Make A Store Bought Picture Glow!

I have to check out the clearance item whenever I hit the craft store because I never know what I'm going to find. This picture was $3.22!


Well, who could argue with that? Of course, I knew what had to be done! Add lights!

I got my supplies together:


I chose a strand of warm white lights.  The first thing I did was check the case to see if there were extra screws in the back.


I removed the two screws on the right side of this picture. The ones on the left hold the case together, so they need to stay in place. I'm a veteran of projects where, after gluing the battery case in place, I remembered the screws were still in the bottom. Oops! Seriously, the case will not open if those screws are in place.

The next step was to arrange the lights so the lined up with stars or other objects as best I could: 


Not bad. They don't have to be perfect in this stage as I can move them around a bit as I glue them in place. I used blue painter's tape to stick them in place temporarily. Painter's or masking tape is very easy to remove from canvas. 

Next, I started to glue the lights in place. I removed the tape on one side of the light, double-checked for placement, made any adjustments, then put down a blob of hot glue.

Caution: Hot glue can get really, really hot, especially when using a high-temperature gun. The nozzle can cause burns, as can the glue before it starts to cool off. (I mean, that should go without saying, but there's a cat with a briefcase here demanding that type this. Now it demands treats.)


This does not have to be perfectly neat, though you'll probably want to at least get rid of all the little strings that hot glue tends to leave behind. I checked placement again before the glue set so I could move it a bit if necessary. Once I was happy, I removed the rest of the piece of tape and put another blob of glue down on the other side of the light.

This bit is time-consuming, but it pays to get it right.

This is what the back looked like when I was finished:


Again, it's ugly, but you don't really see it from the front side. It's one reason I'm using a dark picture. It can hide a multitude of sins!

Next, I tacked down the wire between the battery case and the top of the frame with some white electrical tape. You can use whatever color works best for your project. I added some sticky hook-and-loop fastener to the battery pack and left some slack in the cord so it can easily be removed to change the batteries out.


Here is is on the wall, all lit up!


And with the lights out:


All in all, it's a pretty fun project. Since I buy these lights in bulk, it cost me around $5 in total to make. Also, it's covering up a cruddy spot on the wall, so it's a win all around!

This could be a fun project to do with the kids over Spring Break. Just be sure to supervise them with the hot glue, or do the gluing for them, depending on their age. If you do this, share it on Facebook or Instagram!

Filed under: Tutorials   Accessories         
2/23/2021 1:25:00 PM