A craft, yay! It seems like an absolute age since I have done anything creative, so when I was contacted by a lovely lady on behalf of Country Baskets, asking if I would like to write a tutorial, how could I say no?
I had a few ideas, and had exhausted my Craft Pinterest board trying to think of a quick and easy project. I had seen this pin a while back, and thought it a genius use of cute cupcake cases – imagine the possibilites! I also liked the idea because shortly before the new year I had been eyeing some gorgeous paper flower lights up in a shop in Bristol, then winced slightly at the price (about 40 of the Queens). I began some research into other ways in which people had interpreted this simple idea, and set about creating my own. This honestly is the most straightforward and quick DIY to jazz up those old Christmas lights.
I have been in a bit of a peach-and-orange mood of late, and have found myself drawn to these particular colours (such as my mental but completely awesome orange Lime Crime lippy) and so chose two rolls of tissue paper to complete my craft – Orange* and Peach*. I have to admit I was pretty stunned at firstly how many colour options are on the website, but also how quickly they arrived; I was a bit confused when I had a note saying I had a parcel the day after I ordered it!
The price was also incredibly reasonable – a massive roll of 48 sheets is only a mere £2.37 – and these two rolls strung a 100 string of fairy lights and I still have loads left over. As well as a vast selection of coloured papers they have quite literally hundreds of other bits and bobs at wholesale prices – if you’re a crafty bod you don’t really need an excuse to stock up your craft cupboard!
To complete this craft you will need:
- Tissue paper (either one colour, or a multitude of colours)
- Old fairy lights (mine were from Asda, about £9)
- A glue stick
- Tape (I used washi tape, but you don’t have to)
Step one is to cut a few layers of your tissue paper into squares, approx 4×4 inches. If you’re anything like me, you don’t have to be mega precise with this, I just did it by eye and I think it adds a nice rustic charm to the final piece. However, if you want to get a ruler out and be precise, then that is also fine. This size determines the size of your flower, so if you want to have a play around then feel free – ginormous ones might look quite awesome!
When you’ve got a few bundles of tissue cut into squares, take one pile and fold in half to make a rectangle, then half again to make a square, then join the straight edges so you have a triangle, such as the one above. If you find the tissue is a bit difficult to fold into this shape you most probably have been a bit too keen and have got too many sheets in your bundle, thin it out a bit and you should be peachy (ha!).
Next, we take our scissors and snip snip the top away in a curvy shape to make the petals. Again, feel free to experiment at this point – I accidentally made a bit of a pointy petal edge and it turned out pretty well, it looked like a lotus flower or something of the sort.
When you have made a curve, snip the point of the triangle off but not too much! This makes the hole which your light will poke through – it’s always better to keep it small as you can always make it bigger at a later stage, but if it’s too big to begin with then we are back to square one!
Open ‘er up and you will have a lovely bunch of little billowy tissue flowers! Smashing.
The next phase is the time consuming one. But fear not, you will have a lovely beautiful hand made thing at the end of it, so it’s best to persevere, I promise. Thread your lights through the little hole, making the hole a little bigger if you have to. My lights are fairly slender, but if you have the green Christmas tree variety they might need a little more persuasion.
At this point, if you have chosen to use two colours like me, or doubled up your tissue paper, you might want to add a teeny dab of glue between sheets just so they have something to cling onto each other with. Try not to get any glue near the lightbulb, stick it in the middle if you have to.
Flip the flower over so you can see the underneath and give the tissue a little pinch and a twist – it helps to keep things together, makes it easier to tape, and also makes a nice flower-y shape when you open it out.
Tape it up using a slender piece of whatever tape you desire – I didn’t happen to have any clear tape in the house, but I think the grey works really nicely with the orange! (Please excuse my chipped mani.)
Repeat for all lights – this is where a shorter string of lights will work in your favour, if you are impatient like me! I split my craft over a couple of evenings, and actually found it pretty therapeutic when I had worked out a system of cutting, shaping, snipping, poking, twisting, taping…
Et voila! You have a lovely inexpensive and beautiful hand made addition to your living room (or wherever takes your fancy). I love the fireplace in our new house, and have used my new fairy lights as an excuse to show it off!
Don’t forget – it’s Mother’s Day at the end of this month, and what better way to say ‘thanks for all the dinner money and lifts to the pub and looking after me when I’m pretending to be poorly from school’ than a nice homemade present? These lights don’t cost the Earth, and I’m sure any mam would appreciate them.