LED lights are a DIY crafter's dream.
They stay cool enough to not melt or burn your materials, they're energy-efficient, and they're incredibly easy to use. And better yet, they come in every color imaginable.
There's no limit to the ways you can use LEDs for crafting. But if you need a little inspiration, keep reading for seven great DIY LED light projects to brighten up your life this summer!
Each of these DIY projects begins with the same basic supplies. For starters, you'll need an LED light in rope, strip, or single-bulb form.
Second, you'll need a power source. You might be able to use your home's pre-existing wall sockets for some projects. For others, you'll have to get a portable power supply that matches the voltage of the LED lights you're using.
These projects are all safe to complete. But before you begin any DIY project involving electricity, it's a good idea to review some basic electrical safety tips and call a professional if you feel like you're in over your head.
1. Make Your Own Neon Sign
Neon signs are a fun and classic decor element, but most of us don't have the means to make them at home. Luckily, LED neon rope lights are a fantastic dupe for the original and are flexible enough to form into words and images.
Begin by bending heavy-gauge sculpting wire into your desired shape. Then, line up the rope lights with your metal form, using plastic zip ties or clear fishing line to attach them together. You can hang your new neon sign straight on the wall or affix it to a canvas to make it portable.
2. Simplify Your Artistic Process
If you're an artist, you're probably familiar with the struggle of copying rough sketches onto another page. A DIY lightbox makes this process simple for a fraction of the cost of buying a pre-made one.
Start by finding a long, shallow plastic tote bin at the dollar store. The best type for this project will have a clear box with a flat, white lid. Make sure to choose one that's large enough to set your paper on top of.
Then, open up the container and stick white LED strip lights along the inside walls. Cut or drill a hole in the side that's just large enough for the light cord to fit through. Put the lid back and plug it in on for an inexpensive lightbox that doubles as storage for art supplies!
3. Realistic Candle Lanterns
Candle lanterns are beautiful, but they can also be a serious fire hazard. Use a hanging lamp cord and a tin can to get the same effect without the danger of an open flame.
First, wash out a large metal can and remove the label. Use a hammer and nail to punch holes into the can in a repeated design. Then, if desired, paint it to match your other decor.
Next, cut a hole in the top that's large enough for your light socket to fit through and screw in your lightbulb. Small LED bulbs with realistic flicker effects are the best choice for this project.
If you hang your beautiful new lantern on the porch this summer, make sure to use electronic components that are rated for outdoor use.
4. Brighten up Your Vanity
Dim lighting makes getting reading in the morning far more difficult than it needs to be. Thankfully, battery-operated puck lights make brightening up your vanity mirror as easy as pushing a button.
Just stick the lights on the wall around the border of your mirror and tap the bulb to turn them on and off. They'll cast light directly onto your face from multiple angles to minimize shadows. If you're feeling extra crafty, stick them onto a custom mirror frame along with silk flowers, seashells, or costume jewelry.
5. Increase Step Safety with Style
Going up and down the stairs at night can be dangerous, especially if you're trying not to wake people up by turning on the lights. Thankfully, motion-activated LED lights offer a quick fix.
To start, stick the strand of lights along the base of the wall next to your stairs. Then, set up the included motion sensor where it will be triggered by people going up and down. You can even set the lights to fade between different colors to make your staircase feel like a portal into another world.
6. Turn Found Objects into Contemporary Lamps
With flexible LED strip lights, anything you can put on a stand or hang from the ceiling can turn into a lamp contemporary designers would die for.
To create your one-of-a-kind lighting fixture on a budget, visit thrift shops and garage sales until you find an item that speaks to you. People have used everything from bike wheels to top hats to light up their space, so be creative!
Once you've found the perfect object, all you need to do is wrap the strip or rope lights around its outside borders. Secure them with heat-safe glue or invisible fishing line and connect your new avant-garde lamp to a power source.
7. Bring the Galaxy Indoors
Even the sky isn't the limit when it comes to lighting. With nothing but a cheap paper orb lantern and some paint, you can bring the stars into your bedroom.
Start by removing the lampshade and spray painting it black. Then, sponge on purple, blue, pink, and white paints in a galactic pattern. Get creative by adding planets, shooting stars, or alien spaceships!
Next, use a nail or sharp pencil to poke holes into the paper in the shapes of constellations. Then, install a bright LED bulb, and watch as your lamp shines the stars onto your walls and ceiling!
These DIY LED Light Projects Will Light up Your Life
Whether you're trying to upgrade your home, repurpose used items, or just add a touch of whimsy to your life, these DIY LED light projects can help you get there in no time.
Trying to figure out which lighting materials are right for your next craft project? Request a free catalog today!