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The weather still can’t quite make its mind up over what season we’re in but there is no denying that the days are getting shorter and we are fast approaching the time of year for all things pumpkin-spiced and spooky! When I was younger I remember watching American films and thinking how much cooler Halloween looked for them – they went all out with decorating their houses and it wasn’t just a one-day event, people would have decorations up and pumpkins displayed for weeks.
In recent years Halloween has become a much bigger holiday here in the UK, in fact, it overtook Valentine’s day as the third biggest retail holiday of the year (with Christmas in 1st place and Easter in second) so I thought it was only right to kick off our Halloween crafts with a lovely piece of home decor that can be re-used year after year, and, with some little tweaks – season after season!
Today I thought I’d share with you how I make my light-up holiday frames (these are great for any time of year as you can just change out the decal and backing paper colour to match whatever season/holiday you’re celebrating!)
Light Up Halloween Frame DIY
Here’s what you’ll need
- Deep Box Frame – I love the IKEA Ribba frames
- Cricut Machine or other vinyl cutting machine – Fancy winning a brand new Cricut Maker? Enter our giveaway!
- Adhesive Vinyl
- Glitter Card Stock
- Battery-powered fairy lights
- Hot glue gun
- Halloween SVG File from Design Bundles
I actually bought a Halloween SVG Bundle as it was such a good price (£1.90 for 40 different SVGs!) so that I could use the one shown in the top left of this picture – ‘If the broom fits, ride it!’ and there are some other files in the bundle that I’ve got some ideas for on later projects too 👍
Set your design area
I’m making things a little bit more difficult for myself on this project as I’m using a square frame but an SVG file that is currently rectangular in shape. I’m going to manipulate the file to fit a 20.5×20.5cm space on my frame (this gives me about a half-centimetre border the whole way around).
Open up Design Space and start a new project, select the shapes option from the left-hand toolbar and select a square, adjust it to fit the measurements of your design area and then press the padlock again to lock it in place.
Upload SVG to Design Space
In the left-hand toolbar you have the upload option – click that and then click Upload Image. Once it’s uploaded, select the image from your library and click ‘Insert Images’.
It will now appear on your mat and you can manipulate the size of it to fit in your design area box we laid out in the previous step.
Manipulate the SVG to fit your cut area
Changing the shape of an SVG file can take a bit of practice to get it looking right. The first thing to do is to unlock the little padlock in the bottom left corner of the element and drag the shape around to see if it looks ok just ‘squishing’ it into a square shape – sometimes you get lucky and it looks fine!
Arrange your elements
I’ve managed to get my main SVG to fit the square as best possible without it warping the image too much but was left with some empty areas. I’ve taken some bat elements from another file and added them in along with a few more stars to fill up the gaps.
Cutting the Vinyl
Cut the vinyl in the same way as you would for any other project, we don’t need to mirror it as it’ll be attaching to the front of the frame and not the inside. If you’ve chosen to do a fairly large image as I have then be careful not to lose any parts whilst weeding 👍 Once that is all done, apply the transfer tape and put to one side for now.
Preparing your frame
The reason I love the Ribba frames from IKEA so much is because they come apart fully. We want ours separated down into all 4 pieces for this project – the back of the frame, the ‘box’ spacer, the perspex front and the outer frame.
Adding your background
Now that our frame is in its separate pieces we can add a design or glitter paper to the back section. I’ve chosen to use glitter card as it looks nice with the fairy lights and I can change out the colour depending on the colour theme of the rest of my decorations! If you are using a Ribba frame, make sure to leave that little cut out corner edge free (top right on my photo) as that’ll help us poke through the fairy lights.
Attaching the fairy lights
The easiest way I have found to attach fairly lights to a frame is to ‘tack’ them into place first with sellotape so that you can space them out evenly and then go back around with a hot glue and glue across the wire to secure. Hopefully, you can get yours looking a bit neater than mine, I was using a cheapy hot glue gun from Home Bargains that wouldn’t stop pushing out molten glue 🙈 I’ve ordered a new one from Amazon now!
Vinyl the perspex
Now for the fun bit, adding our vinyl to our perspex! I tend to do my vinyl in sections by pulling back a few inches of the backing paper and folding it over, then I can squeegee down the rest of the design bit by bit to make sure I’m not getting any air bubbles or wrinkles.
Putting back together
Now that that’s all done we can put the frame back together. Be careful to stick the ‘tail’ of your lights out the corner of the frame so that it’ll poke through the cut out on the back of the frame.
Finished Light Up Halloween Frame
Now you have a fun piece of handmade Halloween decor that can be changed out with the season- All you need is replacement perspex or acrylic for the front and to slide a different colour backing paper into the frame!
I’d love to see if you give this tutorial a go!
Make sure to tag me in any post you put of the finished results on Facebook or Instagram so I can share them around for you 😉