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Gum Drop Driveway Lights... How to


Superfreak3

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Hi all,
 

I'm already thinking of next year. I would like to create my own giant gum drops to line my driveway, modeled after... http://www.amazon.com/Set-10-Gumdrop.../dp/B00GO8U8V8

I would think I could do this for a lot less $$$.

I'll just use some zip cord and c7 sockets for the lighting, but I need help with creating the actual gum drops. I hope there are some creative souls out there that might have some ideas on what to use for the actual gum drop shape, which paint to use (I will be using Red, Green, and White) and what I can use for the sugared/candy effect. 8"-10" Would suffice for the height.

I guess I could maybe find pre molded gum drops in the color plastic I need. That would be nice as well.

Any help, tips, etc would be greatly appreciated.

Happy New Year!!

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I have been thinking of doing this as well !....possibly to attach to the house trim since we have a gingerbread theme.  I ended up doing coro candy cane stripe RGB on the trim....looks fantastic....but I have not forgotten my gum drop dreams.  Here is what I was thinking.

Clear Paint Mixing cups....they come in various sizes so you can do whatever size you want.  They are going to have writing on them, but I bet a little Brake Cleaner and the print comes right off  ;)  and they make lids...could easily drill a hole for a C9 to fit in or ziptie/hotglue the socket on the inside of the lid.  They will sit upside down to give you the rounded gum drop look.    http://www.amazon.com/Custom-Shop-calibrated-mixing-ratios/dp/B0023UPORY/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1451357350&sr=8-6&keywords=paint+mixing+cups

For the "sugary" coating I was at a standstill until I was in Turkey and saw the Turkish lamps.  Those are a glass globe with "seed beads" and glass tiles to give them a mosaic look.  I bought a couple with a snowflake design in white, red and green for inside the house.  But they are made by spreading clear or white silicone caulk on the glass and then sticking on the tiles and seed beads.  google turkish lamp snowflake and you will see a bunch of examples.  For white lamps, they use white caulk as well.  Also google "seed beads" and you get a ton of hits for bulk purchases and they come in all colors and sizes.  You could use clear beads on the outside and colored C9 bulbs or colored beads on the outside with clear or colored bulbs.  Spread a thick coating of the caulk on the outside and bottom of the paint cup, roll it in the see beads and you are done.....since you use colored beads NO PAINT required!!!!!  If you think it needs a darker color you could do it twice.

Since I have gone to a lot of RGB I am thinking of RGB pixels inside with clear beads so I can do any colors.  I already have my landscape lights gutted and retrofitted with RGBs to go along with the house and people love that my house changes colors with all the holidays/seasons throughout the year.  Now that the coro RGB is done...you have re-inspired me to knock out some gumdrops!

Rich

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I was thinking of some type of cup as well, but was trying to find something which would give a more dome-topped effect.  If I can't find anything, the paint cups may be the ticket.

I'm intrigued by the bead idea so would love to see how that turns out for you if you give it a try.  I think that would look fairly realistic.

As far as RGB - that 'stuff' seems to be a bit pricey for me so I'll be sticking with my LED layout and LED bulbs for the gumdrops - at least for now ;)

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The gumdrops lights you linked to are adorable and it certainly seems we ought to be able to DIY them somehow for a lot less. I have wanted to do a gingerbread theme too and not too long ago was exploring gumdrop ideas. I kept wanting to find some of those bell shaped protective plant covers like these, only without the vents and would need to find a better price because at more than eight bucks apiece, these aren't saving much.

BTW,

...I ended up doing coro candy cane stripe RGB on the trim....looks fantastic....

 

This is off topic, but I would love to see a picture of this if you've got one, because I can't figure out what it must look like by your description. 

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I'm already thinking of next year. I would like to create my own giant gum drops to line my driveway, modeled after... http://www.amazon.com/Set-10-Gumdrop.../dp/B00GO8U8V8

I would think I could do this for a lot less $$$.

I'll just use some zip cord and c7 sockets for the lighting, but I need help with creating the actual gum drops. I hope there are some creative souls out there that might have some ideas on what to use for the actual gum drop shape, which paint to use (I will be using Red, Green, and White) and what I can use for the sugared/candy effect. 8"-10" Would suffice for the height.

You just need to find some kind of plastic container that has the shape you want.  Look for cups, bowls (as Deeny said), or any other type of container you can find.  Don't worry about trying to paint them.  Just use different color bulbs in order to make them light up in the color you want.  You might be able to find a more opaque (cloudy) colored container or even a white container.  As for making them "bumpy" like real gumdrops you could use beads like Qberg suggested or maybe crumble up some Styrofoam into pellets and use those.  You could actually make the whole gumdrop out of Styrofoam.  You might have to glue layers of it together to make a big enough piece to carve the gumdrop out of.  You could hollow it out and put the bulb inside.  I think it would light up pretty good.  (I saw an igloo in someone's yard that I think they made by gluing pieces of Styrofoam together!)

