Work Lights Turned Gallery Lighting

While most kids his age have had their rooms redecorated several times, my sweet boy is so resistant to change that he has many of the same decorative elements in his room that he had as a baby!
But, after hearing some of Mom’s ideas for freshening things up a bit, he finally agreed to let me do a mini-makeover to his room in a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of way.
My 8 (almost 9…boo…hoo) year old is seriously obsessed with all things electronic and mechanical! So much so that he uses his own allowance to buy old electronics at thrift stores and garage sales just so he can take them apart and study how they work. You should see our garage! At any given time you will find broken cameras, phones, fax machines, CD players, you name it, strewn all over the floor.
This gave me a good place to start when it came to adding more of his “big kid” persona to his room.
My first step was to take photos of some of his broken electronics, edit them so they have a cool vintage-y tint and then had them blown up to 8×10. 
They were then put in black frames I already had lying around.


Motherboards are actually pretty cool when you really look at them.
My son calls the big ones “Daddy”boards! Silly boy!
The other photo is of the inside of something….ummm…not quite sure what it used to be since it is kind of beyond recognition at this point. It looks neat though, doesn’t it?


Once I had the photos framed and hung on the wall, I decided I wanted to create some cool way to really show them off. 
Then a light bulb went off in my brain when I realized that I could use these clip-on work lights.
Get it…light bulb…clip lights…oh I just crack myself up!
I picked up 2 for around $5 each at Lowes.


And by simply flipping the clip around I was able to create a “hook” of sorts by which to hang the light on a nail in the wall. The clip is holding the cord which was then tucked down behind the frame.


I thought it would be even more fun to use colored bulbs!


Now, these are 25 watt bulbs and I wouldn’t recommend going any higher than that.
*Work Lights get VERY hot if left on for too long!*
I would also never do this down any lower where a small child could touch them. My son knows to only leave them on briefly and it really is just to create a cool effect more than to add lighting to his room.
They really are more of a “for looks” element.


The only thing I didn’t like about this was the cord hanging down along the wall.
So, I picked up 2 of these plastic cord covers which have a sticky backing to hold it in place.


I spray painted them a copper color so that it would look more like metal piping.


My son absolutely LOVES them! I got it all done while he was at school one day so that it would be a surprise when he came home. I think my “cool factor” went up a few notches! 


I have a few more things I want to do in his room including painting that armoire and changing out the hardware. But this is a good start and considering that his eyes filled with tears when I took out the rug he has had since he was a baby, I think it might be next year before it is all done! 
Oh, I just adore that boy!
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  1. says

    What a cute idea! I would never have thought to hang them on the wall like that. I like how you added the plastic sleeve to the cords and made it look like copper too. So creatve. I bet your son is thrilled with the results.

  2. says

    That is the coolest. I love how you took what he loves and made it into art. I thought it was copper, so really good job on the plastic sleeve.

  3. says

    My brother used to take any electronic he could find apart as a kid too! I love that you took pics of them and framed them….very cool! The lights are great too :o)

  4. says

    You definitely have a future engineer on your hands. I know because I am married to one. My oldest son did want his room to change so I can relate but I love how took his favorite things and decorated in such a personal way. Really cute idea that I must share on FB!

  5. says

    You crafty, genious, Mama, you! I LOVE this idea … seriously, framing the “Daddyboards” is awesome. And, fabulous idea using the lights … you’ve made it an industrial big fella space. Your smart kiddo must be thrilled! Way to go, Mama!

  6. says

    Vanessa, what an ingenious idea to use pics of electronics and enlarge them! You are so creative…thankfully for women like you, the rest of us are able to do a few of these awesome ideas! Thanks for sharing! LOVE reading your blog!

  7. says

    Love the pics and the lights. I love to hear about his love for electronics. My son use to tear everything in our house apart when he was young and he had the whole house wired with weird stuff. He did go on to get his Electronics Engineering degree in college and now he has a consulting business where he works for most of the top 10 Electronic companies in the world. His name is famous in his field and he is highly sought after, so encourage all the tearing apart, it will definitely pay off. He earns a princely salary each year and his family has had the opportunity to travel around the world courtesy of all these various companies. Hugs, Maryt

  8. says

    That’s a really clever idea for a boy’s room. I remember how my son always had something “apart.” Much to his dad’s dismay, it was usually a bike….lol! Really like your idea for the bow holder, too. You are such a clever one, Vanessa! Thanks for following me via LF, & I’m following you, too!

  9. says

    Oh I love this idea SO MUCH you just don’t even know!!! And all of the legos are fabulous. My 7 year old son would love to have a place to display his collection of legos…I have GOT to come up with something. He would love and go crazy over those lights too. How do you come up with this stuff? You have a brilliant mind Vanessa!

  10. says

    Okay, totally in love with those lights. And I totally relate to throwing out the baby rug- I can’t throw out their clothes, much less their decor! I can’t wait to see what you do with that armoire- lots of potential :)

  11. says

    Incredibly innovative project….perfect for an electronics genius! I just wanted to stop by and tell you how much I truly appreciate your wonderful words on my facebook page. You might not know it, but I am actually president of your fan club. Your blog has so much inspiration and creativity and I am blessed to have met you in blogland.

    Have an awesome day!

  12. says

    Those are some awesome ideas, I love it all! The photos, the lighting and the “copper” tubing! How sweet is he that he doesn’t like things changed too much. Looking forward to seeing what else you do, even if it is next year! :)

  13. says

    That looks really cool! I love the colors! The copper cord covers are neat too! He must feel very sophisticated in this room.

    Tina :)
    (That other picture looks like a hard drive to me. I used to love to take them apart and make jewelry and this from the pieces!)

  14. says

    Hey girl, I love how you redid his room. I think it’s so fun AND cool! I also think it’s awesome that he’s into mechanical engineering like that! Maybe he’s the next Steve Jobs? :) Thanks for sharing at my place! You’re the sweetest!

  15. says

    Superb blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get feedback from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

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