Cardboard Smurfette Lamp

Following my Cardboard Magic Mushroom Lamp instructable I received a few comments from people saying that they were reminded of smurfs. So I thought why not try to making Smurfette in a similar way. Originally I wanted her to look a little more smurf like, but she turned out to be a bit of a cross between Smurfette and Barbie. But oh well here goes 😀

Materials And Tools

  • cardboard boxes
  • glue stick
  • 2 x 1.5m A to B USB (printer) cable (or 12m single core wire, preferably 3m x 4 different colours)
  • toilet paper
  • universal glue
  • skewer
  • 2 x straws
  • acrylic paint (blue, darker blue, dark blue, white, red, black, brown)
  • air drying clay
  • eyelashes
  • white fabric
  • pillow filling
  • Non-Waterproof LED strip + LED controller + power supply (one with a cutoff point every 3 LEDs)
  • aquarium gravel
  • 25 cm wire 22awg
  • 25 cm wire 16awg
  • cotton wool pleat
  • wig
  • hair spray

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

  • hobby knife
  • hot glue gun
  • scissors
  • paint brush
  • clay modelling tool
  • wire cutters
  • wire stripper
  • sewing needle and thread
  • soldering iron
  • hair straightener

Step 1: Template Cutting & Shaping

Print out the templates and glue them onto cardboard backings with a glue stick. Cut out all of the shapes with a hobby knife. Flatten out the cardboard cutouts with your fingers and bend them into shape just as you see in the photo.

Thinner cardboard might be more suitable for this project, as it is more malleable..

Step 2: Gluing

Glue the shapes together with a hot glue gun, just like you see in the photos. Start with the H1 piece, glue the back of the head together first and then build up on top of it. Do this in sections. When one section has cooled down move onto the next one. To make the process quicker I do tend to squeeze the hot glue with my fingers whilst the glue is still hot. I would not recommend that you do this as you could burn yourself, but you could use tweezers instead?

Before you join the head with body and limbs, cut out openings on the right shoulder, bottom side of the body, right leg and the right shoe for the wire to travel through.

Glue the RL2 piece to the body. Glue the RL4 piece to the RL2 at an angle and fill in the knee cap with hot glue. Carry on with rest of the pieces in a similar way. Cut off any bits that are not necessary for the desired posture.

Cut out two openings on the back and pull the wire through the right hand, shoulder, down the back, leg and finally out of the right shoe. Preferably you want to leave about 15 cm coming out of the shoe and the rest out of the hand. I decided to use an old printer cable because it had 4 cores in different colours.

Step 3: Face Time

Cut the toilet paper into small cubes and mix thoroughly with the universal glue. Apply the mixture around the eye area and attach the eyes. Carry on adding the mixture and modelling the face. If the mixture starts moving too much and becoming more difficult when shaping the face, dry it with a hair dryer.

Apply the mixture to the rest of the body, making sure all of the joints are covered.

Step 4: Hands-on

Strip the wire coming out of the hand. Save the drain wire (thin silver wire) if present. Poke the wires through the straws, add skewer and glue in place with hot glue.

With hot glue add 4 dabs to the left hand as a base for the fingers. With the glue mixture cover the hands and shape it into fingers.

Step 5: Under My Umbrella ... Ella ... Ella ...

Take two pieces and glue them together with a glue gun starting at the bottom. Carry on adding the pieces until you have 9 of them, thus one half. Do the same for the second half. Join the two halves together and apply the wood mixture to both sides and let it dry.

Step 6: Painting

Paint the body blue, leaving out the shoes and eyes. At this point I decided that I would quite like the face to be a little smoother, so I added a layer of air drying clay on top of the dried glue mixture.

Paint the eyes, shoes and inside of the umbrella with the white acrylic paint and the outside of the umbrella with red paint.

Step 7: I Spy With My Little Eye(s)

Colour the teeth white. With the darker blue, paint the iris and then use the darkest blue around the circumference of the iris. Add small white and dark blue lines into the iris. Paint the pupils black. With the darker blue paint the mouth and then use the darkest blue around the eyes.

Apply the fake eyelashes and trim them to a required length.

Step 8: Dressing

Cut out the template for the dress and outline onto a white piece of fabric with a washable marker pen. Sew the front and back together followed by the bottom piece of the dress. Hem the edges. Pull the dress onto the body and sew the shoulder ends together.

Sew the two hat pieces together and hem the edges. Stuff with the pillow filling (or spider web leftover from Halloween), bend the top forward and sew in place.

Step 9: Base

Cut out the base 3 times. Cut out the openings including the middle circle in the top one and glue them together. Attach the two cardboard strips to the middle circle and carve in the gap for DC jack and glue it in position.

Step 10: LEDs

Cut the LED strip into 9 double sections (6 LEDs) and 11 single sections (3 LEDs) strips. Cut another USB cable into required lengths, strip and thin the ends. Affix the LED strips onto the base and score the contacts with a knife (it will be easier to solder to them). Solder the wires onto the LED strips just like you see in the photo. Apply hot glue on all of the contacts securing them in place.

De-solder the black connector from the beginning of the LED strip and slide the cover off. Plug the wires into the LED controller and glue in place. If you would like the base colours to be different from that of the umbrella, plug the wires in randomly making sure the positive wire is plugged in as indicated on the controller.

Step 11: Umbrella Lighting

Affix the LED strips onto the inside of the umbrella and score the contacts with a knife. Solder the wires onto the LED strips just like you see in the photo and secure them with glue. At this point you could join the umbrella with the base to test and make sure everything is working as intended.

Step 12: It's All About That Base

Strip and thin the wire coming out of the shoe. Glue a few flatter stones into the middle of the base and mount the body into position. Solder the wires into the base’s LED strip and secure in place with hot glue. Carry on adding the stones to the base until completely covered.

Step 13: Supports

Take the drain wire that you saved from the USB cable (or another very thin wire), bend one of the ends and push it through the dress hem. Tie the ends together and cut off the leftovers. Bend the wire in the dress into a desired shape.

Bend the end on the 22 AWG wire and push it through the hat hem. Bend the other end and keep pushing through the hat until the wire disappears inside of the hem.

Push the 16 AWG wire through the straws for extra support. Wrap a tissue around the dress and paint the straws with the brown acrylic paint.

Step 14: Mushroom

Cut the cotton wool pleat into strips and glue them to the edge of the mushroom with the universal glue. Place the mushroom onto a glass so that the bottom doesn’t touch the workbench whilst it dries. Cut more strips into small cubes and glue them to the top of the mushroom. Soak the cubes with glue. With the white acrylic paint and a brush dab lots of small dots around the top for effect.

Step 15: Hairdressing

Liberate the hair strands from the wig’s cap with scissors. Cut off a bunch of ends, brush them and glue them to the back of the head with the hot glue. Add a couple of rows of hair to the back area of the head and then carry on attaching the hair around the head in circle until you finish in the middle. Brush the hair, this will be a nightmare especially if you buy the cheapest wig possible like I did 😀 Cut the hair to the desired length. Glue in a couple of additional shorter rows of hair at the hair parting and remove the strings holding the strands together.

Straighten the hair and glue the hat onto the top. Apply hair spray.

Step 16: Finishing Off

Solder the straw wires to the mushroom and secure with hot glue. Glue the straw to the umbrella and hold in place whilst it cools down.

Final Thoughts...

The process wasn’t too difficult but very time consuming, it took about 40 hours to complete. If I were to make another one I would probably ditch the toilet paper bit and just use clay instead. Clay is much easier to work with and will give you a nicer result.