Monday, February 24, 2014

Lighted Canvas tutorial

Okay , as I promised .. I took photos of the steps as my sis and I worked on the lighted canvases for my nieces wedding reception.  I took a quick video on my phone of them all together if you want to check it out.  3 canvases ( each 3'x4'). 

Of course this is by no means our original idea. lol It's been all over pinterest, and I've seen a number of "how to's" but as happens often when you are doing things on your own.. it seems you run into things you hadn't read about, heard of , or planned for. lol
I promise to share those things with you :)

The first thing we found out.. was the very thing I was wondering about all along when I envisioned doing this.  Would those lights stay in place just being poked thru the canvas???   My thoughts... not securely.  Some say they used hot glue to hold them in place..but boy what a job, and what if the lights burn out at the last minute?    Here is the solution we came up with and it worked really well.  We ran to Dollar General and got foam core.  Cheap and easy solution to the problem.   We used packing tape to put the two pieces together and to attach it to the wood braces.  The foam core really gave enough stability to hold the lights in place when we started poking holes and adding them.

We weren't planning and any specific design, just a burst of lights, but you will still want to draw it out by making dots on the back of your foam cork.   Now.. here is the other things we found out.
 1) Keep in mind.. your design will have to work around the wood braces.
 2) When planning out how many lights you will have  to work with take into consideration how far apart your holes are. If they are too far apart and more than the distance from one light to the next, you may have to leave some lights unused. ( so you wont be able to count those into your design plan)
We planned for a string of 100 lights, so we were going to do three groups, 33, 34, and 33, BUT..... (you will loose lights not being used) just going from one space to another, if they are too far apart.   That's fine.. you can just add more lights. ...just be aware.
3) You can use battery operated lights if you want, but we just used plug in lights. Just keep in mind that you will want to start working with adding your lights at the top of your canvas and working to the bottom , so that your plug ends up there. We planned ahead and taped extension cords right to the back of the canvases, so we are read to go the day of the wedding.

We used and Awl to  make the holes for the lights.

Pretty easy to punch thru the foam core and the canvas. We just found that it was better to poke the holes as we went instead of poking all the holes at once.

This works best as a two person job.  As Jan held the canvas stable, I poked the hole thru from the backside of the canvas and then pushed the light thru.

Starts looking like some kind of crazy switchboard in the back huh? lol
They really do look so pretty when they are lit up.

One more wedding project checked off the list :)



Jean said...

Well how cool. My daughter is getting married in September. Maybe I need to do something like this.

Kathy/NorthCarolina said...

This will be so beautiful! Neely is a lucky duck to have you and your sis on the job. I remember all the beautiful touches from Jarad's wedding. Can't wait to see what you tackle next!

Crafty Secrets Heartwarming Vintage Co. said...

Hi Vic, I love your pretty light boards! This is great, I can get all these cool wedding ideas from you now that Chelsea & Anthony are engaged! We left a foot of snow and are here in San Jose del Cabo and it's sunny and the house is wonderful so we won't want to leave.
Scott says to pack your bags for RCP in June!