Monday, July 7, 2008

Recycled Lighthouse Patio Light Cover

OK, I admit it . . . I'm a compulsive recycleholic. There. It's an admitted fact. Fortunately, recycling is a good thing . . . until I start sqirrelling things away . . . and then it's not. Especially when I live in a house on wheels that's 8' wide (closed up) and 31' long. 'Storage' is severely restricted . . . until a fun brain fart like this one pops out and is well-received.

This project got its 'seed' from some square racketball sleeves. I've been making different awning light covers for some time that are more fragile, and the square sleeves are ideal to stack the light covers in and protect them in transit.

Jokingly, one of the girls in our campground store asked if I might want a tennis ball sleeve one day (we sell the balls individually and discard the empty sleeves). I took a couple home and then the idea came to turn them into awning light (or patio light) covers.

My original intent was to use a graphics program to create a pattern on my computer which I could print out and place inside the cylinder, then paint the design on the outside . . . obviously, during the process, a typical-for-me entirely different direction emerged.

About two years ago I found online. I don't recall what type of product I was Googling at the time - yes I do - transfer papers for the jigsaw puzzles featured in the right hand column here (which are great). While exploring The Crafty PC website I discovered Backlight Film - and a Wedding Light pattern that I've since redesigned into my awning light covers.

As my design emerged, it took on a life of its own. With the bottom of the cylinder painted black to become the top of the lighthouse, I only needed a flat pattern to roll up and insert into the cylinder. I used basic shapes which I filled with color then tweaked with filters (the red and white bands, door and windows). I then cut out the window panes and diamonds from the light room at the top.

Originally, I intended for these areas to remain clear, then decided to add a 'reflection'. Off to my digital images, and I opened one of my colorful Florida Sunsets and placed it as the bottom layer. Having previously cut away all the glass areas, I was able to work with the sunset image until it looked right through every window - but keeping in mind that the top light would be meeting along the seam.

Aftter that, I added greenery from an image of a flower bed here at the campground - again, being aware that it had to match up on the sides.

For a little added zest, it was back to my image collection and this time, the siding of a houseboat on nearby White Lake was the perfect accent for the shutters. To give them a bit more zing, I went to my digital scrapping collection and found hinges and potential door knob from Scrap Girls, Eternal Love kit.

Add a few pertinent shadows and a few other tweaks and I had my pattern.

I printed it out on The Crafty PC's Backlight Film and let it dry for a few hours. Two coats of The Crafty PC's Decal Finishing and Inkjet Overcoat Spray (again, letting it dry between coats), one last 2-hour drying spell, and I was able to trim the paper to size.

All I need now is to get the light hole for Christmas Tree lights drilled to size and I'll be ready to hang it. In the meantime, the second pattern is underway - I'm aiming for a set of six lights.

1 comment:

  1. You are sooo creative!! Love this! I also have a little blog award for you! Stop by when you get a chance and pick it up!