Clear Paint Mixing cups....they come in various sizes so you can do whatever size you want.  They are going to have writing on them, but I bet a little Brake Cleaner and the print comes right off  ;)  and they make lids...

I think I would GOTO a restaurant supply place and get some "to go" containers.  They look just like those paint cups but they don't have any writing on them.  Brake cleaner might melt the cups.  I think maybe Citrus Strip (SP?) would work better.  I know it will take the printing off of PVC pipe.

The gumdrops lights you linked to are adorable and it certainly seems we ought to be able to DIY them somehow for a lot less. I have wanted to do a gingerbread theme too and not too long ago was exploring gumdrop ideas. I kept wanting to find some of those bell shaped protective plant covers like these, only without the vents and would need to find a better price because at more than eight bucks apiece, these aren't saving much.

Yikes!  Are those things gold plated or something!??

...I ended up doing coro candy cane stripe RGB on the trim....looks fantastic....

This is off topic, but I would love to see a picture of this if you've got one, because I can't figure out what it must look like by your description. 

What it looks like is that there is a white stripe, then a red stripe, then a white stripe....   :D  :D  :D 

TED

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Not any cheaper, but I love the gumdrop light set from ChristmasLightShow.com as I think the shape is more pleasing and I like that there is no white one. Maybe they'll do a sale?

While I agree that keeping them clear and doing a multi-color light strand inside would work, I like to think about what my display looks like in the daytime too. Especially when considering a gingerbread house theme. The colored gumdrops would be more fun in the day, and just as fun at night.

Yikes!  Are those things gold plated or something!??

...

What it looks like is that there is a white stripe, then a red stripe, then a white stripe....   :D  :D  :D 

TED

Yeah, they are expensive but such a cute shape! But the vent ruins the top anyway. 

As far as the candy cane stripe, well I did figure that much out! :lol: Just curious about how they are using coro with the RGB's. I have a bunch of coro leftover from building a guinea pig habitat and was thinking I could make some custom Christmas decor with it. (If anyone here in the Vancouver/Portland Metro area want to know where to get it for the best price just ask me.) 

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The gumdrops lights you linked to are adorable and it certainly seems we ought to be able to DIY them somehow for a lot less. I have wanted to do a gingerbread theme too and not too long ago was exploring gumdrop ideas. I kept wanting to find some of those bell shaped protective plant covers like these, only without the vents and would need to find a better price because at more than eight bucks apiece, these aren't saving much.

 

Those plant covers would be perfect if they were a bit cheaper and had no vents.  The shape is what I'm evisioning and they even has a lip/rim around the bottom for ground stakes to keep them in place.  That is the exact idea I'm shooting for.  Hopefully I can find something along those lines.  I'll be painting the inside of something like that if I can find it.

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I have made gum drops, they do not light up though - I use them to cover exposed indoor plugs outside.  Don't judge :D better than tape!

1. you will want some clear plastic container, gladware or the like.  You could really get brave and melt the plastic if you want...not with fire of course, you would not want burned parts.

2. Then you will need a transparent outdoor paint or regular craft acrylic paint, it doesn't really matter if it is ok to use outdoors.  All of the paint I use is not meant for outdoor use.   To make the acrylic paint transparent, mix with an appropriate glaze.  

3. Seal it!  Seal seal the acrylic paint with Mod Podge acrylic sealer spray, not the brush on stuff.  You do not want to run the risk of messing up your paint.  2 coats should be fine.

4. GLITTER!!  Glitter the crud out of it!  Apply more mod podge spray sealer until wet and coat gum drops in clear chunky glitter. Don't look for "chunky glitter" - look for cheap glitter.  The cheaper, the chunkier, usually.  I buy mine at Walmart.

5, Seal it the same way you sealed the paint. 

6. While the sealer is still wet, it's time for more glitter. Now mix the clear glitter with fine iridescent glitter and sprinkle or throw it all over the gum drop.  

7. Seal again with 2-3 good coats.  

This should last for many seasons to come!

My gum drops have lasted a few years and I have not lost any glitter using this method.  I have wood and plastic gum drops that have survived rain, flooding, sleet, snow, and beginning and end of season cleanings with my garden hose sprayer.

To keep them in place, it really doesn't take much.  I don't even have my plastic ones attached to the stakes.  I use pvc cut at a 45 deg angle or so, I'm not really picky, just something that will go into the ground with a rubber mallet makes me happy.  You could drill a hole in the back of the PVC and use a twisty tie and attach your lights that way to the pipe itself and then place the gum drop on top. 

