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  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
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Found 7 results

  1. Re-designing my 12' snowman

    A few people have mentioned to me my 12' frosty is a bit out of place compared to my other display items. Thinking about retiring him or re doing it in some way. I want to add a hat, and possibly change it to rope light. I know i want to re do the mouth, and maybe the face in general. Thoughts? The item takes up a lot of space and there are tons of other ideas i could put in to action. But the majority of people just love this item. For 2017 i am relocating it to the center of the yard or the far right instead of the left. It would need to be smaller in that case. I could just make room for more mega trees as well.
  2. Securing 10' 3" PVC Poles

    My driveway arch is made from 3" sch 40 PVC. Since it is a driveway arch I can not have a true 3 point anchor with guide wires. I need a way to keep the poles up straight and sturdy. I thought about putting sleeves in the ground or using something similar. Ideas? I have a pic of it, it stands upright for a month or 2, but it's very unstable and swings around easily.
  3. My third completed project is the North Pole Lights, with 12v LEDs following the cane stripes and a 2W G4 LED to light the Polycarbonate globe.Based on what I'd learned in my 2 previous projects, together with a few online resources and available raw materials, this was a bit more of a challenge. The concrete bases for the North Poles were identical to the bases of my first Candy Cane project, the only difference being that a 75mm 3" SV BSP Female Adapter (Weld Fit type) was used instead of the 50mm type.I'm planning that these 3 lights will lead from my entrance gate to the front door - I may have to make a few more, but will see what the spacing is like when I set it all up in November.For this project I used 75mm white PVC pipe and relevant BSP PVC fittings, and the same concrete base process as my first project. The 12v LED strips were sourced from a local online store and will be powered by a dedicated 12v 10A power supply, which will also supply some other 12v projects being done.The supply list for these North Pole Lights was as follows: 3m of 75mm PVC plumbing pipe (for the pole sections - mine were each 900mm in length; how can have any length you choose though) 3x 75mm PVC Single Socket fittings (solvent weld fit on one end and rubber ring push fit on the other - see pics) 3x 6" polycarbonate globe fittings (you can also use the 8" fittings if you want a larger globe on the pole top) 3x light fittings that will fit the rubber ring push-fit end of the PVC single socket fitting (3" inset LED lights and some garden-spike lights could also fit) 3x 75mm 3" SV BSP Female Adapter Weld Fit type - for the concrete base stands section Jigsaw/hacksaw to cut the PVC pipe Sandpaper - 300 grit/fine Rustoleum Red, White and Clear spray paint for plastic (the kind that doesn't need plastic primer) Blue painter's tape (not masking tape as it's not flexible enough) Clear silicone sealant The supply list for the concrete base is identical to my smaller candy cane bases, as follows: 3x suitable shaped plastic bowls for the mold - I used a cheap clear plastic 2.5 liter bowls (base diameter of about 22cm's) that had a nice double outer ridge pattern - you can use any type/pattern though Concrete mix with 6mm-9mm stone - I used 6mm and found it ideal Styrofoam for the stand inner (temporary) Silicone to hold the PVC stand piece to the bowl mold (any tubed silicone will do, colour does not matter) 4mm-6mm wire for the concrete reinforcement ring an offcut length of thinnish wooden dowel (6mm-8mm), for tamping the concrete in the mold to get a smooth finish all round - although you could use a pencil, chopstick, etc Concrete/cement primer Polyurethane paint (water based is easier) for the finish Paint brush(es) 4x round rubber stick-on feet for the bottom of the base - I used ones that are 3cm diameter and 5mm thick The concrete base - I suggest starting with the bases first, as they have to dry for 2-3 days then cure for 20-odd days before you can prime/paint/finish them. Prepare your molds by washing with warm soapy water - add a little dish-washing liquid to warm water and wash the inside of the bowl thoroughly - dry with a micro-fibre cloth and place on a good flat surface. Using the non-threaded side of the 75mm 3" SV BSP Female Adapter as a guide, cut 3 "plugs" from a styrofoam block, so that they fit very snuggly into each of the smooth ends of the 75mm adapters. Make sure there is no styrofoam protruding beyond the top plastic section of the adapter - this side will be glued with the silicone to the bowl molds, leaving a clear/clean 75mm socket section once removed from the concrete mold - the pole section will then slide into this later when assembling. Next find the absolute center of the bowl mold and using the silicone, glue the styrofoam-plugged end of the adapter to the bottom of the bowl - use a good blob of silicone in the center of the styrofoam, which seems enough to stick it properly when pressed down. As the bowl is effectively an inverted mold, once the concrete is poured, set, removed from the mold and inverted, the adapter section will be encased in concrete; once when removed from the bowl the styrofoam plug can then be easily removed, leaving a nice clean 75mm pipe slot fitting to hold the main candy cane pole. You will have to repeat this 3 times for the 3 poles. Leave the silicone to dry overnight, so the adapter/styrofoam is stuck properly to the bowl. (the silicone/styrofoam will easily be removed later) While waiting for the silicone to dry, you can make up the 3 concrete reinforcement rings (1 for each base) using the 4/6mm wire; Cut enough wire so that you can make a circle from the wire length that will sit equidistant from the middle PVC adapter and the sides of the bowl - this will assist with strengthening the concrete base - I made 180 degree loops at each end and coupled them together - think of locking your 2 forefingers together in a link fashion You're now ready to mix and pour the concrete mix - I won't go into the mix ratios, etc - there are plenty of guides out there on the web - I used a higher-strength mix just to be safe. Alternatively use Quick Crete or similar if available in your country. I suggest preparing enough concrete mix to complete the 3 molds you need to fill (personal choice); you can however mix up each separately if you wish. With each of the plastic bowl molds on a sturdy flat/level surface, start pouring the concrete carefully into the mold, until the bowl is approx. half full form the top - this is where you will add the reinforcement wire ring - I suggest tamping out all of the air-pockets at this stage, add the wire ring then continue adding the concrete until it reaches the top of the bowl lip. Again carefully tamp out as much air as possible; TIP: one reason I bought the clear plastic bowl mold was so that I could see if