DIY Diva: Canvas Lighting

Ellen Curtis
Ellen Curtis

After seeing a few diy projects online where people used a canvas and Christmas lights to create constellation-like lights, I figured I’d give it a go on my own. I picked up a cheap canvas from XS Cargo, and used a string of white Christmas light (a 100 light set) to create the following look.

I first started by plotting out my 100 points on the back of the canvas. The sites I had read recommended to leave at least one inch of space between holes, but it would probably be even better to leave two inches, just because it was sometimes difficult to get the lights to stick in when they were so close to each other.

Most sites recommended to use an awl to punch holes through the canvas. Because I didn’t have an awl handy, I used metal knitting needles to punch my holes.

After punching all the holes into the canvas, I began pushing the lights into the holes. Mine were snug enough to stay in the holes without glue, but if you want the lights to stay in a small amount of craft glue might help hold them in. I didn’t go this route because I was using the older style mini-lights that blow frequently. I would only recommend gluing them in if you were using an LED string, because otherwise you may not be able to change the lights if they blow, leaving your light useless if just one light blew in the circuit.

To secure my lights a little, I used some small ties to hold down the ends of the light strings. I used a 12 foot extension cord to allow my light to reach a socket, but I think this would look lovely mounted on a ceiling instead of a wall, especially over a child’s bed. Ours is currently behind a globe of the moon.

I chose a random pattern for mine, but if this project was done for a space themed child’s room, getting a print out of easy to recognize constellations and using that as a template for your lights could turn this easy project into an educational tool.

Matt was a little worried about this project posing a fire hazard. Unless you’re using LED’s, I would not recommend leaving lights unattended for any length of time. This being said, after leaving mine on for extended periods, I didn’t find that the canvas heated up. If you are concerned about the heat of the lights, fire retardant sprays are available at most hardware stores and craft stores, so I would suggest spraying the canvas with one of these and allowing it to dry before beginning to plot holes.

End project!
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