As promised here is the Light Bulb Dove, from This Moment – Friday Ritual on 12/23/11. Now that I’ve made several of these for my friends. I decided to write-up a tutorial with step by step instructions and pictures.
Here’s the story behind this decoration and how I came about wanting to make one for myself. While at a recent craft show I stumbled on to a booth that had light bulb decorations, so many that I was in awed for a while. But then I saw my favorite (the Dove) and I was in love again. (for the 5th time, as I had already fallen in love with many other craft items.) I really wanted to snap a picture of it to use later as I attempted to make my own, but the woman running the booth was standing there and I felt weird. After giving it another good-looking over, I got the basics of how she had done it and was determined to give it a try myself.
Without a picture visualization I had to wing it, and I wasn’t expecting it to be as easy as easy as it was. I did some experimenting with different shape of wings, covering the entire bulb or doing it as the “woman at the craft show” (she didn’t have the underside pieces or the chest pieces) Finally came up with a design & style that I liked. Now that I’ve told you a bit of history behind the Christmas Dove light bulb decoration, here’s the tutorial.
Supplies Needed - 2 – 3 (close up of items) - for each Dove
Spent Light Bulb
White Spray Paint – I used Krylon Flat White
1 1/2- White Felt Sheet – 9x 12″ sheet
1- Large Pom Pom
2- Small Black Pom Pom
Scrap piece of orange felt about 3×3″
2- Ribbon Pieces both 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide and about 9 inches in length
1 Wired Garland piece (similar to the artificial tree branches) 12 pack at the dollar store
Any other items you might want to use to decorate your dove
Glue Gun or Tacky Glue (glue gun works best)
Box cutter, exacto knife, scissors, utility knife (any one of them)
Old somewhat sturdy box – Shoe box, cereal box, cereal bar box, or even a diaper wipe container
Step 1 – Clean Bulb(s)
Using either warm water or a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol, clean the surface of the bulbs. (I used alcohol which saved me from having to dry them, as the alcohol evaporates)
Step 2 – Prepare box stand (example of my box)
You’ll need your preferred cutting tool and box for this step. Laying the box on its side (giving you the most space, flattest, sturdiest possible way). Cut an X about 1 1/2 inches long, if you’re going to paint more than one bulb you will need to leave space between each X (about 3 inches all sides). After cutting the X’s you’ll need to push them in a bit I found using the end of my box cutter worked best. (don’t push to far in this part, as it’s used to secure the bulb snugly in the stand)
Step 3- Secure bulbs & Painting
Secure the bulbs into your box stand and grab your spray paint, (head outdoors or garage) for painting. Spray an even coat of paint on each bulb and allow to dry. I sprayed mine and went and did some chores, came back a couple of hours later and resprayed. (spray painted outdoors on a sunny day) Rotate bulbs with each coat you apply so that you get an even coat on each side. After you’ve applied the last coat of paint and while they are drying you can move on to the next step.
Step 4- Pattern Pieces
You can either use my pattern or design your own. If you’re going to design you own you’ll need to wait for the bulb to finish drying, so that you can test your pieces on the bulb for look etc. (or use a spare bulb and I suggest designing your patterns on scrap paper) If you are using my pattern click on “pattern” link above and either print the pieces or an easy (money-saving) way would be trace directly from monitor. Just take a sheet of notebook paper or tracing paper (even parchment paper works), put little pieces of tape on corners to secure in place and use a crayon or dull pencil and trace around the pieces. (don’t press hard) Once you’ve got a light pattern traced remove from screen and darken them if you need too. Cut the pieces out and transfer them to the white felt, with the exception of the beak that piece needs to be cut from the orange felt. Plug in your glue gun, go grab your dried bulbs and move to next step.
Step 5 – Assembling your Dove.
Start with the threaded end of the bulb first, grab the “threaded end pattern pieces”. Starting with the circle piece apply a small layer of glue around the entire circle threaded “end” piece of the bulb, then place the circle felt piece in the center and press down the piece will over lap the sides a little. Next you’ll apply glue to the entire threaded area of the bulb going slightly over the edge to the bulb, using the threaded end longer piece wrap (pulling tight) it around the threads, your piece will be a tad bit to long. After securely pushing the piece down you can trim it up to either overlap a bit or just so the edges meet, secure end with glue. Now that both pieces are secure lets move on to the tail portion.
