Thursday, February 22, 2018

DIY Hogwarts House Nightlights! Free Templates

I'm a bit obsessed with paper and light, you guys. I love the way layered paper looks when lit up, and I'm forever drooling over the papercut shadowboxes by Badger Burrow Dreamboxes, and this one by my friend Renee, which is clearly superior since it has a hidden Epbot in it:

I wanted to take this idea and turn it into a wall-plug nightlight - something small and simple that anyone could put together and customize. Simplifying is hard for me, though, so it took a little exasperated intervention from John to push me into these designs - and now of course I love them.

I'll have my usual step-by-step tutorial below, but FIRST, let's watch the videoooooo!

This is my favorite one yet.

Now let's go over that again, for the non-video crowd:

First a look at the finished products, lit:

... and unlit!

These are quick, relatively easy, and super cheap to make - so let's get to it!

You Will Need:

- our printed templates (free downloads at the bottom of this post)
- card stock or paper in your House colors 
- a small piece of mat board
- Glue Stick (or other non-bleed paper glue)
- craft blade & scissors
- cutting mat
- an LED night light

Note: We found a bunch of night lights at Dollar Tree - which also has the color-changing ones! - but the Walmart ones seem brighter, so maybe spend the extra dollar for those.

 Roughly cut out the printed base template and glue it to your mat board:

Then cut both pieces out with a blade:
(You'll have to go over it 2 or 3 times to cut all the way through.)

Glue the two together to form one piece. This piece should slide easily over your nightlight base:
Like so.

That's the base done!

Next glue the printed design template onto your darker colored card stock, and cut it out:
Remember to save the centers of any letters, like the O and the A.

Once that's done, put the pieces back together so you can trace the rectangle onto your lighter colored card stock - in this case, the yellow:

Cut out the colored rectangle, then glue the darker design piece on top.

Don't forget to glue down the centers of your letters!
Place the finished design between two spare pieces of card stock, and roll them all together into a tube: 

This will give your design the smooth curve you need to glue it to the base. The extra card stock on either side helps prevent it from kinking or creasing.

Once you've got the right curve to your design, glue it onto the base:

This part can be fiddly, since the glue stick is slippery and can take a while to dry. If you're really struggling, get out the hot glue gun and put 3 *SMALL* dabs of hot glue on the base, one on each edge and one in the middle. This will help hold the design in place while your glue stick dries.

(I don't recommend using ALL hot glue, because it's messy and you could easily burn yourself holding down the thin paper.)

 Once the glue is dry, slide your finished design in place:

... and plug it in!


 John's claimed this one for his game room. I love that these look pretty both way, lit or not:

Of course I had to make ALL the houses after that. Of course.

I originally made the Slytherin with a green bottom and grey/silver top, but there wasn't enough contrast between the colors, and it didn't light up well:

So even though it's not technically accurate, I prefer the black silhouette with the green glow:

Why I Went With "Sassy"
1) It made me laugh. A lot.
 2) Based on the the Slytherins I know, ACCURATE 
3)"Ambitious" is too dang many letters

The Ravenclaw design turns black-and-white when lit up, which was surprising, but also kind of cool?

Personally I think the Gryffindor is the prettiest - but that could be my inner GryffinPuff talking:

 Look how the red glows when it's lit:

Oooh. Ahhhhh.

But wait, THERE'S MORE.

These are so quick to make it's easy to get carried away, so John went and made two more designs:

The Tangled lantern...

... and a black-and-white Hogwarts crest printed on translucent parchment paper:

This one looks SO COOL with a color-changing nightlight behind it - and is currently the new light in our guest bathroom.  If you make your own, just be sure to add a card stock frame around the outside edges for strength.

Now, prepare to get ALL THE TEMPLATES!
Right-click each one to embiggen, then save to your desktop for printing.

The Tangles & Crest ones each have two options:

You can cut out the sun on the bottom Tangled one, then back it with white tissue paper for a pretty glow. Both Hogwarts crest ones require no cutting, but remember to print them on thin parchment or vellum so the light shines through well.


Hope you guys enjoyed, and try making your own! (Be sure to share pics on the Epbot FB page or tag me on Instagram if you do!) If you're new here, be sure to check out my Craft Page for over 150 more DIY projects, including plenty of Harry Potter goodies. (So, so many.)

 If you're a regular reader and want to help support me and John - so we can keep offering all these free tutorials for free - then please consider shopping through our Amazon link and/or arranging through Paypal to send us a dollar or two or twelve each month. (You can cancel any time, or you can make a one-time donation.) We couldn't keep doing this without you, so THANK YOU for all the ways you support us - every click, every "like" and share, every encouraging comment. We love you guys!


  1. Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow!!!!!!!! That is so cool!

  2. Those look soooooo good! I love the Ravenclaw one.. but I might be a teensy bit biased.
    Did you experiment with adding a thin curved brace to the top to keep the paper centered over the light? I would think that might be necessary for the vellum ones.

  3. Oh my goodness those are gorgeous! I want them all over the house, even though my dogs would probably chew them off the wall :P

  4. Well I know what I'm crafting at my next "scrapbook" session... NIGHTLIGHTS!!!! All the nightlights!!! I should put one in every room of my house, right?!?!

    And thanks for all the cool stuff - I always shop Amazon through the cakewrecks link!

  5. SO. TOTALLY. COOL. You guys continue to amaze. Thank you so much for including the templates!

  6. Ok, the Tangled one is begging to be made and displayed proudly in my house. Gonna have to add it to the list of stuff to make... These are so cool! Thanks for sharing your awesome craftiness with us!

  7. Just so you know, whenever I'm watching one of my favorite cardmakers and they make a comment about fussycutting or using a craft knife, I will be sharing the link to this post 😊. Holy crap you are a wizard with that knife! Gorgeous!

  8. Thank you so much for thinking of the non-video crowd! Hugs!!!
    This is so cool! I can't wait to try it for my daughter's room!

  9. I like them, but I wonder whether it's safe to leave them on all night. Paper near an incandescent bulb? I'm not sure.

    1. These are LED bulbs, not incandescent. Perfectly safe!

  10. Can I turn your templates into cut files for Cricut? The mat board would be too thick for the machine to cut, but the others would be a snap for it to cut out. Personal use only, not to share, of course -- but then I CAN make the Slytherin one say "Ambitious!"

  11. That's brilliant! I think, I will be doing a Hogwarts crest light. Last year I read about a trick, how to make normal paper transparent by covering it in oil after printing/painting. I've used it to make "candles" for our windows with the kids last christmas and I guess, I'll try it here again.


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