Word art using retro Christmas lights
I grew up in the 70s and 80s, so when I think of old Christmas memories, especially of the tree and decorations, one thing almost always pops into my mind — strings of huge, vintage Christmas lights. Yes, they are too hot and energy-intensive to use anymore, but I always loved them, and for me they are a strong reminder of happy Christmases as a kid.
I actually still have several strings of those vintage Christmas lights, as well as a big bag full of burned-out bulbs. I’ve been saving the bulbs for years, thinking one day I would come up with a project to use them for.
Finally, I had an idea to put them into a shadowbox featuring Christmas word art. What a great way to decorate with retro Christmas lights in a modern way! I started with a simple square shadowbox. I painted the frame red and the back green.
I wanted to incorporate word art saying “Merry & Bright”, which I thought was a pretty good match for light bulbs. I whipped up a design for my Silhouette cutting machine which I’m happy to share with you.
Once you download our “Merry & Bright” design, you can cut it out of white vinyl using your Silhouette machine.
After cutting the design, I picked away all the parts I didn’t want to use, keeping just the letters on the liner paper. My favorite tool for this is a cheap dental pick that I got at the drugstore.
Then I covered the whole thing with clear transfer tape with an alignment grid. Jo recently turned me on to this stuff. Transfer tape is always a HUGE help with applying detailed vinyl cutouts, but this clear variety with the gridlines makes is even that much easier!
After I applied the transfer tape, I peeled off the original vinyl’s backing, and stuck the design to the glass from my shadowbox (which I’d first cleaned with rubbing alcohol). I used a bone folder to press the vinyl down really well, to make sure it stuck.
Then I peeled the transfer tape away, and my word art was perfect.
I put the shadowbox back together to be sure it all looked good, and I was happy to see that it did!
Then I opened it back up and filled the box halfway with my bulbs.
I assembled it once again and was delighted at the result. This is a perfect addition to my Christmas decorations!