I placed my tail about 1″ up from the edge of the threaded area pieces. Secure upper portion as well as along the threaded area. After you’ve gotten the tail properly secure turn your bulb over and secure the lower tail-piece, I added this portion to help cover more of the bulb and to help stabilize the Dove. Aline the underside tail-piece further up on bulb (slightly over the curved area). Glue the entire piece down, including the lower edge.
Wings – Large
First you’ll secure the large wings, I positioned the wings so that the edges of the wings just touch and the tips meet at the tail. Once I figured out an approximate location I put glue along the rounded edge and secure the wing to the front of the bulb. Repeat same process for the other large wing, with both wings secure lets move onto the small wings. (ignore the messy glue job. 1- it will be covered in a later step. 2- these are my demo pictures.)
Wings – Small
Place smaller wings so that the tips meet at the edge of large wing, (side view picture) about 1 to 1 1/2 inches up from the larger wing tips. After figuring out the position you like secure the wings at the rounded corners as you did the larger wings, after applying glue before pushing into place pinch the middle area (rounded edge) them press down. This helps give the wing some shape.
Securing the Wings at Tail and Center
To secure the wings at tail area starting with the large wings, I put little drops of glue just above the tips (don’t pull the wings tightly) do the same for the small wings. After securing the wings at the tail, if you turn your Dove over you’ll notice a gaping hole (around the curved area of the bulb). Grab the Dove around the curved area of the bulb, put a dab of glue on the wings to secure them to the bulb, start with the large wing, then smaller wing. You’re almost done, lets move on the head.
Hanging Ribbon, Head, Eyes, Beak & Chest Pieces
You should have 2 chest pieces, I didn’t take pictures of me placing these pieces. Ideally these will help cover up the bulb showing between the wings. I positioned the lower piece above the underside tail-piece so that they overlap some. Then I placed the second one just above the first piece, again they will overlap some.
Hanging ribbon – take a ribbon piece and loop it, cris crossing the edges, keep them flat apply a dab of glue to hold them into place. Next your going to secure it to the Dove, see picture for placement apply a dab of glue to secure.
Head – Your dove should sit pretty stable now with little to no wobbling. Now it’s time to position the head, and a lot of finding the right position is how well the pompom works for you. Sometimes they get into weird shapes as they are package, so fluff your pompom and lay on top of the bulb between wings on upper part. Play around with it until it looks the way you want it to look, after deciding how you want the head to sit flatten the edge you are going to glue to bulb. (press it down on a firm surface) Apply a good amount of glue to the bulb going over the ribbon already in place, then press your head firmly into place. Hold this for a little while and don’t try to pick your Dove up with the ribbon until glue has dried completely.
Eyes & Beak
With the head in position and completely dry, it’s time to add the eyes and beak. Eyes position them as you feel fit, secure them to the head with a dab of glue. Next for the beak, glue the 2 orange pieces together at short edge. Once you’ve put them together grab the middle area and pinch. This will give your beak a more of a beak look. Now position your beak and secure to the head with a dab of glue, really push the beak up into the pompom.
Grab your dove by the ribbon and see that it’s secure, if it feels loose lift head and put some more glue around the edges.
Decorating your Dove
Using items you have lying around you can add various items to your dove, this tutorial shows the dove holding a Christmas tree branch with some colored balls, I’ve also made a few holding mini wreaths. Per tutorial picture, I used a 4 inch piece of the wire Christmas Tree branch stem thing. (I picked up a pack of 12 from the dollar store) I then took some green and blue balls I had lying around and glued them to the stem.
To secure the piece into the beak I put a dab of glue on both sides (middle area) of the stem, I then spread the beak open and placed the stem as close to the inner edge of the beak as I could, now squeeze the beak together at the inner edge. After the glue has dried you can open your beak some at the points, and reshape the branch, head and eyes.
You’re Done!! Wasn’t that fun? Now you have an awesome new ornament or hostess giving gift or you can do a giveaway on your blog. Here are a couple of pictures of the ones I created for my friends.