Holiday Decor

Sparkly and Glamorous Christmas Tree made from Vintage Jewelry Finds

Vintage jewelry finds make a stunning addition to your holiday decor

One of my favorite holiday decorations is this tree I made from vintage (and not so vintage) jewelry that I’ve collected over the years. I saw a tree 4 foot tall tree made of antique jewelry in an antique store in Baltimore. I couldn’t afford the price tag in the thousands, but resolved to make my own, smaller version. The project can be as simple or elaborate as you like. I hope it’ll be a favorite addition to your holiday decor as well.

My friend and I had so much fun sorting through this box of jewelry from an online auction. The box has fueled several craft projects and we still have plenty left for more.

Materials and Tools

The materials and tools you’ll need:

  • Pliers – small needle nose and jewelry pliers work best, but you can use regular pliers too, if you don’t have jewelry pliers.
  • Safety Glasses
  • Glue: I used A6000 for its strong hold and that it didn’t spread and stain the fabric, it also dries clear. I’m a big fan of using whatever you have on hand, just make sure the glue will work for your surfaces and is strong enough to hold the weight of the pieces once you hang it.
  • Popsicle sticks, toothpicks, or other utensils to spread the glue.
  • Scissors
  • Jewelry – lots of it. Comb your jewelry box for broken necklaces, mismatched earrings, and out of style items you no longer wear. I knew I wanted to do this project for quite a while, so I began collecting inexpensive jewelry at yard sales and thrift shops.
    • Look for a variety of shapes and sizes. Brooches and pendants work best, but any piece with a flat back will work nicely. I used barrettes, bracelets, buttons, earrings, even shoe clips!
    • When my friend told me that it was time to do this project, I still hadn’t collected have enough. So, I scoured the online auctions and bought a box of tangled jewelry. There are auctions that just sell it by the pound, but you have no idea what you are getting. I looked for auctions that showed pictures of the actual pile of jewelry that I was getting. We had a blast sorting it, there were a lot of cute surprises, and we’ve made several projects using this box of jewelry and still have plenty left.
  • Frame – a shadow box frame or a regular frame with the glass removed. Keep an eye out for good deals on shadowbox frames at thrift stores year-round, they always come in handy for projects!
  • Background –
    • Fabric – I found a beautiful remnant of soft grey velvet that perfectly complemented my color scheme in the discount bin of a fabric store. The velvet I used was a very thin velvet. If you plan to use your frame’s original backing, make sure that it will still fit back into the frame with the fabric wrapped around it.
    • Paper – You could also use scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, or wallpaper.
    • Paint – or paint a piece of wood, or your frame’s backing in your desired color.
  • Foamboard (optional) if you have pieces that you wish to keep intact, using a piece of foamboard for your backing will allow you to push pins into the backing and keep the jewelry intact.
    • If using foamboard, you can use small display pins, U-pins or T-pins to attach your pieces so they can be removed and reused later.
  • Duct tape or spray adhesive, you may need to bond your background fabric or paper, or tape down the edges of your fabric to your backing
This adorable squirrel pin was hiding in the box of jewelry – he did not go into any crafts, but rather, found a home in my friend’s jewelry box.

Creating the Tree

Assembling the tree was fun and easy, but did take some time. I spent a good amount of the time making sure I had the arrangement the way I wanted, adding and removing pieces until I felt it was right. The most difficult part is knowing when to stop!

Prepare your backing: If you’re using a decorative paper you can start by using spray adhesive to affix it to the back board of your frame or a piece of foamboard cut to fit the frame. If using fabric, to cover the frame’s original backing, you may want to leave it loose to make it easier to pin pieces that you don’t want to damage to it. If you’re using foamboard go ahead and attach the fabric with spray adhesive or duct tape so it doesn’t slide around when you push the pins in.

Place pieces that will be focal points, drawing the eye, carefully. This teal wreath is the brightest piece, drawing the eye. It makes more sense to center it, near the top, than had it just been sitting at the bottom of the tree.