there were any air bubbles left on the bowl sides - use the dowel stick or pencil to tamp out all these air bubbles - the smoother the finish of the concrete against the plastic the easier it is to finish it off later! Cover the filled molds with plastic sheet to minimise quick evaporation, and leave for 2-3 days - I misted the molds with a bottle water spray every 6-12 hours or so to ensure the concrete set correctly. After 2-3 days you should be able to remove the set concrete from the molds - I suggest using a scrap piece of plywood/MDF to make this process easier - place the board over the top of the bowl and hold tightly together, then flip the bowl over and the concrete based should literally drop out onto the board - Important: try not to touch the edges of the concrete base at this stage as they may crumble/crack - if you need to handle/move the freshly formed base, use your fingers/hands with the smooth top section of the concrete - I placed my bases on an upturned bowl to allow full curing for 20-odd days. Once cured (completely dry), carefully drill a 8mm-10mm hole through the center of the base - this let's out any water that may get in whilst in use...and is also used to route the wiring. It's now time to smooth the edges off around the bottom base, prime and paint - always follow the paint manufacturer's instructions for drying times, re-coat times, etc. I did 2 coats of primer and 4 coats of red polyurethane paint for the final finish. Once the paint has properly dried, 2-3 days, finish off the concrete base stands by placing the 4 or more round rubber stick-on feet underneath the base at quarter intervals - these also make it easier to lift the base when moving it around and prevent chipping of the base bottom/sides! And now the North Poles: Cut the 75mm PVC pipe into 3x 900mm lengths (you can use any length you wish though) Lightly sand the outer PVC pipe sections to remove burrs, bumps and the like. Wash all sections with soapy warm water to remove the dirt. Dry with a micro-fiber cloth and let dry out thoroughly before painting. TIP: use latex gloves from this point onward to keep the white PVC clean. Dry fit the Single Socket to the pipe lengths to ensure they fit and are tight - there is no need to glue these together as the tight fit will not allow water to penetrate. Once you're happy with the dry fitting, remove the Single Socket fittings - it's time to mark the candy stripes with the painter's tape - I used a 45 degree angle for the pole stripes. Also tape off the main pole end, approx, 1" - this will allow the PVC pipe to slide into the concrete base section with ease; if you paint this section it will probably not fit properly and you'll end up having to sand it back... Once wrapped, spray the red paint, thin coats, 2-3 re-coats depending on your spray paint coverage; remove the painter's tape about 10-15 minutes after the final spray coat. Once the red is thoroughly dry, mask off the red painted section with painter's tape, then spray the the white using 2-3 thin coats; remove the painter's tape about 10-15 minutes after the final spray coat. You can skip this step if you're happy with the raw matt white PVC plastic finish - I wanted a glossy finish, so decided to paint the white too! Some people spray the whole cane white, then do the red - although my process is more finicky and time-consuming, it uses less paint and the final finish is great. Once the white is thoroughly dry, spray with the final clear coat - 1-2 thin coats. Allow to dry for 2-3 days. To make the top light fittings: Carefully remove the rubber ring end cover - this should pop-off rather easily - remove the rubber ring; this will be used later when re-fitting. Spray paint the main body of the Single Socket either red or white and let it dry thoroughly - I did mine red TIP: mask off the section that the push-on cover goes onto - makes it easier to pop-on and pop-off. I spay painted the pop-off cover white to match the polycarbonate globe fitting - these will be joined together eventually. Also let it dry thoroughly. The polycarbonate globe fittings had scew-on threads, which I needed to remove - this was done with a Dremel cutter - see pictures - I sanded smooth the base to ensure it would fit to the pop-off white cover. Using a decent glue suitable for plastic/poly, glue the pop-off white cover to the polycarbonate fitting - see pictures. Let dry. I had a new unused set of 5 halogen 12v garden spike lights that I found in the garage, and decided to use these for the pole lights - the body of the spike lights fitted perfectly into the 75mm Single Socket end, where the pop-off white cover, rubber ring and poly globe could be pushed together to create a water tight seal - it's also easy to pop-off the cover to change the bulb when needed - the beauty of the garden lights was that they also come with color filters, so I can add those easily if I want different colour top lights at any stage. The halogen globes were changed to White G4 2W 12v LEDs. The feeder wire from the light fitting was long enough to reach the base of the main pole, so hooking up the power was also easy. Push the top light section, main pole and base together and test that the light works properly. Now all you need to do is hook up the wiring to the power source when setting up - I'll be stringing these in parallel along my pathway. To fit the LED red/white stripes I used lengths of self-stick red and white weatherproof LED strips, powered by 12v (purchased a separate 12v 10A transformer as it will power some other of my decorations ) It's as simple as measuring the length of LED strip you need and cut to length - use a piece of spare nylon line to get the wrapped length accurate. TIP: remember to check your specific LED strip to see where the standard cut marks are. Starting from the top of the pole just under the start of the top socket line, stick the non-connection end of the LED strip and continue sticking the strips around the center of each coloured paint stripe on the pole, ending about 1" from the bottom of the pole. Do this carefully as the self-stick can pull the spray paint off if you're not careful. I drilled 2 holes approx. the width of the LED strip (4mm), about 1" from the bottom mark after the pole is slotted into the concrete base, in the center of each of the red and white coloured stripes. Feed the connecting ends of the LED strip through the drilled holes and connect together. Depending how you connect your LED's will depend on how you route the power - I'll be running the 12v power into the base of the pole and connect up using push connectors - this makes it much easy to connect, remove and store. Here's some pictures of the process, with the final LED strips being fitted: If you need more pictures or information on the steps let me know.You can make these as big/small/short/tall as you want - I've seen some with larger top lights and wider diameter PVC - the trick is finding a suitable light fitting!My next thread will my scratch-built collapsible 8' Solar LED Medi-Tree with Portable Hole...
  4. Another Window Idea

