Now to wire this puppy with lights.
I know! It just gets better and better.
I marked my hole locations with thumb tacks. I started with one on every tip, and one on every corner joint. Then I measured the distance between them to get an estimate of how many holes to drill. By putting holes about every 5 – 5 1/2 inches, every board will have 4 to 5 lights.
42 lights total, by my count.
I used a 3/4 inch wood paddle bit to make all my holes. My C-7 light sockets are just about this size.
Cordless drills are great for screwing lightweight stuff together, but a good power drill (the kind that plugs in) has all the power that I needed for boring through all that super-tough pallet wood. We have a cheap one, I think it was about 30$.
It took a while, and a lot of arm strength, but eventually I was able to make all 42 holes. Good thing we had that work table with locking casters to work on. A nice clean work surface makes all the difference with a big scale project like this.
We had a couple of white C7 light cords already.
The white will blend in more with the white dry brushed wood. If you can’t find white, they are available at Partylights.com.
Before I could slip my sockets into the holes I just drilled, I had to snip the hook off the socket. Just used a pair of wire snips.
Then I could flip my star over and slip all the light sockets into the holes I just drilled. Pretty simple.
Stapling the cords down can be a little tricky as well. Make sure that the cord is inside the guide on the stapler. I didn’t want to short out my cord before I even got the light bulbs in.
OOOh yeah, this is a T-50 stapler. It’s slightly bigger than an office stapler. Buy a “Big Boy” stapler if you plan on doing projects like this. I used 3/8 inch staples.
I only had 42 holes and 60 outlets on my light cord.
Did you know that you can cut light cords? Well you can. If they are the big C-7 or C-9 cords…dont do it to B sizes lights.
The ends of my lights were cut off, and I twisted wire nuts over the exposed ends. This looks cleaner than just tucking all the extra light cord behind my star.
I didn’t work this hard to have it look unprofessional.
To keep the wire nuts from ever slipping off, I made them even more secure by wrapping electrical tape over the whole mess.
I was almost ready to add bulbs. First I had to scratch the whole thing up just a bit with some heavy grit sandpaper. Really make it look worn and found, not so much “new construction”.
Here’s the bulbs I used.
Bulbrite red transparent 10 wat G12, the same bulbs they use on carnival rides. And who doesn’t like a carnival atmosphere? They also come in blue, amber, green, clear and bubble gum pink. You can buy them from 1000Bulbs.com, at about 60 cents each. That sounds pretty cheap, but when you add up all the sockets…it can get a little pricy. Regular ceramic Christmas light bulbs are only about 25 cents each, and will work just fine. But I just love the “look” of the carnival lights and think they are worth every penny.
We used to use them for stringing across the old patio, so we already had a box of them.
Finished Star!!! (If I could play music here, it would be Etta James – At Last)
Now we have to share this baby with the neighborhood.
Aren’t they so lucky?