Lay out your design: I laid out the biggest pieces first to get my general shape. I started with my larger pieces toward the bottom, and edged the bottom with a bracelet to form a straight line to anchor my tree. I interspersed smaller pieces in between. I also tried to be aware of spreading out the colors, textures and sparkles evenly. The teal wreath pin was the brightest piece, and although a little larger, I knew I wanted it to be a focal point near the top of the tree. Take a step back and squint at your layout, or photograph it, to see if the arrangement is pleasing to the eye. If anything isn’t working, don’t be afraid to move it, or take it out of the composition altogether.

Affix your pieces: There were a few pieces that held more value than the others. Those pieces I kept intact and pinned to the fabric, using their original backings or U-pins. For those pieces that were broken or “junk” jewelry, I just used the needle nose and jewelry pliers to cut them up, gently twist off the backings, or twist apart jump rings. Some of the pieces were delicate, so I recommend taking your time and going slowly, so as not to break off parts you want to keep. It’s also a good idea to wear safety glasses during this step as parts can go flying.

Once a piece was laying flat enough, I used a toothpick and popsicle stick to lightly spread the glue evenly on the back of the piece before placing it. As glue drips would’ve stained my fabric, I had to curb my natural tendency to just glob it on.

Fill in gaps between the big pieces with smaller pieces. I did not lay out all of the small filler pieces before I glued, that would have been pretty tedious and time consuming to try to pick them all up and get them glued back down in the right place (or to transfer if you’re laying out your design on a separate paper before starting). Once you’ve completed your placing all of your pieces, allow your glue to dry thoroughly before moving it or trying to fit it into the frame.

Frame it: If using fabric that has not been affixed to the back of the frame, firmly wrap the fabric around the back without pulling the design. Use duct tape to tape the edges down to the backing. Trim any excess fabric that bunches and prevents you from fitting the back fully into the frame. My fabric was a little bit thick, but it still allowed me to push the back into the frame and fit very snugly.

Fold your fabric over the back of the frame firmly, but without pulling or stretching the design. Cut slits into the fabric where the fasteners lock into the frame and trim away excess fabric so your frame will hang flat. Edges can be taped down with duct tape to keep your design in place.

Finishing Touches and Tips:

I chose a color palette of blues and greens, and filled in with clear rhinestones and white to fit with my holiday decor. I recommend choosing a “theme” to give your design a more intentional, “put-together” feel. You could choose all rhinestones, or all enamel, all flowers, or snowflakes, or all Christmas jewelry with cute presents under the tree . . you get the idea. I’d love to see what you come up with!

Give consideration to which piece will be the top of your tree. I chose one that would look like a tree topper, but you could also choose a more “natural” look and bring your tree to a point at the top.

Overlap pieces to give more depth. This also allows you to hide areas where jewelry may be broken or missing some stones. You can also use beads or parts of other jewelry to fill in gaps and missing stones – or not. I left some of the settings open, allowing the shape and shine of the setting to become part of the design.

Overlap pieces for added depth and to cover broken parts or missing stones.

Decide whether your tree will be a simple rectangle with the base at the bottom of the frame or have a trunk. A trunk gives you room to add “presents” underneath or even a tree skirt.

I used two rhinestone bracelets to bracket the corners, I really like how they “frame” the design. To get the crisp, squared profile in the lower left corner I used the jewelry pliers to snip off one side of the bracelet and square it up against the center piece.

Use jewelry pliers to snip apart jewelry to arrange it.

Add animals or birds – when I first started laying out my design the bird pin was in the center of the tree and, to me, he looked trapped. As I rearranged pieces, it felt more natural to let him spread his wings and fly. I’m glad I set him free! Imagine a deer next to the tree, a curled up sleeping cat, or a bunny sitting beneath it. There are so many cute animal pins that can add a touch of life to your vignette.

