Tips and techniques for finishing and electrifying The Matchless Miniatures Lighting Collection
When finished to work with your décor, the basic lamps look very nice as non-working lighting. You will still have the option to electrify them in the future; see how-to below.
The examples shown are only suggestions of ways to change the look of the lamps. Often, you can easily copy a full-scale look. These simple shapes can be finished to suit so many styles!Before you begin, check for any rough areas; sand lightly if needed.
The Crossings Ceiling Light (#11888) has a simple gold paint finish. Metallic paints – acrylic ink in this case – are often nearly transparent, so several coats were needed; a darker bronze color is the final coat for a richer look. The extension rod is the shaft of a cotton swab, with a narrow strip of paper wound and glued around its base to give a larger gluing surface. A jump ring can be installed at the top to use with the Ceiling Canopy (#11896).
The Petite Table Lamp (#11895) has paper strips glued to its unpainted shade to make the stripes. (Measure the height of the shade in millimeters [for easier math] and divide by seven. Round down and cut four paper strips accordingly; use glue stick to attach at top and bottom edges. Then add the final two, roughly a stripe-width apart.) The base is covered in fine hemp cord from the jewelry area of Michaels. Attach with super glue near the neck and allow to dry until it is secure, then use white glue to continue wrapping the cord in close rows.
The base of the Modern Geometry Table Lamp (#11893) is wrapped with a scrap of wallpaper (#42382, left over from a previous project) attached with glue stick. Thin strips of gold-painted paper finish the top and bottom edges. The shade is covered with one layer of a kraft paper napkin (from a take-out restaurant) attached with glue stick and carefully wrapped just over the top and bottom edges. This thin paper is still very translucent and allows the lamp to glow when it is lit.
The Updated Schoolhouse Ceiling Light (#11887) and the Luna Bowl Ceiling Light (#11889) are simply accented on the crown and the rims with the Liquid Chrome Marker (#97031). For the true chrome look, plan to apply at least two coats and dry thoroughly in between (at least a couple of hours). You can use clear nail polish to add shine to the remaining areas for the look of opaline glass.
The Just Right Pendant Light (#11891) is simply finished with Liquid Chrome Marker (#97031) on the cap and clear nail polish on the interior. A hole was drilled (Finger Drills (#60935) through the cap for a jump ring and chain (Michaels). With another jump ring, it can hang from the Ceiling Canopy (#11896).
The Nuform Pendant Light (#11890) suggested many options, but only two are shown. For the black one, maintaining the translucence of the resin was not important, so the inside is painted with gesso to provide a good base for the gold (acrylic ink, in this case). Several coats were needed, finishing with a coat of bronze for a richer look. The exterior is painted matte black and also needed more than one coat. The extension rod is the shaft of a cotton swab, with a narrow strip of paper wound and glued around its base to give a larger gluing surface. A jump ring can be installed at the top to use with the Ceiling Canopy (#11896).
The ”glass” option started with three coordinating colors of alcohol-based permanent markers. The order of application can vary depending on the desired finished look, but here the lightest color was applied over the entire light, stroking down from the top. The next shade was applied, stroking up from the bottom to just above the midpoint and intentionally leaving streakiness and irregularities. The darkest color was applied the same way, stopping just below the midpoint. When dry, use a soft, filbert brush (flat with an oval tip, in this case a cosmetics brush from Dollar Tree) to apply rubbing alcohol to soften the streaks, brushing up from the bottom. Once you have a look you like, let everything dry and add shine with a water-based gloss sealer (inside as well). The extension rod is the shaft of a cotton swab, with a narrow strip of paper wound and glued around its base to give a larger gluing surface. A jump ring can be installed at the top to use with the Ceiling Canopy (#11896).
If you plan to electrify the lights, either initially or in the future, remember that the area that will shade the bulb should be evenly translucent (so the light can shine through) or totally opaque (so the light is directed). In other words, you might not want to paint the shades of the table lamps, for example, because the paint would block the light. A thin, translucent paper is a good choice, such as plain or printed tissue paper, or thin fabric. For directed light, use a solid paper, plain or printed. Be careful if painting the shade, as any streaks and unevenness will show when it is lit.
The hanging and table lights are specifically designed to work with #721012 Candle Socket, which requires bi-pin bulbs (#32210, #32211 or #44037) and male plugs (#2204) to use with a power strip. It can be powered with a 12V system or standard 9V battery (light will be dimmer).
The flush-mount fixtures are designed to work with the battery-operated Anything Lights (#12356, #12357, #12358). Just mount the magnetic plate for the light and glue the resin shade to it (rubber cement is a good option).
To install the candle socket, first complete any finishing, including adding any chain, extension rod or jump rings. Make sure the center hole is completely clear. The socket comes with 12” of wire to help you plan where it will be connected. Feed the wires through the hole and slide the socket partway in to check the fit. Install the bi-pin bulb and test it, then push the socket all the way in. Note that it may be difficult to remove once fully in place, but it is unlikely you will need to. Feed the wires past any jump rings or through any chain, and through the hole in the ceiling canopy if you are using it. Attach the plug for a power strip or battery, or connect it directly into your house’s wiring system.