DIY string pendant light

It’s about time we get some projects going up in here.

DIY string pendant light |

Sometimes you just need a break from the kitchen. And reality. That’s where DIY projects come in. They take me to another place. AND this cost me under $15, light fixture and all!


We desperately needed a light in our bedroom because since I painted the ceiling a month (or two) ago, there’ve just been wires hanging out of the hole. Whoops. Que project. We saw some round string lights while shopping last week and thought, easy peasy. If only we could find a round balloon big enough. Que improvisation.


We like geometric shapes better, anyway. So go gather your supplies and get started! You can follow these same directions with a balloon instead of cardboard if that’s your style. Just mark a circle big enough to fit your light in around the tie of the balloon and avoid wrapping yarn there. Hang it from the ceiling and start at step 8. Then pop the balloon when it’s dry!

what you’ll need:


box cutter
duct tape
small container of wallpaper paste (I only needed about half of it)small box or tray
yarn of your choice, I used 100% cotton

what you’ll do:

*You can made whatever mold you want, but steps 1 through 4 are to make what is pictured. It’s mostly common sense but has a few tips to guide you. Feel free to do whatever your heart is telling you to and get creative, you don’t always have to follow the instructions! :)

1. Mark out an isosceles triangles (woah math!) with a base of 12 inches the other two sides 16 inches. Cut out the triangle; using the box cutter is more efficient than scissors.Trace that triangle twice more on the cardboard and cut those out as well.

2. Draw another triangle with the same size base, 12 inches, as the first but the other two sides 13 inches. Cut out the triangle. Trace that triangle twice more on the cardboard and cut those out.

3. Cut off the top 4 or 5 inches of the smaller triangle, so that you can get your hand inside to tape it together.


DIY string pendant light |

DIY string pendant light |

steps 1-3

4. Laying them on a flat surface, tape the triangles together. You can wrap the tape 1/2 inch around to the other side if you need to make it stay together a litte better. Form pyramids with the tape ON THE INSIDE. Then put the bases together and tape them ON THE INSIDE with a small piece of duct tape on each of the three sides (I didn’t and it made it a little trickier to take apart). Voila, you have your mold.

DIY string pendant light |

step 4

5. Poke a hole near the opening of the mold and hang it from a ceiling. If it’s not over a floor that can get a little wallpaper paste on it, cover the floor with something that can. This is going to get messy, folks.

6. Rub rub rub vaseline all over, using extra at the edges. And then do the edges again.


DIY string pendant light |

step 5 and 6 (all that tape on one of the triangles was a failed experiment. do as I say, not as I do!)

7. If your yarn isn’t already in a ball like pictured, do so now. I actually ended up doing another ball in addition, so make yours bigger than this!

DIY string pendant light |

step 7

8. Pour wallpaper paste into the tray and rub it into the yarn. Try to keep the yarn ball intact, as this makes it easier to work with as you wrap. Make sure there is TONS of paste all up in your yarn. Work it in. You won’t get to the center of the ball, but you can pause the wrapping process later to do this again when you’ve reached the end of your pasty yarn.

9. Getting started might be a little tricky if you don’t have someone to hold the end of your yarn in place on the mold. In this terrible-quality photo, you can see I started by wrapping my yarn inside the top. Beginning at the top, just wrap yarn every which way – up, down, around, sideways. Get craazy with it. Wrap it as tight as you can. Very very tight. You’ll have a globby collection of excess wallpaper paste dripping off your hand if you’ve put enough paste on the yarn.

DIY string pendant light |

step 9

10. When you get to the end, tuck it under a few pieces of string to keep it in place.

11. Let your creation dry for 24 hours or until it’s completely dry.

12. Now you need a little patience, as this step took about 20-25 minutes. I used my exacto knife (or box cutter) to cut down the center of each triangle from the outside. Start with just the top pyramid. Once you have three pieces, fold each section at the taped seam and pull it out of the hole. Then do the same with the bottom pyramid. It may require you to fold a little to fit through the hole. The yarn may stick to the cardboard a bit, but just careful pull the cardboard away with one hand as you loosen the yarn with the other.

DIY string pendant light |

step 12

13. Install your pendant light, which you can find at any home improvement store. We found ours on sale for $8.88.


step 13

14. It would be a lot easier to set up with a helping hand than alone (like I did because I was so excited to surprise Kyle with it). Suspend the string creation around the lightbulb at the desired height. Using a 4 foot piece of yarn or clear string, weave through the corners (not the flat areas, this will cause it to collapse with the weight) and around the light cord. Tie the two ends together and cut off the excess yarn.

This makes a room so much more fun. I LOVE our new light and I plan to do a few round ones to hang in our stairwell as well!


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1 Comment on DIY string pendant light

  1. Cory
    March 16, 2013 at 1:22 pm (1 year ago)

    Love it Alyssa!


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