Now place your tree where it can sparkle and shine on your holiday season!

DIY Home Decor Holiday Decor

Wine Bottle Christmas Village

I spent all summer drinking “Relax” wine. Not because I love it, but because I love the blue bottles. It is inexpensive, ubiquitous, reasonably palatable, and the bottles are a beautiful blue. I finally started to use the bottles this past weekend to create a unique light up Christmas village to display. This is a fun DIY that can be done in an afternoon. But does require a little patience and spare wine bottles.

Materials for the Christmas village:

  • Wine bottle cutter (I used Ephrem’s Wine Bottle Cutter)
  • candle
  • bucket of ice water
  • polishing paper
  • 4 empty wine bottles plus extras
  • frosted film (I used Jim Holtz idea-ology)
  • transfer tape (strong grip worked well for the frosted film)
  • X-acto knife
  • cutting mat
  • a Christmas Village Template (I used this one from You can download it free from her site and see lots of other cool projects).
  • Optional: Dremel with sanding attachment, Cricut or cutting machine

How to cut the wine bottles:

This definitely requires some practice. You should do this several times on practice bottles before you try it on the bottles you want to use for the Christmas village. I recommend that you read the full directions on your bottle cutter kit and watch a few videos before you try this.

The basic steps are:

  1. Score the bottle in a fluid motion around the outside.
  2. Heat with a candle around the score mark. I turn the bottle at a slow steady space several times to thoroughly heat it.
  3. Plunge it into the bucket of ice water. This is where I diverge from the Ephrem instructions, which recommend rubbing an ice cube on the fracture line. I like the ice bucket method, as I don’t need to worry about part of the bottle falling and breaking.
  4. If the bottle doesn’t split on my first plunge, I will reheat it and then plunge again.
  5. After your bottles are cut, you will need to sand the sharp edges. I started with a 120 grit sanding drum on my dremel and then switched to the polishing paper that came with my glass cutting kit.

After you have perfected your cutting on your practice bottles, you are ready for your real bottles. I scored the bottom of the bottles at slightly different heights (see image below) to create some visual interest for the village. That said, you don’t have to even cut the bottles at all, if you prefer them to be the same height. However, you may want to drill a hole in them to add in the fairy lights.

three wine bottles with score marks
The white lines mark the approximate location to score the bottles.

Adding the Christmas Village

Now comes the fun part –adding the Christmas village. You can of course design your own, but there are lots of templates online. I downloaded this one from If you have a cricut or silhouette you can let the machine do the hard work for you of cutting out the village. However, if you don’t you can still do this project! It may just take a little longer.

Whichever, method you choose you need to determine the scale of the village. I recommend that you only put a building on one side of the bottle. This is a little easier to get smooth and you don’t need to worry about the slight gaps in the frosted film that are created when you go over the wine bottles side seams. In order to determine the height of your design, measure from the bottom of the bottle to just below where it begins to curve in. My designs went higher on the bottle then the curve and it made things tricky when I was smoothing the paper.

Once you have determined the height, if you are using a cutting machine, I recommend cutting a test village on plain paper and placing on the bottle to see if you like the size. If you are using the pattern from Jennifer Maker, you will need to use an Xacto knife, a ruler and a cutting mat to carefully cut the house from each other. I set my Cricut material to window cling and that seemed to cut perfectly. After the design is cut remove (weed) the excess material from the design and then transfer with transfer tape (I used strong grip). When you transfer, be careful to start at one side of the design and smooth out all of the bubbles. If you get a trapped bubble, you can prick with a pin and then smooth again.

