How to build a constellation light for a little astronomy in the bedroom

January 5 | Guest post by Evita

Evita's been sharing her tutorials on Offbeat Home all year — remember the starry window pelmet? Or her sewing machine-cum-computer-desk? She RETURNS! And you'll be thrilled.

Materials you need

1. Find the constellation/art you want to use. We found our Leo on Google. Size it up to your desire. If it's larger than what your printer will print, you'll need to use a tiling program to print.

If you have access to Adobe Acrobat, you're good to go (that's what we used). There are free tiler programs online like Tiler and PosteRazor.

2. Save it to PDF format and print.

3. Lay out your printed design and tape them together. Place the 'map' on the piece of foam board that will be the front of the light box.

Using a small awl or other piercing object, make a small hole in the center of each star. Lift the 'map' and put it to the side. We used a silver Sharpie to lightly highlight the starter hole.

4. Finish piercing the holes. Start small. Using your map, adjust the size of the holes to mimic large and small stars. Some of the larger holes may require a larger piercer, such as a screwdriver (or larger awl). Add silver lines in the front, connecting the stars.

5. Build your box. For the switch, we put it on the lower left side corner and cut a section out of the foam board.

5. Lay out your lights. Depending on your artwork, it may take two strands.

7. Make a circle with the hot glue around each hole and push the light down. Hold and let set.

8. Hang your new art and enjoy!

  1. Fwaahh this is gorgeous! There are so many things to do with this idea, too ..

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  2. So cool and simple!!! I want to do this NAO. Make me a Lepus constellation for our Bunny-Hutch.

    PS: Evita's jewelry table is DROOL-WORTHY THAR!!!

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  3. Holy crap. I need to make this this weekend!!!!

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  4. Thanks so much Cat for featuring this! If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask!

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  5. Do the lights end up poking all the way through the foam board then?

    Very cute. I'm running to Target now to see if they have any battery operated Christmas lights still on sale! (this would be great to feature on the day after Christmas.)

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    • They don't actually. The LED bulb is very small on the strands we purchased.

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  6. Cygnus has been my favorite constellation for awhile now. I'm showing these plans to hubby, I have hope he'll respond positively to our making this.

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  7. I love this! I really want to make this for my nephew (he has a space themed room) but I am confused on how you built the sides. Can you break down the "Build your box" step for me? Thanks!

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    • Hi Carrie,
      We hot glued the sides and edges together. The foam board is light enough to support itself at that stage.

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  8. My six year old son's name happens to be the name of a constellation, so I am DEFINITELY making one of these for his bedroom, he'll freaking love it!

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  9. Beautiful! I was going to do this with a dandelion pattern and I never thought of step #5 to easily turn on and off the box. Thanks for this great tutorial

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  10. Thanks very much for this idea and tutorial – we've been looking at it for a year or so and finally made our Stegoplodocus Rex light last night and we LOVE it :) thanks!

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