Fake Lit Cigarette
This is a great prop for any costume where you want to be smoking a cigarette that appears lit.
- 1 thin wooden dowel cut to 2"
-small sanding pick (not pictured)
-exacto knife (not pictured)
-white paper cut to the size and length of a cigarette (not pictured)
-Battery Holder with Color Coded wire leads (you can do AA or AAA or N 1.5V Alkaline Batteries, depending on the space you have to hide the battery pack — I included AA and N 1.5V holders in the picture below, just choose one)
-1 Slide switch or a button on/off switch (you can choose which works best for your overall design — I included both slide and button switches in picture below)
-1 cut light from a strand holiday lights (any type/color), leaving lead wire (I am using an orange light from a halloween strand of battery powered tiny lights) and exposing wire tips
-Soldering Iron and Soldering Wire (soldering wire not pictured)
-Black, yellow and Orange glitter
-White or Wood Glue
-Clear tape (not pictured)
-Yellow or beige colored pencil (not pictured)
Preparing the Dowel for the Light
- Use the pliers to expose the ends of your cut light bulb wire
-Take the thin 2" wood dowel and carefully score 2 lines 2 mm apart along the length of it. It's easier to put it in a vise to make sure you are safe while trying to score it, because you want to make sure not to slip.
-Using the sanding pick, chip at the scored 2mm "ribbon" to remove it from the dowel to create a space for you to hide the wire from the light. Once you have started it, continue to sand the space until it is wide/deep enough for the 2 small wires to fit in it.
-Once the wires fit in the space, tape them into the "cigarette" to keep them into place.
Connecting the Wires
- Connect and solder the black (-) wire from the light strand to the black (-) wire from the battery pack together (since the wire from the light I used from the full strand is black, you may have to figure out with trial and error which one matches and is really "black (-)."
-Connect and solder the other wire, which should be the red (+) from the light strand onto the on/off switch (whichever size you end up using).
-Connect and solder the red (+) from the battery pack to the switch.
Test the on off switch as you go to make sure you are connecting properly before you solder everything!
*Please note in the picture below I had the cigarette "filter" separated as I needed to embed the cigarette in something so didn't need it to be whole. You can do it either way, depending on your needs.
Covering It All and Making It Look Like a Cigarette
- Take the piece of paper and make sure it fits over the whole "cigarette," with a little paper overlap — you can also let the tip of the bulb stick out a bit at the end.
-Mark a slight line where the "filter" will be (if you do it in pencil you can erase it later)
-Color the "filter" yellow (erase the pencil mark if you made one). If you want a brand name on the cigarette, you can write it in at this stage.
-Use a glue stick to glue the paper carefully over the cigarette — there will be extra room at the lit tip, you will fill that out later. You may need to use a tiny piece of clear tape to secure the overlapped paper edge.
-Fill the space at the tip with "white" glue — this dries clear, so don't worry about covering the bulb.
-Alternate dipping the tip, with wet glue, first into black, then yellow and finally orange glitter. You may have to add a little glue and go back and forth between the 3 colors to get it to look just right. Be careful not to squash the tip in the process, as it still has wet glue and extra space.
-let it dry fully overnight with the lighted tip at an angle, facing up.
Incorporate It Into Your Costume
Be careful to hide the battery pack somewhere where it will not get nudged, and you may want to secure it with electrical tape.
Here are a few pictures of cigarettes I made — once for a Halloween costume where I had an ashtray full of cigarette butts and a few lit ones (the cigarettes and ashes were glued down, shellacked, and the wires ran under the ashtray/shelf), and another time where I built it right into the hand for a chain-smoking puppet (I put the battery pack in her wrist, and build the switch into her hand) — but you can really use it in a variety of ways and it looks great!
The 3 colors of glitter really gives the illusion it is sparkling...