    So I wanted to put my lights up onto my stucco-type exterior without drilling holes. I came up with this while picking up zipties for my display and thought I would share it. Using the ziptie clips that have a glue backing I am able to hang my window and door lights. My doors and windows have 2 sets of 25 count C9s on each and have been up for over 2 weeks in the Florida sun and so far they are holding fine. I will probably glue them into place after the holiday so they will be ready for next year. I ziptied the lights to the PVC framework which should make decorating next year a snap.
  5. Roof Outline Idea

    I came up with a idea to outline my roof with C9 LED retrofits. I started out with 1/2 PVC and 5/8 J-channel. Cut the J-channel to three in sections and cut the PVC to the length you need for your section of roof, in this case over my garage. Attach the J-channel to the pipe by sliding in in the channel and installing a couple of rivets. I painted them black so they would blend in better with the roof. Then installed the lights with some hot glue and zip ties. At the end I just cut the wire and installed a vampire plug. Then I just use some 2in metal binder clips that attach to the J-channel and the shingle. Here is the final result. Sorry about the dirty gutters been waiting for the pollen and leaves to stop flying so I can wash the house.
  6. With this year winding down, I want to improve my display for next year. One thing I would really like is to get all of my outline lights (roofline, windows, doors, etc.) onto PVC frames. For those of you who use frames, how do you attach them to your house? Any tips that you can provide would be appreciated particularly if your house, or a section of it, is done in vinyl siding.
  7. Pvc Candles

    I decided to make a set of PVC candles based on something that was posted with an instructional video. The video shows the candles being made with PVC and using GreatStuff foam to imitate the dripping wax. I tried that and it did not work well for me. I tried one other spray foam product and it looked nice but was not durable. So I decided to try using hot glue to see if the would work. The hot glue is very durable and it will maintain its shape once it dries. Also, it looks like wax! It was very easy to create the dripping of wax effect I wanted and it has the durability I need to hold,up to all the storage, setting up and taking down. I did not want these to be easily damaged by a mere bump. They turned out very durable and look pretty good. I decided to make these in white for my sister-in-law. I used furniture grade PVC since I wanted them to look nice without the painting! I also found color PVC in 1-1/4 that comes in red, blue, green and yellow. I plan on making a set for myself with red PVC.
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