DIY: Cafè String Lights From Birthday Hats

Can you guess where I got my inspiration for this week's project? Yup, a kid's birthday party! These colorful paper hats turned out to be the perfect material for my DIY patio string lights. You can also use card stock paper to make this project, but if you've got a pile of party hats laying around after a party, upcycle them! Get creative and design your own custom look by punching patterns or names in the hats like this great tutorial by Once Wed.

Hang them over your porch, wrap them around a tree or string them across your doorway to add a lovely handmade accent to your home. Follow the steps below to make your very own.

• Birthday hats (Tip: To cover up unwanted graphics or if they aren't your desired color, spray paint the hats)
• Holiday lights or cafè lights (Tip: You will need a lot more birthday hats to complete a full string of holiday lights like the one I've used. Cafè lights usually have less bulbs and will require less hats to complete).
• Scissors
• Tape (Double-sided tape, masking tape or duct tape will also work)
• Thumbtack

•  Undo the closure on the birthday hats. You should be able to easily pull them apart so that they lay open on a flat surface.
• Cut around the top of each hat, removing the "cone" (see step 4 image above for reference).
• With a thumbtack, punch holes in each hat allowing more light to shine through. You can poke random holes or create your desired pattern.
• Attach hats to the string of lights using tape, creating a cone shape.

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  1. Great! I love your blog :))

  2. Anonymous10/28/2012

    This is awesome! Only question: would it be safe to leave the lights on for more than an hour??

    1. Hi! I kept them on for a few hours and didn't have a problem. Christmas lights are generally very safe.

  3. Anonymous1/16/2013

    Or maybe use old party horns!

  4. Lovely idea! Is it just one holiday light per hat? Or did you tuck several lights into each hat? They look so bright and cheery:).


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