DIY Cloud Light
So you’ve decided to build your own fluffy lightning cloud. Great! This article will walk you through step by step for how to make a DIY cloud light.
Build time: 2 hours
Let’s get to it!
First things first, you’ll need some cloud light materials.
The fluff: Fairfield PF20B Poly-Fil Premium Fibre Fill, 20-Ounce
This stuffing will act as the fluff for the clouds. The 20-Ounce package will be plenty.
The cloud: Paper Lanterns
The paper lanterns form the frame of the cloud. This item comes with lanterns of all different sizes to help you achieve the ideal cloud shape.
The “lightning”: LED Strip Light
These will create the cloud ambiance and lightning effect. This LED light strip is remote control and has several color and cycling options. It is important to use LED lights due to their cooler operating temperatures. Additionally, waterproof LED light strips offer more safety.
Learn more about strip lights here: LED Strip Lights
Spray-on Glue: 3M(TM) Super 77 Multipurpose Adhesive Spray, 10.7 Ounces (7716)
This adhesive spray will help adding the fluff to your cloud structure. I’ve seen clouds that use only hot glue which can be very messy and frustrating to work with.
Hot Glue Gun
A hot glue gun will help with combining the different size lantern pieces together.
Beyond those items, common household supplies such as scissors (or wire cutter), gloves and an extension cord will send you on your way. Let’s get started with your own indoor weather!
Building the Cloud Structure
For this part you’ll need the paper lanterns, wire cutter and hot glue gun to assemble the foundation for your cloud.
- The lantern package comes with lanterns of all sizes – assemble each size lantern for you to get an idea of how large the lanterns can be and which ones you would like to use. It’s a good idea to mix and match between a large one and small one – a basic shape would be one large lantern and two small ones. For my cloud I used 1 large lantern as, two medium sized lanterns, and 2 small lanterns. Get creative and mix and match however you desire!
- Next you’ll want to cut holes into the sides of the lanterns on the sides to help join them together – this achieves two things: 1) makes it easier to combine the lanterns so they aren’t as round and 2) creates a passageway for your LED light strip throughout the cloud lamp.
- I was able to cut “flaps” out of the lanterns which helped maintain the lantern structure and reduced the amount of wires needed to cut.
- BE CAREFUL: you may need to cut the wiring of the lanterns which can create sharp ends.
- For my lamp, I cut two holes in the large lantern, two holes in the medium lanterns, and one hole in each of the smaller lanterns.
- Hot glue the lanterns together. Place hot glue along the outside of the holes cut into the lanterns where you’ll be combining the lanterns. Hold in place and allow glue to dry. Repeat this for either side.
Voila! The cloud lamp structure is complete!
Insert the LED Light Strip
Time to get a preview of your cloud light and wire it together. Plug in your LED light strip and string it through so the power supply side sticks out through the center of the cloud (this is where you’ll be attaching the power cord). You will have to loop the light strip around the cloud structure while being mindful of having the light strip spread out in the lanterns so it can give off the most light. To avoid any fire hazards, make sure you have the
DON’T be disappointed if the lights seem dim or aren’t dispersing, that’s what the PolyFil Fibre stuffing is for.
Adding the Fluff to the Cloud Light
Here’s where we get messy. You’ll need the PolyFil Fibre stuffing, spray on adhesive and some latex gloves so your hands don’t get all sticky. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area and be mindful of where you spray (I may have had to replace a rug after using the adhesive spray…).
- Hang up the cloud lanterns so you can easily access all sides. It helps to have the LED light strip plugged in for this so you can see if you missed any spots and can build it to your desire as you go.
- Grab a small chunk of the stuffing and play with it – spread it apart and get a feel for how it handles. Spray the stuffing with the adhesive and slap it on the cloud lantern. Try to get a base of “fluff” all around the lanterns.
- Once you have your base, add stuffing to areas where the LED lights are bleeding through, there shouldn’t be any concentrated areas of light due to an LED being uncovered.
- At this point, add fluff as you see fit. Be sure to get a good mix of thick and thin stuffing areas to create the dramatic lightning effect.
Hooray! You’ve built your first cloud lamp! Now comes the tricky task of setting it up. For this, you’ll want to maximize aesthetics and safety.
- Keep all electrical connections outside and away from the cloud.
- Use ceiling hooks to drape the extension cord through – the metal frame of the paper lanterns acts as a great attaching point.
As a final touch, add in the thunderstorm sounds (bring your own coffee and blankets).