DIY Canvas Constellation Night Light

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Sawyer, my six-year-old, sleeps on the top bunk bed. Last summer his little brother got his bottom bunk turned into a pirate fort, and Sawyer has been wanting something special to decorate his own bunk ever since. We put up some glow-in-the-dark stars, but it still wasn’t really cool enough.

When I ran across some large canvases at a local swap meet for only $1, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them!

I started by giving my canvas a coat of spray primer since these aren’t ordinary canvas. They’re made to be hung outdoors, so the “canvas” part is actually a textured vinyl. I used a plastic primer, and then spray painted the entire canvas flat black.

After the black paint dried I took the canvas outdoors on a windy afternoon and sprayed it from about 10 feet away with purple, blue, neon pink and white paint to give it the effect of a galaxy. I varied the pressure that I put on the nozzle so that I ended up with some splatters that look like larger stars.

I printed out a black & white transparency of the Northern Hemisphere constellations and projected it on to my canvas. I fiddled around with the placement until I liked the way it looked, but I didn’t pay much attention to the direction that anything is facing – just what I thought looked best.

I started by drawing all of the dots/stars first, and then I went back in and connected them with a metallic silver Sharpie paint marker.

Count your constellation stars and determine which ones you want to make glow – the strand of lights only has 100 bulbs, so you may need to omit a few. I chose not to light up anything that came too close to the edges of my canvas.

Use an Xacto knife to cut a small “x” in each of the constellation stars that you want to light up. Push through the tip of a fairy light from the back of the canvas. When I was finished, I taped the back of the canvas to hold the lights in place.

I love how much the little lights remind me of Lite Brite pegs!

Ready to decorate Sawyer’s top bunk…in the daytime…

…and all lit up!

I’m pretty sure that I could fall asleep to this soft twinkle every night! The fairy lights actually have 8 different settings, so you can set them to fade, twinkle, blink and something that flashes so quickly it might be seizure-inducing. We put ours on both a dimmer and a timer so that they’re not too bright, and they come on automatically at bedtime.

Not  bad for less than $10!

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  1. I love this idea! My son wants a Star Wars/out of space themed bedroom and this would be perfect.

    Anne xx

  2. My four yr old son would just love this!

  3. That is AWESOME! My little boy would absolutely love this! Every night he wants to go outside to see the stars. Pinning!

  4. What a fun idea for a little one’s room! I could totally see this above my son’s bunk beds too :o) Pinning!!

  5. LOVE this! I put glow in the dark stickers in the shape of constellations on my ceiling when I was in high school. I still remember some of them.

    I’d love if you shared this project at my Show & Tell party this week.

  6. where did you get the lights like that… I’ve never seen any with settings?

    Martha ([email protected])

  7. Really spectacular! I love this idea. I was an astronomy junkie as a kid and would have adored this.
    Great work!

  8. This looks so cool! What a great idea!

  9. Heidi, this is amazing! My kids would love this!! I may have to attempt this one. :)


  10. Lisa Bellot says:

    Love this! My son loves Star Wars so I’m thinking about “updating” his decor with minimal expense and this is a perfect addition. Thanks!

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