DIY Dixie Cup Garland

Cuteness alert coming right at you, but how fun is this little DIY project, guys? I found the original inspiration on Pinterest (the ‘lamp shades’ were covered in Hallowe’en hued paper) but figured I’d give it a go using my fave hues. Wouldn’t this garland be absolutely fabulous for a bridal shower, an outdoor wedding and or even the most perfect addition to a nursery in lieu of a night light? Check out the awesome step by step photos below shot by the always wonderful Jenna. Craft on, beauties!

{Step 1} Carefully cut apart a Dixie cup and smooth it out so it is as flat as possible. Trace the smoothed out cup carefully onto a piece of paper to make your Dixie cup shade template. I had to try and make my template a few separate times until the template wrapped around the cup perfectly so don’t get upset if the first template you trace doesn’t fit over your cup perfectly. Make as many shade cut outs from your scrapbook paper as you will need to cover each individual bulb on your light garland.

{Step 2} Using double sided tape, adhere one end of a shade cover to a Dixie cup. Add another piece of double sided tape to the other end of the cut out and carefully wrap the entire piece around the cup. I tried to slide the edge of my cut out against the lip of the Dixie cup to give the ‘shade’ an as seamless as possible look. Make sure your edges match up and repeat this step until all of your Dixie cups are covered. 

Like so!

{Step 3} Using a pencil (or you can just eyeball it) you’ll make an X on the bottoms of the Dixie cups. Then carefully using an Exacto knife you’ll need to cut an X pattern into your cup. This is where the bulbs will poke through and the X needs to be small enough that the cups won’t slip out and fall off. Repeat this step until all of your Dixie cups have slit X’s into the bottoms and then carefully begin popping in each bulb to the bottoms of the cups, stringing along until your garland is covered.

I only made a select number of shades for the purpose of the photos here but you get the idea. And it’s also important to note, that it’s a bit risky to use regular holiday lights for this project; they can get very hot and because of how close they would be to the cups and paper may cause the cups to melt or catch fire. The original project article suggests using LED lights which is great if you can find them with white wiring (I had no such luck)! For the purpose of pretty pictures I used regular lights.

And just in case you’re wondering how your little cups will look when you plug in your lights, here’s a shot for you :) xoxo

This little project was also shown over on The Loveliest Day; thanks Melis for sharing the love :)

181 comments on DIY Dixie Cup Garland

  1. This is seriously adorable and so simple!! Love it.

  2. Gah! This is so stinkin cute! I love this for a bridal party. Or a little girl’s room. SO adorable!!

  3. You come up with the most cutest DIY’s! Totally Pinned this :D

  4. aaa, i love this and am totally inspired! Wouldn’t this be fun for the back to college gang? I totally would have made these for my dorm room back in the day:) These would be so adorable for a deck party, wedding, or any kind of dessert table…brilliant, Rhi!

  5. You’re incredible, Rhi. AWESOME little project!

  6. What a super cute idea!! I love it! My brother is getting married the end of September and I am wondering if we can work this in somehow. They are flying in today from Japan and will be moving to New Zealand shortly after the wedding, so most we are doing most of their planning for them. Hmmm….Thanks for the idea!

  7. awesome idea. and the images in the tutorial are so gorgeous they make me want to run out and make my own dixie cup light immediately!

  8. Love this idea! So adorable! Thank you for the step-by-step instructions and pics! xo

  9. Sarah Dipzinski on

    I love these! I saw them on the Good Housekeeping site back at Halloween! Cute to use them in a more feminine way and the photos are gorgeous! :)

  10. Nora on

    This would be so cute for a nursery/shower. I am going to keep my eyes out for LED lights around the holidays for this! Great idea!

    PS: Yet again, your nails are sooo fun. I love the bright pastels you use!

  11. Such a lovely idea! I love that you incorporated the lights!

  12. This is such a gorgeous project I am utterly in love with it! This is a must make – Love it!

  13. This is so cute and seems so very easy! Genius idea!

  14. OK even I can do this and I’m DIY challenged and I love twinkly lights.

  15. Alisha on

    What a fun little project! I want to make these for every holiday now!! ;)

  16. michaela on

    You’re on a roll sista! LOve this project (: I could see it strung on the sweetheart table!

  17. Nicole on

    I love this project! I’m going to have to keep this in mind for when friends start to get married. :) I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I love how your blog has been “changing” in the past few weeks. I’ve loved reading your blog even more since it seems more “you”. You have such great insight and a really positive attitude I admire. Keep it coming, Rhi!