 

 

 

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I finally remembered that those plastic bell shaped plant covers are called cloches. So if you search for plastic cloche, you can find more suppliers, but I can't find any without the vent on top except in blog posts (so annoying finding the perfect shape and not finding a source to purchase it). Taking the black vent cover off the others probably wouldn't be too hard and there'd just be a couple of holes on the top - could tape them off from the inside and it wouldn't be so noticeable once painted and coated in "sugar". But that's only worth it if you find a good price. (Actually the wholesale price is really good, but minimum order of 1000!)

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I finally remembered that those plastic bell shaped plant covers are called cloches. So if you search for plastic cloche, you can find more suppliers, but I can't find any without the vent on top except in blog posts (so annoying finding the perfect shape and not finding a source to purchase it). Taking the black vent cover off the others probably wouldn't be too hard and there'd just be a couple of holes on the top - could tape them off from the inside and it wouldn't be so noticeable once painted and coated in "sugar". But that's only worth it if you find a good price. (Actually the wholesale price is really good, but minimum order of 1000!)

The ventless cloches in the blog link would be the ultimate!  I'm going to search all over for those.

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I like the idea of doing this, I have an acquaintance that works at a plastic wear manufacturer, I found this on their site, and I'm asking him some questions, like if its clear or white, quantities to buy, etc.  They are HDPE.  He did tell me that they would have no printing on them so that would not need to be removed.  Once I get my hands on 1 I'll take a picture and see what you all think.

19641_.pdf

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I like the idea of doing this, I have an acquaintance that works at a plastic wear manufacturer, I found this on their site, and I'm asking him some questions, like if its clear or white, quantities to buy, etc.  They are HDPE.  He did tell me that they would have no printing on them so that would not need to be removed.  Once I get my hands on 1 I'll take a picture and see what you all think.

19641_.pdf

Not bad.  If I can't find something a bit more domed, I'd definitely consider using those.  Hopefully we can see one soon!

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I am building some for next year using the bottom of milk jugs. I will paint the inside for weather protection and I will glue some snow dust on top for the sugar effect. I will also finish it by lighting it up with a C9 bulb.

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I am building some for next year using the bottom of milk jugs. I will paint the inside for weather protection and I will glue some snow dust on top for the sugar effect. I will also finish it by lighting it up with a C9 bulb.

Snow Dust?  I thought there was something one could buy at craft stores that provides a candy effect, but I'm not sure if it was a spray, something the object would be rolled in, etc.

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Here's what the glitter looks like on a solid gum drop. Looks more like sugar than glitter.  This is just a plastic planter from Lowes or HD that I had in my garage.  I worked with what I had since it's just to cover staked connections and I wasn't looking for perfection.  At night, it looks pretty darn perfect!  

gum drop.jpg

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:)  That's just plain glitter.  Clear and iridescent mix.  The clear is larger than the iridescent - I wasn't really picky on the size of either, that's just what I had in my glitter stash (I have a lot of glitter...it's an obsession).  I usually just buy it from Walmart.  It's near the clay and craft paint.

While I was pulling up links to glitter, I stumbled on this Alene's True Snow Paint .  No clue what it looks like, but it sounds awesome!

Found glitter by the pound (amazon.com)  - best deal

Walmart links: Clear glitter and iridescent glitter   buy in the store 

You'd want to avoid silver, it would give it a gray appearance during the day.

 

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NICE!  Glitter by the pound.  I wonder how many of those I'll need for 10 gumdrops.  I think the clear would give it that sugary look.

Hopefully I'll find some type of container that fits what I'm looking for.  I like the sand buckets, milk containers and other suggestions that folks have offered, but I want these as realistic as possible as they will be very close to folks walking by.

I saw some cheap containers today at Target, but they weren't quite deep enough.

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I made 4 gum drops and I still have more than 1/2 of my 6.5 oz container of clear glitter left and about half of my iridescent glitter left (2 oz container).  I've used it on other projects as well, so it's hard to say how much went to the gum drops.   

You should look into set design.  There could be someone around your area that can make what you need.  I was going to go that route when I was planning out my gingerbread house but went with wood instead due to time constraints.  I never made it far enough into the process to call for quotes.

Clear (frosted look) mixing bowls maybe a decent option too.  There are many colors available around the summer too that are candy like.  I think the clear frosted ones would look great.  Paint the inside and glitter the outside.  I'd use a paint sprayer so you wouldn't have brush strokes.

I'm going to keep looking around for unconventional items that would make a good gum drop! 

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GLITTER!!  Glitter the crud out of it!

I nominate this for the best Planet Christmas quote of 2015!  This could be the new catch phrase for 2016.  No matter what the problem is the answer is "Glitter the crud out of it!"  Why is my controller box not working?  I don't know just glitter the crud out of it!  :D

TED

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