.

K @ Shift Ctrl ART said...

These ornaments are fantastic. I love everything about them. Now I have the perfect craft for all the little yarn spools I have left over from making hats for little clothes pin snowmen :)

Maria said...

How cute! I love this idea! What a great blog you have - I'm your newest follower! Have a great weekend!

Nancy at maddalee™ said...

Hi, these are adorable! I love the spools, fabric colors and twine.

:) Nancy

kirstin @ kojodesigns said...

Erin, LOVE LOVE LOVE them. :)
People keep asking me if they can pay me to make them. Way to go, friend. :)

Design_Fluff said...

These are so cool! Love:)

Leslie Stewart said...

These are absolutely too cute! So cute and clever! Thanks for sharing! I found you at Centsational Girl's linky party.
Leslie
House on the Way

Karen at Bargain-ista.com said...

Darling! I can't tell you how much I love these! We always had those kind of lights when I was growing up. Your ornaments make my heart happy :)

Andrew Bynumm said...

These are lovely. Having Printing to Fabric materials is just another luxury that our generation gets to have. I wonder if this sort of thing could work with a real light bulb, I hope that it does because it's going to be lovely.

jeremy said...

You are so smart. Save time and money.



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