How to Make a String Light Lantern

Have you ever wondered what to do with string lights after the holidays?  While the truth is, you can do just about anything with lights, let’s just focus on one thing in this post — lanterns.

Homemade lanterns are a beautiful way to use your Christmas lights year-round.  Not only are they great for any occasion, lanterns are super easy to make!

All you’ll need is an empty 2-liter soda bottle, LED string lights in any color of your choosing, a box cutter, wax paper, a couple sheets of printer paper and tape. There isn’t a picture here, but trust me, there isn’t more needed than the tools, a little elbow grease and some creativity.

Step One:
Snag and clean an empty 2-liter soda bottle. I only had Pepsi, which worked just fine. You can use Sprite or Coke, depending on your particular soda preference.

Step Two:
Grab your now rinsed and ready soda bottle and strip off its label. I had use a box cutter because the label was being ornery, but normal scissors would do.

Step Three:
Now that you’ve de-labeled the bottle, take your handy-dandy box cutter and give your soda a haircut — just a couple inches of the top.

I ended up scraping off the glue and label gunk, but you don’t have to be like me.

Step Four:
Take your freshly-cut bottle, pierce it again with your trusty box cutter, and make a two-by-two cut-out for the power cord. Just be careful that the soda bottle doesn’t move out from underneath you while you’re cutting it.

Step Five:
Stuff the lights (power cord first) into the bottle and pull the cord through the cut-out. You’ll want to do it plug first, otherwise the cord becomes unruly, and no one wants that. Next, rearrange and spread out the lights so there isn’t one giant clump of lights together.

Step Six:
You’re not done yet! Take one sheet of the printer paper and use a box cutter or a precision knife to cut out a nifty design. You can either cut one out freehand or with a stencil. If you’re like me and can’t draw perfect lines, make a stencil out of cardboard and trace it onto the paper.

Step Seven:
Once you’ve finished cutting out your awesome design, measure out another piece of printer paper and cut it down so that when it is connected to your first piece it will just cover the outside of the soda bottle. Tape the two pieces together. Also, make sure you cut a little section out of the printer paper for the power cord to fit through.

Next, measure out a section of wax paper that will cover the design without folding or wrinkling. Tape it to the printer paper.

Now that you have your finished product, plop the whole thing over the soda bottle.

Step Eight:
Don’t worry, folks, I saved the best for last. 

Plug it in, turn off the lights and bask in the fruits of your labor! The total time to make one is about 45 minutes depending on how intricate your design is.

These lanterns are an easy, affordable, and perfect for any occasion. You can even be adventurous and try out different designs and light colors!

Enjoy your creation!