The Brightest DIY String Light Ideas for Home and Garden


Looking for some really cool DIY string light ideas to jazz up your domicile, garden or veranda on the cheap, or to create low-cost, beautiful decor for your outdoor backyard party or social gathering? Nothing says “party” like lights-so let’s make this craft a festive one.

When I discovered fun novelty party light strings at the store (I’ve had some with pink flamingos, grape clusters, fruits….) and found myself wanting to create my own covers with which to embellish the individual lights.

These tips and tricks are also perfect for adorning dorm rooms, outdoor patios, campers and RVs. If you are familiar with the midget-sized light strings, you’ve got the main ingredient already there. Now you just need some ideas to get the ball rollin’.

Pin Me, Crafters…

diy party light string ideas

What Do You Need To Get Started?

String light crafts can be lots of fun and great for older kids too looking for a new way to decorate their rooms The only need for supervision may be use of an X-acto knife – this tool will be needed for making a small slit in some of the materials to fit the mini light lamps through.

Tip: For some of the objects above, consider the use of grommets to create a secure seal around the object opening and lamp base.

Less is more! You only need a 10-15 bulb light string ideally. Light strings with up to 25 or 50 lights can get cumbersome and annoying to wind them around different places (remember, you can always connect multiple strings, within reason.)

Now on to some of the best diy string light ideas I have found – some are my own and some I cannot take the credit for totally as I discovered them in social media . All of them you will find, amazingly simple too! The most ordinary objects out there that when attached to individual lights will look really dope when it’s hanging up and plugged in.

Small Plastic Bottle Light Covers

This image is another one of my very own made with miniature plastic liquor bottles.They were just right for this idea and the same size I used for my shaker set.  Hopefully this doesn’t give the wrong impression here – all jokes aside, please craft responsibly! hehe…

Here they are unplugged. It does kind of have frat party written all over it. This idea would be great to decorate your man cave, rec room, what have you.

mini liquor bottle light string

Ping-Pong Balls for Light Covers

The ideal variation if you love simplicity! These little lightweights will really set off a boring old light strand and the globe style is really hot right now. You can use clear or for more pizazz, use a multicolor set. For each ping pong ball cut a slit like a plus sign carefully using an x-acto knife and each lamp should segue through easily.

Using Tissue Paper and Cupcake Holders To Make Flower Shapes

Got any of those pastel color baking cups you’ve stored away? Use the crinkly papers to fashion into makeshift flowers and make a paper flower to decorate each light. You can use other kinds of colorful paper too and make your flowers as bold or fancy as you like.

How to make the flowers? If you remember making paper snowflakes back in the day using symmetrical folding and snipping – I can stop right here. You’re halfway there and can cut out paper flowers like a boss! Use scissors to make a small slit in the middle and gently push through the individual lights.

I like what this gal did, layering three differnt color papers to create a beautiful, sheer effect….

Paper and Plastic Small Cup Light Lanterns

This must be my second favorite idea after the liquor bottles; because Dixie and Solo cups are much prettier now than they used to be with patterns to choose from – all of which makes great lantern covers. Look for the little 3 oz size; I don’t know what they are called per-se but they are about 2″ high.

Oh, and I almost forgot about K-cups….Do you drink Keurig coffee with those little pods? Well, here’s a good reason to save them – they’re the ideal size for this, I know I saved a bunch of them awhile aback, and though it was a b*tch to eviscerate all that grounds and filter stuff, turned out great for another string I had in mind.

Don’t forget you can paint on these or use markers, or affix stickers/decals to them too.

Small Solo cups come in plastic with transparent colors and pretty opaque patterns on the paper cups.

Just a quick slit one way and then across with an x-acto knife and push in each light lamp/base….and walla, wow how easy was that:) I also did an alternating pattern in which every other light, I put a K-cup cover on. That’s something you can do, too, to add more visual interest. Don’t they look pur-ty?

k cup light string

Better yet, you can also make a set of 10 in another color or pattern and switch light covers when the mood strikes! Wow- double easy. I saw another crafter used the art of decoupage to add fabric covers to the individual cups.

Origami Art Box Light Covers

A really cool idea; if you are a master at origami. Little square “blow boxes” would look really good if you don’t mind taking the time to make ten of them.

You could make them all one color, three different colors alternating or a color bonanza; it’s your light string after all and your creativity.

Origami shapes look easier to make than little paper lanterns; specifically since lanterns have some kind of wire in them to give them their shape. (I confess I have not worked in origami – I do appreciate the craft though)

Closing Thoughts

String light crafts excel in that they are a “low commitment” approach, but play your cards right and people who see them when illuminated may think you spent all day on them.

Here’s the video of my light string from above with the mini liquor bottles I repurposed:

I hope that you will enjoy all these diy string light ideas I have found, and encourage you to try as many of them as you want (and maybe discover a jump-off point for even more unique ways to make those pretty lights shine!

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