19 December 2011


So, like a year or so ago, I saw this little craft project on Martha Stewart and flipped out over its awesomeness.

I also figured that, assuming that I didn't use Martha's $2,000 canvas and her $95 paint, I could do this one on the cheap.  Originally, I wanted to put this in our living room on the mantle, so I painted it the color that I paint pretty much everything in our house these days: light turquoise.  I didn't know what design to do, and I figured that I wouldn't start the actual project until I knew for sure, until I had that "Oh, there you are, Peter" moment.

And then I got knocked up, and I decided that the grown-up lite brite didn't need to be grown-up at all, because it would be awesome as nursery decor, and could also function as a nightlight for little ole' Blast and for us.  So then I decided that it needed to be a shark.

But, after careful consideration, I decided that 1.) I needed to repaint the canvas because Blast's room is already light turquoise, and 2.) a shark might be too scary.  (Trying to use all of my allotted scaring-the-bab tokens for telling him about Krampus.)  So, after a very informal polling of friends, I decided to instead paint the canvas orange and to do a design that was even be better.  A DINOSAUR!

So here's how the process went.

1.  Paint canvas. (Using little sample thing of paint from Home Depot--$3)

2.  Borrow overhead projector from school.  (Def made it easier for me, but you could totes do this project without one.)

3.  Google "brontosaurus silhouette" and find this.

4.  Trace silhouette onto transparency.

5.  Pencil silhouette onto back of canvas.

Maybe next I should work on actually putting pictures in the frames in our gallery wall?

6.  Mark spots for lights to go through with a pencil.
7. Cut small slits into canvas with an exacto knife where lights would go.
8. Pop lights through spots.

And, voila!

I actually used button lights from Target, which worked perfectly for this project because of their size.  You can do it with regularly-sized lights, but you'll need to use craft glue or a glue gun to secure each light.  I would highly recommend using the button lights because they're not only much simpler, but you can also easily replace the strand if the strand goes kaput.

Also, you should know that it is really hard to get a good picture of the dino-brite, especially if you're impatient and hungry and wishing that you were lying on the couch watching Parenthood instead.  The dino-brite looks approximately 50 times better in person. Plus, it only cost like $15 to do, which makes me happy because I'm a cheaposaurus.

Mitch is also a big fan.

Now I kind of want to make a million of these, so I've been trying to think of other shapes and designs to do.  A bicycle!  A squirrel!  A snowflake!  A Mitch!

What else?  


  1. This project is dyno-mite. Er, dino-brite. OK whatever it is amazing.
    The Shecks

  2. What!!?
    Matt didn't want to stick with a Shark!!
    He must have been at work.

  3. that's amazing!! I want a squirrel one so bad.

    *adds to list of projects that I'll never do

  4. *cancelling subscription to "Martha Stewart Living"* Now, where to order "Mandy Monthly?" Totes cool, and the colors of my master BR!

    And how cute is your blasted figure??? :)

  5. Thanks everyone! Matt wanted me to note that he was not against shark at all. Beth, your room is turquoise and orange? Awesomepants!

  6. I too flipped out over the original Martha Stewart "Lite Bright." I just love your interpretation! Ingenious!




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