Saturday, October 24, 2015

How To Make Your Own Hanging Light Orb

My husband made one of these last year on a whim and proceeded to fill our yard with six more last
winter.  We live in the country on a winding road, it makes me smile every time I turn the first corner and see the faint gleam of lights peeking thru the trees.  With each turn it becomes more clear what, and where the light is coming from.  Makes me smile every time.

Last night the lights were on when I got home, in honor of our first bon-fire of the year tonight, what an immediate "pick-me-up" as I turned into the drive.

The base is made from wire mesh used in concrete work that can be purchased by the roll at Home Depot/Lowe's (usually with the concrete mixes).  Be careful working with this stuff, it'll get you if you're not careful, it's very sharp and has a mind of its own. 
First, cut the wire mesh into 14' lengths, roughly 4" wide, our mesh is 4" square so one width, (these are large orbs, guessing roughly 5' in diameter, do your math, you know, the stuff we all said we'd never use, to change the sizing).  Don't worry, you're not alone, I had to look it up.  Here's a link to help if you're wanting to make varying sizes, Finding the Circumference of a Circle.   

Hint: have someone stand on the end as you unroll the mesh or it'll fling itself right back at ya'.  Once it's unrolled and cut to length flip it upside down to continue cutting.

You're going to lay your pieces out on the ground in a "star" crisscrossing each other in the center, evenly spaced using four strips and zip tie them together, that'll be the bottom of your orb.  Grab the other ends pulling them upward to form the top and zip tie them together to form the ball.  Hint: use a hanger of some sort as a second pair of hands to hold each strip as you pull it up.

To help them hold their shape use a straight piece of wire, form hooks on either end that'll grab the top and bottom, or zip tie to it,  and hold the ball in shape (so the bottom doesn't want to sag). 

Add your lights with little zip ties, hang it in the tree and grab your extension cord.  You're ready to light it up!

If you don't need them to be this large you can buy wire planters from your local hardware store, Cocoa Hanging Baskets, two per ball, and zip tie them together.  Add your lights and voila', you're done.  Just remember, you're limited in the size of a ball you can make.  With a little more time and effort you can customize them to your liking.

Either way you've got great new lights for your yard.

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