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Crafts | Make Decorative String Lights

Crafts | Make Decorative String Lights
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Winter is the perfect season for completing indoor home projects.  If cabin fever is settling in for you, these string lights are a quick and easy project that can add charm and character to a room.  There are two reasons I love this project– you can custom design the color or theme of these lights to fit any room or occasion, and added lights are a much needed mood lifter for this time of year.

Decorative string lights
Decorative string lights

What you need to make Decorative String Lights:

  • A string of LED lights
  • Clear plastic cups
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Decorative papers (scrapbook paper, recycled wrapping paper, plain colored paper)

Instructions to make Decorative String Lights:

  • The first step is the most challenging because you need to create a template for a paper strip that will wrap around the cup.  Cups are awkward shapes and difficult to make templates for, but once this step is completed the rest is a cinch.

    Create the template-- it will be shaped like this Create the template– it will be shaped like this
  • The best way to create a template is to start with a large smile-shaped strip of paper and continue to wrap the cup in it and trim as needed until the correct shape is established.  This is a trial and error experiment—I repeated this step a couple times before I got the hang of it.  When you find a template that fits the shape of your cup you can use it to trace onto other paper.
  • Trace the template onto multiple strips of paper.
  • Cut the templates from the paper.
  • Wrap the cups in the paper strips—tape one end of the paper strip down, wrap the cup in the paper, and then secure with one more piece of tape.
  • Use scissors to poke a hole in the top of the cup.
  • Turn and rotate the scissors to create a larger hole (large enough for the lights to poke through).

    Create a hole for the light to fit in Create a hole for the light to fit in
  • Use a piece of tape to secure the wire onto the cup to make sure the cup stays attached to the light.
  • You can cover every light if you wish, or create a pattern of some covered lights and some plain lights.  My string of lights had 100 lights on it, so I created a pattern using some covered lights, and some plain lights.
  • Hang your lights.

    Decorative string lights Decorative string lights

You can create these lights at any time to go with a themed room or for special occasions and celebrations.  I created my set of lights for a bedroom and I love how they look.

Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas shares her ideas and instructions for simple Yankee crafts. Bonnie Thomas works full time as a child and family therapist in Southern Maine and is also an established artist and author. She has published two books via Jessica Kingsley Publishing, titled Creative Coping Skills for Children: Emotional Support Through Arts and Crafts Activities and Creative Expression Activities for Teens: Exploring Identity Through Art, Craft and Journaling. Don't miss her latest book, How to Get Kids Offline, Outdoors, and Connecting With Nature
Updated Wednesday, January 1st, 2014
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