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How to make Christmas fairy light lanterns

Handmade DIY fairy lights

That special time of year is fast approaching!

It’s time to start thinking about what sparkly decorations you want to make to give your home that extra special glow.

We’ve asked Emma of Paper Scissors shades to share her special Christmas fairy light lantern know-how with us!

Fairy light lantern DIY tutorial

How to make Christmas fairy light lanterns

I’ve never liked waste so when I started making lampshades in late 2016 I instinctively kept all the offcuts of fabric and PVC assuming I’d find a use for them. Fast forward a year and I found a use, fairy light shades!

The beauty of using offcuts means you can create them to the size and quantity you want. I had a string of 20 fairy lights from Dannells and made 10 small shades, approximately 4cm diameter by 5cm high.

If you don’t have any offcuts of PVC you could buy a panel from Dannells and cut to size. A 15cm diameter by 25cm high drum panel will make 10 shades as below..

You will need:

How to make the fairy lights:

1.     Create a cardboard template of the required mini shade, this may take a bit of trial and error but a rectangle 15cm by 5cm is a good size to start with.

2.     Make a hole in the middle of the short sides for the split pin to join the ends together.

3.     Make holes for the lights to pass through, I put mine about 1cm down from the top, on opposite sides, quarter of the way around the circle from the split pin. I think they’d look great threaded through the middle too.

4.     Cut the PVC to the desired size and using the cardboard template make the 3 holes. I made 10 shades on a 20 light led string.

Fairy lights tutorial_Emma Rockman_Paper Scissors Stone_Dannells_3

Little tip:

I put the PVC and template on top of a jiffy bag and pierced the holes using a small sharp pair of scissors. If you want neater holes you could use a punch plier.

5.     Remove the release paper and stick the panels onto the fabric (remember to re-pierce the holes through the fabric otherwise you won’t be able to secure it or thread the lights through). Trim the surplus fabric.

How to make fairy light lanterns

6.     Roll the lantern, secure with a split pin and add a trim.

How to make fairy light lanterns

7.     Thread the lights through the remaining holes. These lights are on silver coated copper wire so can easily bend around shapes. If you can’t thread the lights through the holes cut a small slit from the top of the shade to the hole and slide the string through.

How to make fairy light lanterns

8.     Put your batteries in, hang, sit back and enjoy.

How to make fairy light lanterns

These shades are so much fun, I’m going to make a couple of other sets and change them over every now again!


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