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Question: How to Use Clip Light Kit?

8 December 2010 7,949 views 11 Comments

by heather

It's been awhile since we had a reader question! Everyone brainstorm now! Have you seen these light kits at the dollar store? Reader Dana wrote in and asked: "I was in dollar tree yesterday and saw that they had light/lamp kits, basically a light bulb with a cord to plug in. Do you have any ideas how to make cheap but safe lamps out of these with my 4H kids?"

I haven't been lucky enough to see these at my local Dollar Tree, but I did find them on Dollartree.com (you have to buy a case of 36: single clip light). If you have a group project like Dana's 4H project, buying a case of them might work for you!

Quick Ideas for Single Clip Lights:

  • Cover a clear vase with pieces of torn tissue paper (glue it on with white glue), then dangle the light inside the vase for a lamp (not sure how you'd dangle it, or how you'd run the cord out -- any suggestions?)
  • Get a small lampshade (they have tiny ones at the dollar store, or check thrift store) and cover with your choice of paper, beads, etc. dangle clip light inside and it makes a small pendant lamp.

Some Dollar Store Craft Lamps that might work:

Okay, anyone else have any brilliant suggestions? Can't wait to hear your ideas!

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  • Erin said:

    I made a large takeout box lamp with those last year. (You can sometimes get bigger versions of those little plastic takeout boxes at Michaels or other craft stores). Basically, I just cut a hole in the side small enough to thread the cord and very bottom of the light (the small round base)through, and the clip kept it all nicely in place.

  • Tammy said:

    I used this clip as a nose for my snowman gourd.
    I painted the gourd white, added a snowman face with paint, and drilled 2 large holes in the middle of the gourd (front and back side) and slipped the clip in where his nose would be, and threaded the cord out the back to plug in. To cover the top, made a stocking hat out of fleece. (I changed the bulb to orange, for the carrot nose.)

  • heather (author) said:

    On facebook, Jeanette said: I’ve made Swedish Christmas advent stars for this type of light kit, and the voltage / heat is SO low that you’re in no danger of burning down the house. Obviously, don’t leave it plugged in when you’re not home, but I have a paper star la…ntern that I made myself, that actually touches the light bulb a bit, and it hasn’t even scorched the paper, let alone caught fire. As long as the bulb is less than15 W you’re fine — you could make a papier mache lamp shade on a balloon with decoupage & tissue papers or string/ yarn or whatever, and then pop the balloon and peel it out– poke a hole in the top and insert the light kit.

  • Angela D said:

    YAY!! I’m so glad that someone posted this. I just shorted out my plug like this!! Mine went inside baby Jesus. Our outdoor one for our nativity, I changed the bulb and poof. wouldn’t work. I had NO IDEA I could buy one for a $1!!
    Thank you!! I love this blog and I tell everyone they don’t know what they are missing. I also told my husband I want a $$ Tree gift card for Christmas to make all the stuff I’ve been bookmarking!

    Oh, and we will probably buy an extra one for our indoor nativity too…

  • Dana said:

    I can’t wait to see all of the ideas! Thanks for posting this.

  • Caroline said:

    I painted a glass quart jar white glued two black buttons on for eyes and painted a carrot nose and added a mouth to make a snowman. I took the top off an old sock for a hat then I put the light in through the top of the jar (and covered it with the sock).

    I’ve been looking for these at our Dollar store, I’ll have to make another trip. I’m wanting a couple for my office decorating this year.

  • Caitlyn said:

    for the vases – assuming the bottom of the vase isn’t ugly, you could turn it upside down and use a couple of layers of cardboard to make a base – then you’d cut a gap in the cardboard for the wire, of course.

  • Sophia said:

    Thanks, Caroline, for the instructions on how to do that snowman. I saw one of those in a house I was visiting over Thanksgiving, but I didn’t feel right poking around it to find out how it was put together. :)

    On that same line, if your husband has a drill bit that will go through glass (I hear a set is around $12 at Lowes), you should be able to make a lamp/light out of just about anything – canning jars, pickle jars, glass blocks …

    I saw these lights just the other day and had to force myself not to pick up a pile of them because I had no idea what I would do with them. Maybe I need to get my husband that glass drill bit set for Christmas! ;)

  • Dollar Store Crafts » Blog Archive » Make a Calavera Skull Light said:

    […] decorations and crafts are skulls.  And I've been wanting to do something with one of those nifty clip lights for a while now; seeing them back on the shelf recently has rekindled that desire.  I've been […]

  • Nancy said:

    Help. I bought one of these lights and it did not come with directions. Anyone know what the metal prongs are for? Can they be removed or are they some sort of grounding device? I want to use it to illuminate a shadow boxed image from the back of the image. Just not sure how to attach it. The metal prongs have me scratching my head.
    Thanks so much for any advice anyone can offer.

  • rhonda said:

    They are the actual “clip” part of the clip light, for clipping the light into a hole. You pinch them a little bit when you insert the light into a hole and when you release, it holds the light in place. Like I did in this project: http://mrsgreene.info/2011/11/craft-tutorial-day-of-the-dead-calavera-skull-light/