How to Make Film Canister Holiday Lights!
Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3
Ever wonder what to do with all those plastic 35mm film canisters after the rolls of film have been developed?
We’ve always thought these plastic containers were bound to be re-used for something wondrous.
Hang your lights in a window, on a banister or on a wreath. It’s like a photo-love shout out to all the other photo kids on your block!
Bonus: They’d make a delightful gift for yourself or a lucky photographer friend!
Bah, Humbug! Why Should I Do This Holiday DIY?
Did we mention this would be the perfect excuse to get some rolls of films to shoot with that film camera like you’ve always meant to?
List of Ingredients:
- Clear, plastic 35mm film canisters—enough to cover the number of light bulbs on your string of lights
- String of Christmas lights
- Sharpie pen
- X-Acto knife
- Cutting mat or something you can cut on
STEP 1: X Marks the Spot
You can acquire some by hitting up your local film-developing shop, or perhaps by getting a lot of film rolls for your own personal use. Just make sure you pick up the clear, translucent kind, and not the black, opaque ones!
Use your Sharpie marker to mark an “X” in the middle of the caps of the film canisters.
This “X” marks the opening where you’ll be poking the light bulbs through.
As a guide, the “X”s we marked were about ⅜ of an inch wide.
STEP 2: Cut the X Out
If ya gotta lotta light bulbs on your light string and you were lucky enough to score a ton of film canisters to match, now would be the time to put on some Christmas jams to enjoy as you’re cutting away!
STEP 3: Pop a Cap—Err A Light through the Cap
Take a light bulb from your light string and carefully pop it through the “X” opening in the cap.
If the light bulb is having a hard time coming through the cap, use your X-Acto knife to make the “X” opening slightly bigger.
STEP 4: Can it Up
STEP 5: Plug & Light ‘Er Up!
More Enlightening Ideas
- Print out 1.5” sized of your favorite Instagrams on vellum or clear acetate sheets, and tape ‘em on the outside of the canisters.
- No Instagrams? Display some photo negatives on the film canisters instead! (See photo above.)
- Keep your Christmas bright but safe—make sure you don’t leave your lights plugged in for long periods of time or overnight!
- Got some extra canisters on hand? Get scientific with ’em by using them to make some rad, launchable film canister rockets!
Special thanks to Sarah MacFarlane for providing helpful tips + being the inspiration behind this DIY, as well as SF’s Photoworks for hooking us up with the film canisters for this tutorial! Hope Santa brings ya both somethin’ extra special for being so awesome!