The Best and Brightest DIY String Light Ideas for the Home or Dorm!
Looking for some really cool DIY string light ideas to jazz up your domicile on the cheap, no matter what time of year it is? I used to get the after-Christmas “blahs” as a result of having to take down all the pretty lights.
But no more when I discovered fun novelty party light strings at the store and found myself wanting to create my own covers with which to embellish the individual lights.
These tips and tricks are 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’.
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Best DIY Light String Ideas -What Do You Need To Get Started?
I remember my first light string featuring mini paper lanterns. which I fashioned to hang up in my college dwelling. So zen, and so cool too!
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.
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.
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. 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.
Ping-Pong Balls for Light Covers
Perfect 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.
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.
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:)
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 🙂
Ever Thought of Using K-Cups as Lanterns?
If you drink k-cup coffee and are aware of how many of these little buggers end up tossed in landfills, think about rescuing them…and maybe turning them into mini light covers too? When the k-cup pod gets punctured in your machine, it leaves a little hole behind, so there’s another bonus.
Although it’s difficult to tell if the hole gets centered – you may have to get an awl or small drill bit to punch the hole in the right spot. I know this because I use these sort of regularly, and I always save my pods…regardless of whether or not I have a plan for them.
The pod on the left is made of a different type of plastic; you can tell that they are less opaque looking (I think these are the ones marketed as “fully recyclable”) which I figured out right away as it was hard to cut into it. So I focused on using all of the white ones and colored them with markers.
The base of the lamp/light does not go all the way through the opening, as you can see here, but it does stay in place. Let’s hear it for pod coffee…am I right?
Here’s how they look….I alternated between midget lights and kcups so I could have a nice pattern going. The colors I used didn’t show up as well as I thought, though.
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)
My string in the top image I bought the little mini lanterns and decorated them with markers and paper scraps.
Here’s the video of my light string from above with the mini liquor bottles I repurposed:
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.
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!