Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer

Recently, I was at the local store and saw a distressed wooden reindeer plaque. I thought they were cute, but had no idea how to decorate it. Moving down the aisle, I came across a bucket of plastic lightbulbs. Then the wheels started turning…

For this project, you’ll need one reindeer plaque, a plastic pretend lightbulb, a short string of led lights, red paint, a power drill, and a hot glue gun. The led lights should have a battery pack instead of the kind that plug into a wall.

Start with disassembling the lightbulb and painting the inside of it red. I recommend applying the paint in very thin coats. I put on rather heavy the first time and it took days to dry. I even went back and scraped out some of the paint and it still took more time to dry.

The fake plastic bulbs have a hole in the metal rim. Using the metal rim from the lightbulb, mark where you want the bulb to go. Then drill a hole just about the same size as the hole in the metal rim. Feed one end of your light strand through the hole. My led lights were small so I made sure two of the bulbs were inside the metal rim. Then hot glue the metal rim to the reindeer plaque. This is what it will look like when in place.16-10-27Once you have the metal rim in place, flip the plaque over to the backside. I taped the end of the light strand down. Then I wound the lights around the antlers, first on one side and then on the other. After I was happy with the placement, I went back over it with the hot glue gun and glued it down in a couple places. 16-10-28I hot glued the light strand battery pack to the back of the reindeer, making sure to glue only one side so the batteries can be changed as needed. This is my finished Rudolph all lit up.16-10-26I think they turned out very cute. I made several of these for the Holiday Boutique last weekend and all but one sold (yay!). I hope you enjoyed today’s non-stamping project. This project came together fairly quickly once I’d painted the light bulbs. But the light bulbs required far more time than I thought they would.

To save you some hassle, here are some tips on painting the inside of the light bulbs. I tried several different methods and all had varying results.

  • Watered-down paint and swirling it around the inside: it came out very thin and when poured out the water, most of the paint came back out with it. I tried more paint and less water but ended up with a mix that was too thick to work with.
  • Using a brush to apply acrylic paint: painting it on left a lot of streaks. I added several more coats and most of the streaks went away, but you can still see some splotchiness. I think the mottled look is acceptable. If I were to redo this project, I would use this method again, but with far thinner layers.
  • Spray painting the outside of the bulbs: you lose that beautiful glossiness of the bulb by painting the outside.
  • Spray painting the inside of the bulb: yes, you can do this, but be sure to hold the nozzle right up to the opening of the bulb. This method appeared to work really good until it was finished drying and I realized that the paint had all pooled in the bottom of the bulb because I had set it upright to dry. This might have worked better if I’d dried it upside down so the extra paint could drain out. Although my resident paint expert thinks that instead of evenly draining out, it would have left trails of streaks instead.

If you make your own reindeer, let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear your results.

Have you seen the special for October? This is the perfect time to stock up on your favorite pattern papers.


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