Cutting the village by hand:

If you are cutting the village by hand, you should start by printing the design at the size that works for your bottles. Once printed hold up to the bottles to verify the size before cutting out your village. I also recommend that you pare down the design if cutting by hand. Perhaps omit some windows to make the design easier. After you have sized the village, follow the steps below:

  1. Use masking tape to attach your village print out to a window.
  2. Then place your frosted film on top with the film side against the window (you will be looking at the back).
  3. Trace the outline of the buildings onto the back of your film.
  4. Remove the film and with scissors or an xacto knife cut out the building outlines.
  5. Remove the film backing and carefully place the film onto your wine bottles. Begin smoothing on one side, being careful to press out air bubbles. A credit card works well as a smoothing tool.
  6. Now that your design is secured to the bottle, you can cut out additional details like windows and doors. Again, simple is better.
  7. You can either freehand the cuts or carefully tape your paper template on top of the film that is attached to the wine bottle. Then with your xacto knife cut through the paper and the film to add in details.
  8. After you have made the cuts, carefully remove the unwanted bits of window film to reveal your design.
wine bottle Christmas village
The finished village!

The final touches

This village looks best, when lit from the inside. You can either use fairy lights and carefully put inside each bottle or you can use LED candles. Do NOT use real candles as it will overheat the bottle and may cause cracking at the top. This would look really cute on top of some faux snow or set up in a window. If you are looking for other fun DIY upcycle projects, check out our toilet roll bee wreath!

DIY Home Decor Holiday Decor

How to make a Faux Spell Book from a box

I have seen many of those faux spell books all over Pinterest and they looked like a fun project to try.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any sacrificial books to turn into spell books, however, I did have a book shaped box that my iPad cover came in.  I hung on to the box for no reason other than my slightly latent hoarder genes.  It was such a nice box and I was sure I could find a use for it.  I’m proud to say that not only did I find a use for it, but my faux spell book doubles as a secret hiding place for all of my “spell” casting needs. 

Materials for your faux spell book:

  • Sturdy box that has a hinge opening
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue
  • Black paint (I used chalkboard paint)
  • Gold mica powder
  • Decorative paper for the inside
  • Mod Podge (or you can water down some elmer’s glue)
  • Several Kleenex’s 
  • Paint brushes
  • Sharpie
  • Spell book template (download below)

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How to make your faux spell book.

First, I went to Google for inspiration.  I already had some cool animal skull print paper to line the inside with and that was my inspiration for the outside.  After googling many different animal skulls, I decided that cows were sort of quirky, yet ominous.  I then free-handed a skull on the front and then drew some mystical looking symbols around it.  If you’d like you can download my pattern for free, fill out the form above and you’ll get a pdf in your email.  I also wanted the book to have a title, but somehow I felt like “Spells” was too on the nose.  So, I found a Runic alphabet and wrote spells, but with a little more flair. 

The project started with a basic box and then became a creepy spell book.
The faux spell book began as an unassuming box and became an almighty spell casting book.

Next, I traced over everything with my hot glue gun.  I did several passes to build up the glue height.  One trick I often do with hot glue is to keep a little water nearby and if I need to fix something, I dip my finger in the water and then reshape the glue without burning myself. This was a trick I picked up while making my Bee Wreath.  

After the hot glue dried, I got out the Mod Podge and Kleenex.  It turns out that my tissue actually consisted of three layers. So, I started by separating the layers to get three very thin sheets of tissue.  Next, I dabbed some mod podge glue on the box so that the tissue would stay in place when I put it down.  Lastly, I went over the whole tissue with Mod Podge, making sure that it really tucked around all of the hot glue and that the details showed clearly. After I covered the front, sides, and back I allowed the box to fully dry for 24 hours. 

The next step was pretty satisfying.  I painted over everything with black chalkboard paint. I did leave the edges of the “book” white. After the outside was dry to the touch (1-2 hours), I painted the inside walls black as well.  This helped to give the inside a more finished look.

Once the paint was totally dry (I waited 24 hours), I used my finger to rub some mica powder over all of the raised parts.  This was literally the most satisfying part, because it created instant gratification.  The box looked so good after the mica powder was added. 

Spell book with the mica powder added
The mica powder really transformed the book and gave it a slightly regal, yet worn look.

