This project idea is the result of a wedding we attended where cigarette lighters were prominently featured in the lighting of the unity candle.
This made us think: why use plain cigarette lighters? Shouldn’t the lighters coordinate with the rest of the wedding accessories, joyously decorated with ribbon and lace and pearls?
The lighters shown here would make great wedding favors, cake toppers for a smoking-themed cake (perhaps with faux cigarette pillars?), or a fun craft for a pre-wedding party. However, if you plan on using them as cake toppers, we recommend that you use empty ones if they’re available.
• Several cigarette lighters in desired colors
• An assortment of lace, ribbon, and other trims
By their very nature, cigarette lighters are intended to dispense a flame. Therefore, use common sense when decorating them. These safety suggestions are by no means a complete list, but include key points we’ve thought of:
• Keep all decorations well away from areas where they might encounter the flame.
• Be careful when using glue; some types may be flammable until dry.
• Don’t expose the lighters to sources of heat such as glue guns.
• Don’t allow children or drunk adults to play with the lighters.
• If your application isn’t going to require that the lighters function, why not use empty ones?
Be aware that if you’re traveling to a wedding, lighters are now banned on U.S. domestic airline flights and shipping companies may have restrictions as well.
Just as the bride is the star of the wedding, the understated simplicity of this lighter will make it the star among the bridal accessories.
To make the bride:
• Glue a piece of flat lace around the lighter, as shown in the leftmost photo.
• Glue a piece of gathered lace around the bottom of the lighter to form a sophisticated mermaid-style skirt, as shown in the rightmost photo.
• Finish the lighter by gluing a short strand of tiny beads around the top of the lighter to form a “necklace”.
Note that in our photo the white lace almost disappears against the white lighter. If your wedding lighters are to be photographed, you may wish to either use a slightly tinted lace or a lighter that isn’t white for the bride so that the details of your work are easier to see in the wedding photos.
No wedding is complete without an assortment of bridesmaids, both frumpy and slutty. The bridesmaids shown at left were constructed using the same technique used to create the bride, by gluing short pieces of ribbon and lace around lighters.
The frumpy bridesmaid, dressed in shades of green, wears a skirt made from a clumsily hand-gathered piece of satin ribbon, a waistband made from a contrasting narrow strip of ribbon, and bust bows. The bust bows are ready-made ribbon roses which can be found at sewing and DIY/crafts stores. Adding a butt bow is another way to help your bridesmaid reach her full frumpiness potential.
The slutty bridesmaid, dressed in pink and purple, sports a glitzy transparent lamé skirt. Her bust bow was made by sewing in a straight line down the middle of a short length of ribbon, then pulling on the thread to make the ribbon bunch up.
Leisure Suit Larry
Every family has at least one “snappy dresser”, the uncle or brother-in-law who keeps his collection of leisure suits in active rotation. To make this person’s outfit,
• Glue a rectangle of fabric around the lighter, leaving the top corners free. (Baby blue polyester would be especially appropriate, albeit extremely flammable.)
• Fold the top corners of the rectangle down to make lapels. Glue them in place.
• Glue small beads down the front of the shirt make buttons.
• Glue a short length of chain in the open neckline.
We cheated by using a purchased 3D scrapbooking trim to create our groom. Companies such as Jolee’s offer stickers with miniature fabric tuxedos for only a few dollars (see below).
We then disassembled the tuxedo and glued select pieces – the shirt front, lapels, and bow tie – on the lighter. Note that before gluing the lapels on (photo below), we first trimmed the shirt front so that its edges would not extend into the “suit” area. (photo at left)
You could instead make a tux by hand by cutting the shirt front and lapels out of fabric, gluing them on the lighter, then gluing small white beads down the front of the shirt for “buttons”.
Note that in our photos, the black bow tie and lapels are very hard to see against the black lighter. If your lighters are going to be photographed, you may wish to make your bow tie in a color other than black.
Together at last!
The finished groom after gluing lapels over the shirt area.