  18. You are on a DIY ROLL, girl!! These are seriously adorable. I love the colour palette and I LOVE how your nails always look so darn pretty :)

  19. I audibly sighed when I saw that piece of gorgeousness. Love it.

  20. Liesl on

    Oh my goodness…what a FANTASTIC idea and affordable! Love it!!!

    Liesl :)

  21. SUCH a beautiful idea! Absolutely heart this! xo

  22. When I first saw someone tweet this, I wasn’t sure what it was going to look like, but how CUTE IS THIS?! So easy, and it even looks expensive! LOVE!

  23. Lena on

    You’re killing me with all these DIYs lately-I have to say, the new direction of the blog is maybe my newest most favorite thing ever. Just try to make out what all that nonsense means.

  24. ana on

    what a sweet idea! i LOVE this and will definitely give this a try :)

  25. Kristen on

    Love this! Such a sweet DIY!

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  27. Lori on

    I love these! I also saw them on Pinterest and plan on making them over the week-end. I am having a little party on the 20th and am covering mine in paper with flipflops on it ~ I think they are adorable. xo

  28. Loving this project. And soo easy! Can’t wait to try it.

  29. How precious is this?!! So lovely!!

  30. These are SO brilliant! I LOVE IT!!

  31. I just put this post on my sister’s facebook wall. :) I think these would be perfect for her 2 year old daughter’s Paris inspired bedroom. They’re adorable!

  32. Super cute! Would be perfect in a nursery too, what a fun project!

  33. keren on

    Hey Doll!

    Just wanted to let you know i featured this today!!!


  34. Kimmy on

    awhhh these are so pretty!!! :) I love your colours better.

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  37. Mar on

    thanks you for the idea!!

  38. you are such a creative genius!!
    i love this idea! so simple and adorable!!!

  39. Lovely!


  40. Great idea Rhi!!!

  41. this is adorable! i must recreate this for my next backyard bash!

  42. Melina on

    I love this idea! It is way too cute and simple not to try out!

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  45. Heldine on

    OMG – I totally want to do this to decorate this fort space that I have. :)

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  49. jessica on

    so so lovely.

  50. Melody on

    Is there a link to follow your blog?

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  52. rein on

    This is lovely,
    Thanks for sharing!

  53. makkie on

    If you like, I made also a cup garland on a diffrent way. It’s on my blog from 27 april. Also very pretty just like yours!

  54. makkie on

    If you like you can see my cup garland on a different way. Its on mij blog from 27 april. This one is also nice!

  55. Kathleen on

    So gorgeous! This will be perfect for an upcoming bday party I’m throwing for a friend. Thanks!

  56. Rachel on

    Wonderful!! Inspiring!! Dare I say it? Enlightening!!

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  68. epistyle on

    Quelle merveilleuse idée ! GREAT !!!

  69. Rasha on

    love this.

  70. Rebecca on

    Adorable! Love your photos, too.

  71. gorgeous diy and gorgeous photos!

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  78. Lisa on

    Hi Rhi, how are you? I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season and and have so much fun with your hubby.
    I love this idea! I saw it on Ohdeeoh and popped over to say hello. I think I’ll make a strand or two of these dixie cup garlands for my tree and perhaps my mantel – oh so much fun!
    Have a very Merry Christmas lovely lady! -Lisa

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  91. It is a wonderful, creative and easy-to-do craft!!!
    It has it all!!

  92. It has it all, pretty, creative and easy-to-do craftie!!
    I love it!

  93. It is indeed pretty, creative and astonishly easy-to-do craft!!
    It has it all! thanks for sharing :D

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  97. Kate on

    Beautiful idea for an outdoor bridal shower! :)

  98. Pingback: This is a really cute idea…. learntodoityourself: DIY Dixie Cup Garland @ psalm27creative

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  105. Emily on

    This is so quaint and pretty.. even the new DIY’s like myself shouldn’t have a problem with it!!

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  135. That’s really an awesome and easy-to-do idea! Thanks for sharing and I will DIY one with my family in this weekend.. lol.

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  140. Susan Merriam on

    I love this project and it can be so individualized for the occasion!

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  142. Vicki Frakes on

    Love these. Great idea.

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  149. Joanne on

    Hi! This is so pretty! I really like the color scheme. What sizes were the cups that you used? :)

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  153. Maxie on

    beautiful. my wife had a set made of japanese “mini-lanterns” but the electrical went kuh-poot. hummm, wonder if there’s a good way to totally enclose these to create an “enclosed” version for a more muted light with less glare? wife had the hanging in her bedroom, framing her large window. any ideas all you crafty-ones?
    great job! madmax

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  168. Sara on

    OMG – This decoration is ideal for kids room or the living room. Really great DIY :)

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