My friend Crystal Baker had the cutest set of lights that she was showing off on her page and I just had to make a set for myself. Whenever I post them people want to know how I made them so, here you go!!
I think most of us who love to create will have most of the necessary supplies in our houses already and this is a fun and inexpensive project to work on while we are laying low.
You will need:
- Plastic party glasses
- Hot glue gun
- Paper for Pattern
- Cotton quilting fabric
- Mod Podge or white glue
- Decorative trim
- White lights (I used a strand of 20 lights)
- Sponge brush to apply Mod Podge
To make the pattern for the plastic cup, just wrap a piece of computer paper around the outside of the cup and tape it in place. Use your scissor to trim against the top and bottom edge and then take the tape off to reveal the pattern. Trim the excess so that your paper only overlaps by a 1/4″ or so. Once I made the paper pattern, I cut a new one from an old padded mailing envelope. The padded pattern is much sturdier and stands up to many uses.
A lightweight cotton fabric is best because you want the light to come through and show off the pattern. Dark prints don’t work as well but it depends on what look you are going for. I did pre wash and iron the fabrics before I cut them.
The easiest way to apply the Mod Podge to the cup is with a single light dip of the tip of the sponge brush into the glue. Place your hand inside the cup and spin the cup in a circle spreading the glue thinly over the plastic exterior. As soon as you are finished, lay the fabric on the cup and move it around to cover up to the edges. You will need to pull back the overlap and add a little glue there to hold the seam.
To create the hole in the top of the plastic cup that the light bulb will go into, you will need to take the glue out of your glue gun and then allow the metal tip to get very hot. Glue guns usually come with two temperature settings. Warm or Hot. The one I used was a “hot” model so this was very quick. When you turn the cup upside down you will see a small spot where the plastic mold used in the manufacturing process has left a mark. This is the center so you don’t have to figure that out. Hold the hot glue gun tip down on that spot and give it a second or two to heat the plastic. You will feel the plastic begin to give. Just press down until you have created the perfect little hole in the top with the hot metal tip of the glue gun.
Once I had inserted the light bulb in this hole, it stayed without coming off. In another set I made though, I added glue around the light to hold it in place. On my set of lights I had twenty bulbs so I made ten shades and alternated them on the strand. I used the glue gun to add the trim to the bottom for a little extra fun!
- Have all the fabric cut and ready to go before you start gluing.
- Don’t use too much glue. It doesn’t take a lot to work.
- Add a dab of hot glue to the top where the bulb inserts to keep the bulbs in place.
- Mini lights with ten to twenty bulbs can be found at the Dollar Tree or on Amazon.
- The inexpensive plastic cups crack very easily. The second time around I used the more expensive ones from the grocery store.