How to Make a Hanging Light Fixture Out of Plastic Cups

Written by daniel holzer
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How to Make a Hanging Light Fixture Out of Plastic Cups
Learn to make a hanging light fixture out of regular plastic cups. (colourful plastic cups 2 image by Warren Millar from

Decorating your home is an intensive process that requires patience and skill. It helps to be crafty and reuse materials if you want to do it on a budget. Items that you make yourself tend to be more interesting and make great conversation pieces for your public spaces, like the living or dining rooms. A hanging light fixture made out of unexpected materials like plastic cups not only lights a space but enlivens it.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Plastic cups
  • Lamp kit
  • Lampshade frame (optional)
  • Fishing wire (optional)
  • Needle or drill with small piercing bit (optional)
  • Stapler (optional)

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  1. 1

    Decide what kind of plastic cups you want to use. Clear tinted plastic champagne cups will give a very different lighting effect from solid coloured picnic cups.

  2. 2

    Decide upon a design for the lamp. Two popular and easy-to-assemble designs are a ball-like lamp and a clustered pendant lamp.

  3. 3

    Select the correct tools according to the thickness of the plastic cups you have selected and the design of the lamp. Disposable clear plastic cups are typically thin and can be stapled together or pierced with a needle if you wish to use fishing wire. However, washable solid coloured plastic cups require a piercing bit on a small electric drill to pierce the plastic. A clustered pendant lamp will require fishing wire while a ball lamp may not, depending on the type of plastic cup being used.

  4. 4

    Group the cups together and connect them using the appropriate materials, making sure you leave room for the bulb and the lamp base in the middle.

    To create a ball lamp, securely connect the cup sides at the mouth and just above the base of the cups with either staples or the fishing wire. Continue this until you make a full circle.

    To create a clustered pendant lamp, pierce the plastic cup's base with either a needle or small drill and string the cups together onto a lampshade frame. Place the lamp base into the proper end of the lampshade.

  5. 5

    Ensure the cups are securely connected to the lamp before plugging it into an electrical socket and hanging it in the selected space.

Tips and warnings

  • Only use LED bulbs for this project to prevent the heat of the lighting fixture from melting the plastic cups.

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