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DIY Retro Inspired Outdoor String Lights

I cant’ tell you how many times I broke out in song while I was making these outdoor string lights…

Those patio lanterns, They were the stars in the sky…

I think I owe Kim Michell royalties. Colourful DIY Patio Lanterns- super easy to make

I wanted to create a cute set of patio lanterns for the kids playhouse  that would be colourful and fun, so when I got the chance to join in on the fun of a 3 way blog hop between May Arts, Xyron, and Simple Stories I jumped on the wagon!

You can easily turn a basic set of  outdoor string lights into cute patio lanterns in minutes!

You will need:

How to make DIY Patio Lanterns

How to make DIY patio lanterns

  1. Using the craft knife cut a small square in the bottom of each cup. I tried cutting an ‘x’ but when the lights push in, it breaks the cup.
  2. Using the included template (or Silhouette cut file) trace the template onto pattern paper and cut out. You can get approx 8 from a 12 x 12 piece of paper.
  3. Apply a few strips of Xyron High Tack Tape onto the cut out, remove the backing. Starting in the centre apply the paper to each cup.
  4. Weave the pom pom ribbon around the strand of string lights, and poke a cup onto every other light, and hang.

Cover small plastic cups with pattern paper to create cute patio lanterns.

I love how bright and fun this collection of pattern paper is!

Cover small plastic cups with pattern paper to create cute patio lanterns.

You could cover each cup with a different paper like I did, or use the same to match your decor.

Cover small plastic cups with pattern paper to create cute patio lanterns.

These jazzy outdoor string lights look great in the day or night.  I loooove the May Arts pom poms, it really gives these string lights the retro vibe I was going for.

Cover small plastic cups with pattern paper to create cute patio lanterns.

I would suggest only using your patio lanterns on a covered deck (the paper won’t withstand the elements). or take them inside for a cute addition to a party or playroom.

Aren’t they so fun?! Now here is some added fun for you!

3 lucky ladies have the chance to WIN  a prize pack of – a Good Day Sunshine Kit, a spool of May Arts Ribbon (winners choice), and a 2.5″ Xyron create a sticker (3 prizes will be awarded).

For a chance to WIN this great prize pack leave a comment below, and on the May Arts Ribbon, Xyron, or Simple Stories blog!

Hop along to see more great projects

Valerie Gee

Shelly McDaniel 

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  1. TracyM #6773 says:

    WOW – your string of lights look fabulous Virginia!!!
    LOVE the pom poms and the pretty papers you have used to cover the cups, FABULOUS photo too, the Bokeh effect of the lights is delightful!!!
    THANK YOU for sharing your tutorial and CREATIVE INSPIRATION 🙂

  2. This is such a fabulous idea and I totally love this for a playroom or just for fun!!! Now to see if my Wal-Mart has Solo shot glasses!

  3. What a fun and unique idea! I love the papers!

  4. What a fabulous idea — would be a great project for my grandkids when they visit –would even be a good contest idea.. Thanks dso much for sharing.

  5. Fun! I love string lights in general, but these are extra special with the bright colors and patterns and those adorable little pom poms. I also love that this really seams like an easy project.

  6. Carla Hundley says:

    These are too cute! I’ve got
    lights out in my yard and
    will have to add some of
    your ideas onto them!
    Carla from Utah

  7. Love these so much! Such a great idea to add the pompoms!

  8. What a creative idea for a string of lights! It’s so pretty, thanks for sharing.

  9. Scrappin' Diva - Cindy B says:

    How fun and cute! Would be a lovely addition to a party indoors!

  10. Crafty Aunt Dee says:

    Such a clever idea and so stinkin’ cute. What a fun addition for any party. Great job.

  11. kath White says:

    A truly fun unique string of party lights! Awesome

  12. Love the idea. If you get tired of them or something disasterous happens, you can replace without a lot of expense. thanks for the idea.

  13. Jean Bullock says:

    What a great idea! Going to share this with my daughter.

  14. Heather Thompson says:

    Great project, very fun!!

  15. Alexia M. says:

    What a great idea, love your patio laterns!

  16. Shari Czerwinski says:

    Super cute!

  17. What an awesome project! I’ll bet your little ones just loved it. The pom-pom ribbon really tops it off. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Gretchen H says:

    What a great idea!

  19. What a spectacular project!!! These are just so happy and wonderful. The colors just make me want to jump and down with glee!!!
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com

  20. Cynthia B. says:

    This is such a CUTE and creative project! From the thumbnail in the May Arts post, I thought this was a banner – even cuter that they’re a string of lights!!

  21. Linda Tupper says:

    What a fun and really cute idea. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    1. Linda, Thanks for stopping by! My moms name is Linda Tupper too!

  22. Virginia, I just love reading your blog posts! This is a great idea and I just saw those lil reds in the grocery store this week. The May Arts pom pom ribbon – I can’t even talk about it, it’s too cute! Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful creations 🙂

  23. Fabulous idea! I love this and totally have the space to use this idea on my back deck. Thanks for sharing.

  24. What a fun project! I love this! I am always looking for guest bloggers on my website Blissful and Domestic. My blog is about creating a beautiful life on less and this post fits right in with that 🙂 Check out my blog and see if it would be a good fit for you. I’d love to have you!

    Danielle@ Blissful and Domestic

  25. This is such a smart! It’s budget friendly and looks so cute!! Thank you for linking up to Party Time and we hope to see you again next week!

  26. I LOVE these! All the different paper options to make them unique. Awesome! Thanks for linking up to our #PartyTime – hope you’ll join us next Tuesday as well!

  27. These turned out really cute. I didn’t realize at first, you had covered solo cups. I thought that’s how the cups came…..nice job! And the pom poms really make it the cutest!!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Aren’t those little Solos so cute?! Thanks for coming by!

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