Arts'n crafts ideas (Full version)

Christmas lights

Christmas-themed Mini lights decorationDecorating Christmas lights with mini light shades in pretty motifs and Christmassy colors.

The design involves sticking Decopatch motifs onto mini light shade patterns cut out of a sheet of Creapop, which is a strong, thick plastic specifically designed for making mini electric lights.


  • a string of mini/Christmas lights, ready for use (must conform to all legal safety requirements), either mains operated or battery-operated
  • transparent sheets of Creapop, of a thickness of 0.012 inch
  • sheets of Decopatch
  • glossy glue-varnish
  • a stapler or a hot glue solution
mini light shades Christmas lights

Cutting out the mini light shades

Decopatch mini light shadesCut out a mini light shade shape in the sheet of heat resistant transparent plastic (such as that produced by Creapop). To get the mini light shade cone shape: draw a quarter circle with a 3 inch radius, and inside this shape, draw another quarter circle with a 0.6 inch radius (you will have to remove this section, which corresponds to the top of the light socket). To one side, add a 0.4 inch border, which is where you will apply the glue to stick the cone. For a bigger cone, increase the angle of the section that you cut out of the circle: instead of 90° (for a quarter circle), apply an angle of 120°. You may also use our mini light shade patterns. Set this shape onto a sheet of Decopatch at the place where you think the design looks prettiest and cut out the shape, leaving a 0.3 inch border all around.

Glueing the patterns

Glueing the paper lanterns for the lightsApply glue to the reverse side of the Decopatch motif (except in the 0.3 inch border area). Set the plastic shape onto the Decopatch, first onto the center (using one hand), then smoothe the edges (using the other hand). The Decopatch must not wrinkle. Place the colored side of the mini light shade onto your work surface. Make a cut into the edges every 1.2-1.6 inches so as to be able to glue the curved edges properly. Apply glue to the edges and fold them back, one by one. Immediately smoothe the edges all around the shape with your thumb to smoothe out any little angles that may have formed.

Attaching the mini light shades

Mini light shade in positionThe mini light shade must be tightly rolled around the base of the light socket and attached either using a small stapler or with a hot glue-type solution. By using assorted Christmas themed sheets of Decopatch paper, each one of the paper lanterns on the Christmas lights will be unique!christmas lights

Why not try this out too...

Christmas lights can also be decorated using Creapop-style plastic covered with paper napkins (see our music-themed garland made using the paper napkin applique technique), but Decopatch, (tougher, especially when dampened with glossy glue/varnish), is easier to use than paper napkins. On the other hand, there are far more patterns and motifs to be found on paper napkins...

Even quicker to make are paper mini light shades cut from a sheet of Creapop-style plastic (with motifs), there being no glueing involved, creating Scrapbook-themed Christmas lights.

See: the safety guidelines on the making and use of electric mini lights.