How to make paper lanterns for your room using paper & Christmas lights

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How to make paper lanterns for your room using paper & Christmas lights
Use plain white Christmas lights as a starting point for colourful lanterns. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

The primary use of fairy lights may be decorating Christmas trees, but that is far from the only thing you can do with them. With a few inexpensive supplies, you can turn a string of fairy lights into a string of paper lanterns to decorate your room. Choose coloured or patterned paper to suit a particular holiday, such as Halloween or Easter, or match the decor in your room for paper lanterns you can keep all year round.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Box cutter
  • LED Christmas lights
  • Small clear plastic drink cups
  • Decorative paper (patterned, coloured or translucent)
  • Double-sided tape

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Count the lights in the string you are using and ensure you have a clear plastic cup for each of them.

  2. 2

    Wrap scrap paper around one of the plastic drink cups and trace the shape of the cup on it using a pencil. Unwrap the paper and cut along the pencil lines with scissors to make a template.

  3. 3

    Cut decorative paper matching the template to create a paper cut-out for each plastic cup. Depending on your preference, you can use patterned, coloured or translucent paper.

  4. 4

    Attach the cut-outs to the plastic cups to create the lanterns. Using the box cutter, slice a small "x" in the top of each cup and push a light through it to attach the lanterns to the string of Christmas lights.

Tips and warnings

  • If your Christmas lights are white, use coloured paper; if they are coloured, use white paper.
  • Only do this with LED lights. The light bulbs on normal Christmas lights run hot. They may melt plastic or singe paper, ruining the effect and potentially creating a fire hazard.

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