Optional: Line the inside with decorative paper

I wanted to cover the graphics on the inside of my box with my super-rad animal skull paper (the paper came from—they have amazing stuff). I added the paper to the inside front cover and the back.  My original plan was to line the sides too, but painting the sides black ended up being much easier.  In order to attach the paper, I coated the surface with Mod Podge and then tried to smooth the paper down from top to bottom to avoid bubbles.  Then I covered the top and edges really well with more Mod Podge.  It ended up with a few wrinkles, but they add a little character.  

The faux book with the “spell” casting materials
My faux spell book hides all of my secret “spell” casting supplies.

Looking for other spooky DIYs? Check out our bleeding candles and skull chandelier.

DIY Home Decor Holiday Decor

DIY Bleeding Candles: Make your own Upcycled Halloween Candles

Every practitioner of the dark arts needs ritual candles. When I saw these bleeding candles online I thought they were so cool. But, I didn’t think they were $15 – $30 cool. Also, they only came in white and I thought they’d look much better in black. I knew this would be an easy project that would let me upcycle thrift store candles for much less.

Two bleeding candles cost anywhere from $15 to $30 online.

You’ll need:

  • Black candles, as many as you want to make (optional use white or other colored candles if you prefer)
  • Red candle, the darker red the better, the dripped wax will be lighter than the source candle, so keep that in mind when selecting your red candle (or get several red candles and experiment).
  • A lighter
  • Scissors or box cutter (optional)
  • Waxed paper or newspaper
  • Candle holders (optional – but you’ll eventually need them), or a box or something you can poke a hole in to hold the candles while you work.
Inexpensive thrift store candles ready for upcycling into fabulous bleeding candles.

Make it:

I bought my candles at thrift stores, because I didn’t care if they were dinged up, I think it adds to the aged character I was aiming for. Also, they are super inexpensive and I was able to get a whole bunch of candles for less than $5.00.

A cautionary tale: I was so anxious to start, I grabbed the nearest candle holders. They look like they’ve survived a massacre and I dread trying to get all that wax off.

Prepare your work surface. This is the the step I always forget because I’m excited to just dive right into the project. I highly recommend at least putting down some newspaper or other covering because the red dye in the candle wax can stain some surfaces.

If you are using candle holders that you don’t want to have wax dripped on, cover them with a paper towel, wax paper or newspaper before you put the candle in. You can also just cut a small cross into a box to insert the candle into while working. If you’re using a temporary holder but want to keep the puddled wax at the bottom when you transfer the candle to the final holder, line the temporary holder with waxed paper.

Trim your Candles. The next step is to determine how tall you want your candles. I wanted the candles to look like a practitioner of the dark arts has used them in many a ceremony. They were too tall and sprightly to have seen so much sorrow, so I cut them off shorter (also, I was too impatient to wait for them to burn down). You can trim them at the bottom if you like, but if you go that route, make sure you trim at at spot before the candle tapers, so it’s not loose in your holder.

With tapers, it is better to trim from the top, for a more authentic look and so they don’t wobble in the holder. Using old craft scissors, a box cutter, or the strength of your bare hands, cut into (or break) the wax using care not to cut all the way through the wick. After the wax crumbles away from the wick, pull it up to expose the wick and cut it approximately 1/4 to 1/2 an inch above the top the shortened candle (you can always trim it later). I didn’t worry about making the cuts even, or the same height, since I was going for an aged look.

Burn down the top. The idea is to make it look like the candles bled while burning. With this is in mind, whether you’re starting with a fresh pristine candle, or one you’ve trimmed, you will want to burn down the new top, or broken edges, before you start dripping the red wax on. Light the candle and let it burn until the top is melted enough to look used. Once you get it to where you want it, blow out the candle.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_0649-a.jpg
Building up layers will make it look like the candle has been well used in your rituals. Pause often to observe your progress, turn the candle, and adjust your drips.

