Wednesday, January 08, 2014


Homemade Light Bright

I always wanted a light bright as a kid.  I didn't end up getting one until we were given an original Lite Brite three years ago.  It was hard to find bulbs for it so it was quickly retired.  However, I kept the pegs, saving them for some future project.  So when we designed our light table, I always imagined making a light bright tabletop for it.  Well, it finally became a reality!  Cue the excitement because it is AWESOME!

Homemade light bright from And Next Comes L

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How to Make a Giant Homemade Light Bright for Kids

I was originally inspired by this light bright table by Schooling at Play, which was all homemade.  Then I saw, of course, that Play at Home Mom made one too from peg board.  

So I sent my husband to Rona with the dimensions of the light table and one light bright peg.  His mission was to test out the light bright peg in a piece of peg board that could be purchased.  If it didn't fit, which I figured it wouldn't, he was to purchase some hardboard so that we could design our own.  He ended up coming home with a 1/4" thick piece of hardboard, already cut to the dimensions of our light table.

Using the width of my level as I guide, I drew a frame around the hardboard.  I then started measuring a grid of 1/2" x 1/2" squares.  It was a tedious, tedious task.  I then marked off alternating intersections so that we could achieve that staggered look of the original Lite Brite.  I apologize for the not so great picture.  I'm still trying to figure out how to work this new DSLR camera of mine.

How we made our homemade light bright from And Next Comes L

Then my husband set off to drill all the spots marked with an x.  Yes, all 1430 of them!  Did I mention he was doing this in the garage when the temperatures were lower than -40 C?  I love my husband!  He informs me that he used a 11/64 drill bit to drill the holes.  He suggests going the next size up to compensate for paint build up, which I will explain in a bit.

Once the board was drilled and sanded, I gave it two coats of paint.  I used DecoArt black acrylic paint.  I then gave it two coats of Mod Podge to seal it up good.  However, lots of the holes ended up covered with paint and/or Mod Podge.  So I poked every single hole with a toothpick until they were all opened up.  Yes, all 1430 of them!

Then I tried a light bright peg.  Oh no!  It didn't fit very well.  We had forgot to compensate for the paint when my husband drilled the holes.  How disappointing!

So my husband offered to redrill all the holes.  Yes, all 1430 of them again!  PS: My husband is awesome. 

It was a long tedious process, but it was so worth it.  It looks absolutely incredible.  I am so excited to show it off.  So I will leave the pictures to do all the work.  They say it all.

Homemade light bright tabletop for the light table from And Next Comes L

Close up of light bright pegs on a homemade light bright from And Next Comes L

Close up of light bright pegs on a homemade light bright from And Next Comes L

Close up of light bright pegs on a homemade light bright from And Next Comes L

Homemade light bright from And Next Comes L

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Homemade light bright - a DIY project that converts your light table into a light bright from And Next Comes L
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26 comments:

  1. Awesome Dyan! What a good husband. This is beautiful and looks like so much fun. I want to come play minus your freezing cold temps!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! Yes, my husband is truly amazing. And the temperature is slightly warmer now...but I don't blame you for not wanting to be here when it's that cold. It really sucks when it's that cold!

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  2. Pure awesomeness :) You rock lady! I LOVE this! We've used left over parts of my husband's tool storage pegboard as a DIY light bright but it was white and didn't work super well but this looks amazing! I can't believe you made it from scratch! Very impressive!

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    1. Yeah the pegs don't fit a premade peg board all that well.

      Impressive? Perhaps crazy is a better description! But seriously, thank YOU!

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  3. I saw the link to your post via Emma Craig's tweet. That is very cool! Light bright has a certain magic and you have created the ultimate Light Bright table. : 0 ) Theresa (Capri + 3)

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    1. Ultimate light bright table?! I think so too! Thanks for stopping by, Theresa!

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  4. Wow! That is fantastic! I need you to open up your own DIY light table and accessories store on Etsy please. You'd have one guaranteed customer right here!! Awesome post and Beautiful photos!

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    1. Hahaha! I will get right on that ;)

      And thanks for the compliments on the photos. I am slowly, but surely figuring out manual mode on my camera!

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  5. now that is dedication... it looks fantastic...

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    1. Ha! Yes we don't like to leave projects unfinished around here. Must finish it despite the weather and other obstacles.

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  6. Your husband is a good, good man!

    And that table looks awesome! I want to come play!

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    1. He sure is! And thank you. I love how it turned out!!

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  7. This is super cool! I have pinned this post.

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  8. Love love love! What a lot of work but it is sooo cool. I was wondering however, does it work well since it is used on a horizontal plane (as compared to the original upright Lite Brite)? Just thinking that it may be harder to gain perspective of what one is making w/ the pegs since you're looking down on top of it instead of being able to step back from it for viewing (and the kids' height puts them much closer to the working surface). Does that deter the kids at all do you think?

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    1. Interesting question. I am going to say no mostly because the height of our table is just below the waist of my two year old so both of my boys can easily look down at the table. Also, anytime that we have made designs on it the boys seem to have no problems identifying what it is. Hope that makes sense!

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  9. inspired me- a similar simple light table idea for my preschool classroom- take bvlack construction paper strips and hole punch them- lay them out either sporadically or to cover the light table or perhaps parts of the light table or tape them together?? Give the kids those colored semi translucent pony beads to lay on the hole punched paper to make designs??

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    1. Ohhhh! That is a fantastic idea, Ellen!

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  10. This is AMAZING! I'm building my 4yo a light table for Christmas this year and found you while looking up ideas for play. I love this! Let's see if I can get my husband to drill 1430 holes.. Thanks for this fantastic idea!

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    1. I will be thoroughly impressed if another man is crazy enough to drill that many holes! Ha! :)

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  11. I think your table is absolutely exquisite and love the idea! Would love to try it and actually read your page ) aloud with excitement to my husband with hopes of inspiring him to help me try this project. His comment was "good for them"! I had to smile & pray that maybe later he'd change his mind. I'll be sure to let you know!

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    1. That's hilarious! Please do let me know if he changes his mind.

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