this is my first official post on craftster and i'm very excited to present my submission in this challenge, my cherry blossom branch lights.
all lit up:
during the day (with my own cherry tree in bloom in the background):
a close up of some of the blossoms:
these were inspired by branch lights i had seen at a store here in san francisco, but they were quite expensive and plastic and of course i thought "i could make that!" here's a picture of something similar: http://www.grahamandgreen.co.uk/product.aspx/lamps/cherry+blossom+branch+with+decorative+flower+lights/lighting/lighting_lamps/-/tke.htm
the ingredients include brown floral tape, 20 gauge floral wire, these led mini-individual-light strings w/ten bulbs (one for each branch):
and actually just one of the white branches from the dollar store (thus, why they're a bit dirty...):
there's three small branches. this is what they look like all separated:
and just one more picture, because i'm excited and they're really pretty!!!
finally, i must give credit to those on craftster that inspired me including:http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=134171.0
thanks for looking. i can give more details and pictures, plus links to where i got the lights online if anyone is interested. comments greatly appreciated.Updated 5/5
i just wanted to give an update to detail a bit more of my process and answer all the questions i've received. it sounds like a lot of people want to make these themselves and for a nerdy, socialist-minded crafter like me, this is thrilling!!
this is a semi-tutorial of how i went about creating these.
so first, where i got my materials:
cherry blossom branches - if you live in san francisco, i got them from the dollar general discount store on divisadero at mcallister. i live right around here and while the quality wasn't that good (you can see the rust-colored stains in some of the pictures) the people there are really sweet and there's a bunch of random things to inspire any crafter. i looked online for some cherry blossom branches and couldn't find any and hey, who can beat a dollar??
floral wire and brown floral tape - i can't ever seem to get to craft stores before they close, so i do a lot of shopping online. there's a wholesale floral store called http://www.afloral.com/
and when they were out of the gauge of wire i needed, they sent me another gauge for free. now that's
customer service! i used 20 gauge and it worked just fine, though i think a thicker (smaller number) wire would be a bit more stable.
led lights - i got them here: http://www.save-on-crafts.com/floralights.html
: they only last 15 hours on aa batteries. i have rechargeable ones, so it's not so bad, but that's not a long time at all. if someone finds these vine lights online somewhere else with a longer running time, please let us know!!!
the process. the first branch took me about two hours, because i really was just making it up as i went along. the other two took me about an hour a piece.
1. choose your branch. my branches are maybe a foot long and are really just one piece of the much longer original branch that i just tore/cut off. i used the original branch and where the blossoms were as a guide, but i had to add flowers to use all ten of the lights.
2. pop out the centers of the flowers. the led lights i used were too small for the hole, so i wrapped floral tape a bunch of times around the base of the light, where it connects to the wire, to make it thicker. floral tape is not really sticky. what you do is stretch it and it kinda becomes stickier and i think it's the tension that actually holds it to the surface. (i bet there are some floral crafters out there that are cringing at my description...i haven't used floral tape that much, so i'm sorry!) then i just pushed the blossom over it. i suppose you could use a dab of craft or hot glue to keep it in place if permanence is something you're after.
3. at this point, locate where on the branch you want the blossom to be. if you're using the original blossom location and there's a wire, stick it under the floral tape. if there's not, stick a bit of the floral wire under the floral tape to stabilize it.
4. starting at where the floral tape under the light ends, start wrapping floral tape around the wire and/or branch and the cord, stretching the tape as you go to get it to stick to itself. keep going until the light stays in place (about an inch), but don't go too far yet.
5. repeat with all ten (or however many) lights.
6. now it's time to cover up all the cords and give the branch a uniform look. i started at the topmost blossom and worked my way down, making sure to cover all of the white cords. at the bottom, i just stopped and used duct tape to finish it off, since that part is not going to be visible and it's stronger than the floral tape.
7. put in a vase. i didn't have one that worked really well, but i think i'm going to try to find something without a bottom so that i don't have to take each battery pack out and turn it on each time. i used a newspaper bag to hide the packs and stabilize the branches, but again, this wouldn't be necessary if i had the right vase.
hopefully i'll have pictures to illustrate this process soon! if anyone tries it, please post pictures because i want to see what other people come up with, especially since i'm sure i haven't perfected it by any means!!
thanks so very much for all the responses. what a great first post! i'm in the middle of adding some crafty elements to my newly decorated apartment and i'm totally inspired to keep posting...so you'll be seeing me around!