Saturday, 14 December 2013

Beaded string lights

Today is all about light in the winder darkness. I thought I could show you what I did last night in order to pruce up my plain string lights. And, yes, it's a string of blue lights and, yes, I chose the colour myself (though it was a couple of years ago when coloured christmas lights weren't that prolific so the choice of colour was limited).

Anyway, my idea -- after having seen different versions of it online -- was to embellish it with beads. Do something so that it would look nice even during daytime when the lights are off and the whole string hangs in in the window in plain sight, looking dull and out of place.

As I'm a seedbeader you might expect me to do something like this, but I really just wanted to do something quick and simple -- and in that finding a reason to use a strand of lampwork beads I've never got around to using in my jewellery as they aren't really my style (won them so nothing I picked out myself).

So what I did was simply to put the ruffled silverfoil beads on headpins, make loops and attach them onto the electric cords of the string light using rubber o-rings wrapped around the cord. The reasons for using rubber o-rings were two: 1) to make it easy to remove the beads when I want to, and 2) to make sure they won't slide back and forth.

I just made one mistake when ordering. Or, well, two but not counting how many o-rings I needed wasn't a problem as it turned out one package included 20 pieces which was just the same as the number of silverfoil beads on the strand. The mistake was choosing white rings. And this rubber is a pure, shiny white silicone rubber, not even a dull almost yellowed white rubber as you often see. My reasoning was to use white as the string is white, but I forgot that the metal of the electric wires shines through and the plastic had aged a bit and yellowed. So in the end, the rings were too bright and white to match the string as planned. And I missed that the seller had two different white rings -- of which the ones I didn't buy probably would've been a better match. Well, you live and learn...

Here's a comparison of "before" and "after". Or rather, of two parts of the string as 20 beads was about half of what was needed to embellish the whole string. Below is a couple of photos of the string lights hanging in the window.

Above unlit and below lit. From a distance you don't see that much of the beads when it's dark.

Not sure if I'll keep it like this. Not that I hate the simple embellishment, it's more that I want to do something more as the string lights themselves are so boring. Blue lights was fun at the time, but now some years later I just regret not choosing purple or plain warm white. And now I wish it was one of these instead.

Maybe I should try this idea (ping pong ball lights)? Or make one of these from reddish paper so the blue lights would create a purple glow? Maybe I could do the same with the first idea there too, paint the balls first? Either just red or purple or mixing colours.

What do you think?

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