Do you remember Pixie Sticks? Those paper sleeves of awesome tart candy powder. Not only did they TASTE great—eating them was such fun! You ripped the end off and tipped the ‘stick’ up, tilting your head back, pouring all that sour goodness into your mouth. Here’s a design idea that, while not edible, will satisfy your urge for color and simple design. And this time, it’s light, and won’t cause you extra time at the gym!
Take lengths of standard PVC pipe, measure and cut them in comparable lengths. But, before you cut, think about where you want to display your Pixie Sticks, if you are going to use them indoors or outside. If you’re using them outside, you might want them longer. You may want to cluster your pipe pieces, so think about using units of three pipe pieces. Yes, as usual, ‘three’ is your magic design number.
Using a drill, you want to drill many holes in random spots up and down the length of a pipe. Yes, ‘many.’ While drilling is tedious, remember the more holes you create, the more light will pour out. And don’t drill your light holes uniformly because you want scattered pinpoints of light, not rows.
Once you have plenty of holes drilled, then you want to think about color. You’re going to spray paint your pipes, and you’re only as limited as there are colors of spray paint. In this example, I used red, because they were incorporated into my holiday design. Any metallic you use would be great for year-round effect, orange for Halloween or Thanksgiving, blue for Hanukkah, or any other color or combination of colors to evoke any feeling or holiday you wish.
When painted, cram your pipes with ordinary holiday light strings. The more the better.
If you use your Pixie Sticks indoors, they become part of holiday structure, and are a nice foil for round ornaments. They can be hung, piled up, or even propped in corners. And another benefit to using PVC pipes is that they’re so lightweight, if you wish to suspend them, it’s easy.
And, if used outdoors, they take on a sculptural feel, and can be used alone or in conjunction with other exterior decoration.
Note how you can set one up, then the next, and then have one leaning into the two. Yep, three pipes have just the right look.
If you place your light sculptures within your landscape, they can mimic slender tree trunks, and form a nice design echo.
All you need is pipe, strings of lights, a drill, and spray paint, and in just a short time, you can create a cool light sculpture to use indoors or out. And not a single calorie was consumed.
Chris H. Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design.He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Learn more about Chris and all of his work at chrisholsen.com.