How to Make Three Different Holiday Party Lights

comments (0) December 21st, 2008     

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leethal Lee Meredith, contributor
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Gift your loved one a nostalgic photo lantern using recycled Christmas lights!
Did you know a kitchen staple could double as a funky light?
Add a little something special to your light decorations!
Gift your loved one a nostalgic photo lantern using recycled Christmas lights!

Gift your loved one a nostalgic photo lantern using recycled Christmas lights!

Photo: Lee Meredith
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Need some last-minute holiday decoration ideas for your holiday guests? Or something special to bring the host of the gathering you'll be heading to? If you have some extra strings of colored lights around the house, I have a few ideas for you! These ideas would also be cool for a New Year's party, and you can reuse light strings taken off the tree!

All of these projects use strings of Christmas lights, which are not meant for extended use, and should only be turned on when someone is in the room. Of course, be safe and smart when craft projects involve electricity! These ideas are only meant to use for your holiday gatherings and once in a while for fun, not everyday use.

Bright Idea #1: Photo lantern

This one can definitely be given as a gift or can be used as party decor in your own home, and you can personalize it with photos of family and friends or choose to use patterned paper (like origami paper) or fabric instead of photos.

You'll need:

  • One string of Christmas lights
  • One clear CD-R/DVD-R spindle case for 100 discs
  • Scissors and/or X-Acto knife
  • Photos or whatever you want to cover the outside
  • Glue or double-sided tape (I recommend the tape)

As for the length of your light string, it can be any length because whatever doesn't fit in the lantern can be used as an extension cord to plug it in, and excess can be wrapped around a table leg or something. If you don't want any lights outside the lantern, use a super-short string.

First, you need to cut out a tab in the bottom of the plastic case for the light cord to fit through. My plastic case was easy to cut into with normal scissors.


The tab actually doesn't need to be this big—about 1/2 inch wide should be fine.

Then I bent the piece back and forth several times, thinking it would snap off, but it didn't, so I sliced it off with a blade. Cut out the tab in whatever way works best for you.


Careful with that blade!

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posted in: houseware, seasonal, christmas, photos, lights

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