Now even fiber artists can get in touch with their inner padawan by making a small light saber that actually lights up. I got inspired to create this, appropriately enough, from a light-up key chain shaped like a light bulb. You’ll need just a few other things to make this lovely light source for a more civilized age.
Aside from the light-up key chain, you will need:
A clear bendable plastic, such as the kind you’ll find used for sheet protectors at office supply stores.
Two colors of lightweight yarn or crochet cotton, one for the hilt of your lightsaber and one for the blade.
A crochet hook sized appropriately to use with the yarn or cotton.
A small amount of craft paint to match the color of your lightsaber blade.
A small paint brush. A container for water.
A pair of scissors.
A pen, or something with which to mark on the plastic.
Newspaper to protect the surface on which you’re working.
A ruler is optional; I kind of winged it, but if you want your light saber blade to be an exact length, and your lines to be perfectly straight, you’ll want one.
First, cut the rings off the side of your sheet protector, and the sealed pocket off the bottom. Fold it out so that you’re working with a single, flat sheet. Roll your key chain up in the plastic so that you have a little more than one complete thickness around it. Mark how far you rolled on the plastic, and how long you want your blade to be.
Connect these marks to make a rectangle. Spread out your newspaper, fill your water container, and open your paint. Take your paint brush and fill in that rectangle with your paint. You don’t have to cover it too thickly; in fact, you shouldn’t, if you want your light to shine through. Let the paint dry completely before continuing to the next step.
When the paint is dry, cut out the rectangle. Attach it with tape to your key chain, and roll it up. Make sure the painted side is on the inside of the roll. Tape it along the seam to keep it closed. If your blade is too long, don’t worry about it just yet; you can still shorten it later. Press the button on your key chain, or do whatever it requires to light up, to check to see if you can still see the light through the roll. If you can’t, you put the paint on way too thick.
Take up your hook and your grey or silver cotton or yarn. You’re going to crochet yourself a light saber hilt to go around the bottom of your key chain. You may have to do it a little differently from the way I did it to fit. I started with a chain six or so, joined the chain to make a circle, then crocheted about 12 or 13 single crochets in the circle. I then removed the ring from my key chain and slipped on what I’d crocheted to see if it was large enough to form the bottom circle. It wasn’t, so I worked two single crochet stitches into every crochet around, then worked even around in a spiral for about 250 stitches. I did work a few more increases to get over a bulge in the base of my key chain.
Try your crocheted hilt onto your key chain to make sure it fits. You also want to make sure that you can still turn on its light easily. My hilt was getting long enough to be tricky to fit on; fortunately, I slipped another crochet hook into a small ring at the base, and used the hook to guide my crocheted hilt onto the key chain for fit.
Once your hilt is big enough, it’s time to switch colors to the blade. I let myself get about 100 single crochet stitches into the blade before checking the fit again, and making sure that the light would show through the crochet. Once that’s done, it’s just a matter of mindlessly working single crochet around and around until the blade is about as long as you want it to be.
In my case, about 1100 stitches later I decided the blade was long enough, and slipped my crocheted covering over my lightsaber innards. I was really glad I’d thought of that trick with a longer crochet hook; I couldn’t have gotten the cover on otherwise! I trimmed the plastic, and then single crocheted two stitches together all around until I’d basically brought the tip down to nothing. Then I fastened off and wove in the end.
It still didn’t look quite like a lightsaber to me, so I added one more detail. I crocheted a thin strip to go around the part where the hilt meets the blade. That would camouflage the color change, and most “real” lightsabers have a section that comes out a little bit wider at the base of the blade anyway. I used a single row of double crochet for the strip to give it a textural difference from the rest of the hilt. When I fastened off, I left a long end, and used it to sew the strip to the hilt.
I’m not totally satisfied with the way the lightsaber came out, but for a padawan’s first weapon with blade, it’ll do for now.