The fun part! This is the best part – just don’t forget in all of your excitement to use caution while handling the lit candles. Fire and hot wax burn people and things. We only want the illusion of bleeding; real bleeding and sacrifice are not required.

Light the red candle, holding it upright a few seconds to get a good melt started. Start dripping the red wax on the top of the black candle. How long you do this, and how much you build up, is a matter of personal preference. I think I might have overdone it just a little on a couple of mine because it was simply too much fun! Build it up until it looks right to you, dripping it down different areas. Drips will tend to gather on top of each other and build up, so play with it until you get the look you want.

Once you like how it looks, light the black candle and extinguish the red one. Let the black candle burn a minute or so to burn off any wax that dripped onto the wick and to develop the proper texture on top for a candle that’s seen many a ritual.


Put these candles in a candle holder and place them on your mantel, your buffet, your table, your alter, wherever you perform your sacrifices. I don’t light them, because they will not “bleed” as they burn, but I think they give an appropriately spooky feel to my Halloween Mansion. Happy Haunting!

These would also look great in a spooky Candlelier or Candelabra. Looking for other spooky DIYs? Check out our Spooky Chandelier and our Faux Spell Book.

DIY Home Decor Holiday Decor

Unique and Inexpensive DIY Halloween Décor

Halloween décor doesn’t need to be gory and grotesque or cartoonish. In my Victorian house I prefer an elegant gothic approach, featuring subtle touches. Read on for classy, unique, and mature (but not boring) DIY Halloween projects.

Skull Chandelier

One of the simplest and, by far, my favorite Halloween project is adding a touch of Halloween to my chandelier.    It’s simple and inexpensive, but looks like the chandelier was made that way.

Using the same spray paint that I used to paint the chandelier makes the skulls look like they are part of the chandelier.

You’ll need:

  • A package of plastic skulls like these.
  • Spray Paint (optional) any color you want.  I used the same oil rubbed bronze that I used to paint the chandelier when I bought the house. I wanted the skulls to match so they would look like they are actually part of the chandelier. 
  • Scissors, box cutter, awl, nail, or other sharp pointy thing.
Halloween skull decorations
This was an extra skull, I used an all in one paint and primer that I had on hand, you can see that the skull chipped some. Most of them did not have an issue, but for better adhesion you can use a plastic paint or a plastic primer.

Make It:

  1. The first step is to cut the skulls.  Using an awl or large nail poke a hole through the top and the bottom of the skull.  I held the skull up next to the part of the chandelier where I wanted it to sit so could judge the angle and then marked a spot on the top and bottom by eyeing it. 
  2. After punching holes in the top and bottom, Use your craft scissors, or a box cutter, to cut a down the back seam between the holes. 
  3. Once you’ve split the back seam, round out the top and bottom holes to the size of the part you want the skull to sit on.  Take a little off at a time, and fit it as you go.  If you get it to fit snugly enough, it’ll stay in place without any assistance.. 
  4. Paint the skulls however you like.  (I’d love to see someone do these as sugar skulls!)
  5. After the skulls have dried, just squeeze them open and place on your chandelier.  After you can easily remove them for storage until next year (or leave them up year round if you like).

Want more DIY Halloween Projects? Check out our Halloween Bleeding Candles and our Faux Spell Book!

Handmade Gifts Holiday Decor

DIY 4th of July light up Bracelet

I love wearing things that light up.  I’ve made and attempted to make a variety of light up jewelry and costumes over the last few years.  Some (like my festive light up Christmas sweater have been successful) and others have just been frustrating.  However, I have found some really awesome sewable LED lights and battery holders by Adafruit.  They have made my wearable tech endeavors so much easier.  So, easy in fact that I have successfully introduced similar activities to my middle school science classroom. This would be a fun 4th of July project and the bonus is that you will be able to locate your kids when the sun goes down and the fireworks come out.

