Thursday, March 14, 2013

[Upcycle] Fabric Artichokes from Light Bulbs

The trendy folks at BuzzFeed asked me to create an upcycle project with old light bulbs. I have never done anything with light bulbs except stick them in a socket, but... I like a good challenge. So I said yes and here we are.

I've seen a ton of light bulbs upcycled into vases, terrariums, even fish bowls (??)... all which involve cutting metal/glass and extracting the filament. I value my fingers (and eyeballs), and I wanted to be a little unique, so I went a different route. I did a quick Google check and I'm pretty sure there aren't any light bulb artichokes out there yet.

Click "Read more" for the tutorial

Light Bulb Artichoke Tutorial

Gather your supplies: old light bulb, duck cloth canvas (or other stiff utility fabric), hot glue gun/glue sticks, scissors,  and round wood disks.

Cut your squares: Cut 12 two-inch squares and 21 three-inch squares out of your duck cloth.

Cover the base: Take a 3-inch square and cover the base of the light bulb. Glue down the center of the square, make four cuts, and wrap and glue the material around the base.

Make shapes: Fold in the corners and glue ALL of the squares into a "house" shape (left photo). The folded part will be the tip of each "petal". Take 10 3-inch "house" shapes and trim the bottom so it resembles a "boat" shape (middle photo). Take the remaining 10 3-inch "house" shapes and trim the sides into a "hexagon" (right photo).

Glue on the "petals": Start at the base of the bulb with the 2-inch "house" shapes. As shown, apply the glue on the edges. This will give each piece enough flexibility to "shape" the artichoke later on. Slightly overlap each petal and work your way down. Then move on to the ten 3-inch "boat" shapes and finish up with the ten "hexagon" shapes. If you want your artichoke to stand up, glue a wood disk to the bottom.

and you would never guess that they were once stuck in a lamp.

Just a few notes...
This will also work with a plastic or papier mache egg. Though you will need to adjust the size of the squares if you use a smaller form. You also don't have to use fabric. You can get the same effect with thick card stock. Just swap out the hot glue gun for tacky glue.

Each 'choke took me about 30 minutes to assemble-- 5 minutes to cut squares, 10 minutes to glue and cut 32 squares into shapes, 15 minutes to glue to the light bulb. So not too bad for a craft project.

Hmm... I'm wondering if this project is too complex for the worldwide peeps. What do you think? Maybe I should've gone with Plan 2--  slap on some chalkboard paint, draw an << ! >> and call it a day.

seriously, i think there may be a market for this...  a backdrop for a mystery party photo op? several hanging over a nook where big things are dreamed up? on a cake?

Or maybe not.

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the inspiration gallery at crafty scrappy happy; design, dining + diapers; craftberry bush