How to Make a Light out of a CD Spindlecomments (19) April 23rd, 2009
A couple of years ago, my husband and I were part of a crafty group called the Department of Craft. We sold together at craft fairs and supported each other as our fledgling businesses grew, but my favorite part of our group was the Craft Challenge. Here's how we did it: Each of us would write a word or phrase on a slip of paper and throw them into a hat. Each month we would pick one slip of paper and we would have to make something that is inspired by that word or phrase.
All sorts of amazing things came out of these Craft Challenges. One of my favorite projects was this light that my husband made from a CD spindle for the "Light" challenge. It's a reuse of an item that usually gets tossed when the CDs run out, and it's just so cool looking! So I can't really take credit for the idea of this project, but I wanted to remake one for you.
This is a bit more of a techie project than I usually do, but if you have some basic tools, you should be fine!
Oh, and one more thing: Don't ever leave your light unattended and plugged in all day. You don't have to watch it like a hawk, but don't leave home with it plugged in. It's better for the environment and safer!
What you'll need:
- Empty CD spindle
- Small handsaw
- 6 ft. electrical cord
- Wire strippers or small sharp scissors
- Rotary light switch
- Electrical tape
- Chandelier bulb
- Transparency paper
- X-Acto knife and cutting mat
- Spray adhesive
- Tissue paper
1. Set the top of the CD spindle aside; you aren't going to need it for a while. With your handsaw, saw off most of the center part of the bottom of the spindle. I left about 1/2 inch on the spindle.
2. With your small scissors, carefully cut down the center of one end of the cord about 3 inches, making sure not to cut through any wires. Use your wire strippers to strip off 1 inch of both sides of the wire. If you don't have wire strippers, you can carefully cut a little of the coated wire off with scissors and peel if off.
3. Take your socket and loosen the screws on both sides. Wrap the stripped and split wires around the screws and secure by tightening the screws. The two photos above show what it should look like.
4. Take the other end of the wire and thread it through the center of the CD spindle bottom.
5. Close to the end of the wire, attach the rotary light switch.
6. Open up the plug and insert the end of the wire. Close the plug to secure.
7. Cut a few pieces of electrical tape and wrap it around the socket and the CD spindle so that the light is straight and secure.
8. Plug in your light and turn it on to make sure it works! Yay! It does!
9. Now you are going to make the image to go inside the CD spindle. With a measuring tape, measure the circumference and the height of the top of the CD spindle.
10. Find a really cool image in your collection of online photos. It can be anything really; just make sure it is as long and as high as your measurements from step 9. If you don't have any photos, look through Flickr for a Creative Commons photo. I made mine black and white in Photoshop, but color looks great, too!
11. Print the image out on transparency paper. You will need two sheets of transparency paper for the image to go all the way around the CD spindle. I recommend an image that can be easily matched with the second sheet like a landscape of trees or mountains.
12. With an X-Acto knife and a cutting mat, trim the transparency paper to the right size to fit in the spindle. I backed my transparency paper with tissue paper, too: Lightly spray the back with spray adhesive and affix to a sheet of tissue paper. Trim the tissue paper with the X-Acto knife.
13. Trace the top of the CD spindle on tissue paper with a pencil. Cut out the circle. Lightly spray the inside top of the CD spindle and affix the tissue paper to the inside of the spindle. Lightly spray the sides of the spindle and affix the transparency paper to the sides of the spindle.
14. Plug in your handmade light and pat yourself of the back!
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery
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