The light up bracelet in action

Supplies Needed for DIY 4th of July Bracelet:

How to make your own 4th of July light up bracelet

  1. Start by downloading and printing the template from above. Then cut out all of your felt pieces.
  2. Place the battery and the LED lights on your main bracelet band. Be sure that the positive symbols for the LEDs are all pointing the same direction and that the battery is oriented so that the positive end of the battery is on the same side.
Place the battery holder as shown and then the lights with the positive end pointed the same way.

Gluing down the lights and battery holder

  1. Hot glue the battery holder and the LED lights into the locations shown. Note the lights should be glued face down in order for them to shine through the felt fabric.
  2. Glue the Velcro in place for the battery holder (see the right picture above). Don’t worry about the Velcro for the bracelet yet, as that will need to be sized for the wearer’s wrist.
  3. On the side opposite of the battery and lights hot glue on the stripes and star. If you place the star over the center light, it will light up when the circuit is turned on.

Sizing the bracelet

Front view of bracelet (the back has all of the circuitry).
  1. You can also go ahead and size the bracelet at this point too. Wrap it around the wrist and allow it to overlap 1-2 inches and cut off any excess fabric.
  2. You can use hot glue to secure Velcro to both sides of the bracelet to create a secure connection. I added two sets of Velcro. I attached one fuzzy piece to the short edge of the inside (circuit side) and another fuzzy piece to the opposite short edge but on the outside (pretty side).
  3. Then I placed the matching “hook” side on top of the fuzzy sides, wrapped it around my wrist overlapping the ends and marked where the “hook” side should be and then hot glued them down.

Sewing the circuit for you light up 4th of July bracelet

Sewing down the battery with thread going through negative hole
Make several loops through the hole marked negative and then knot the thread.

A few words about circuits and LEDs: LEDs are directional lights, which means they won’t work if you don’t attach the negative side of the battery to the negative end of the bulb. In addition, you need to make sure you don’t create a short circuit. A short circuit is created by crossing your negative and positive “wires” (in this case conductive thread).

  1. Cut a piece of conductive thread that is twice as long as the distance between your battery and your last LED bulb (If you are a novice sewer, give yourself extra). Thread one end of the thread through your sewing needle. Do not tie a knot in the other end.
  2. Take the thread and loop it 4-5 times through the positive hole in the battery and then tie it off.
  1. Sew towards the positive side of the first LED light. As you sew do not go all the way through the felt. Just barely catch the fabric to keep the conductive thread all on the same side.
  2. Loop the thread through the positive side of the first LED light 3-4 times. Then sew in the same manner to the second light, loop the thread, and then go to the third (always going through the positive side).
  3. After you have reached the third LED, loop and then tie off thread. Your positive side is now complete.
Completed side of electrode
When you get to the last LED, loop and then tie off thread.
  1. Cut a new length of conductive thread and complete steps 1-5 for the negative side.
  2. When you are done, you can add a dab of clear nail polish to all of the knots to keep them from coming undone.
Completed circuit with lights on
This is how you completed circuit should look.
  1. Now, slip the battery into the holder (you should be able to see the positive side of the battery when you are looking at the battery holder).
  2. Flip the switch on and your bracelet is ready to go!
Red, white and blue felt bracelet with star
You are now ready for some fireworks!

Trouble Shooting your circuit

So, I made several of these and despite the logically correct circuit, I had some trouble shooting I still needed to do. One thing I discovered it that my Amazon purchases were knock-offs and not all of the battery holders worked. I recommend you order straight from as it will save you some time. You can also order the LED lights from there, but my Amazon purchased ones seemed to work find. Here are some common mistakes that can cause your circuit to not work:

  • Not wrapping the conductive thread through the hole enough times or wrapping too loosely.
  • Having a long tail on your knot that crosses over the oppositely charged side of your circuit.
  • orienting the lights or the battery the wrong way.
  • If you want to get more tips or learn to sew more complex projects, you should definitely check out this website.