Add Some Light to Your Spooky Decor with 3 DIY Halloween Mini String Light Shades

Happy autumn everyone! I hope your fall is going wonderfully. The weather and colors could not be nicer here in Minnesota. We’ve been enjoying the cool weather and glorious sunshine. It makes me want to either go out for a walk or curl up at home with a good book and a cup of tea. But Halloween is approaching, and my home is lacking in cute holiday decor. Since Halloween is less than two weeks away, I need something fun and quick to decorate with. A couple years ago I made adorable 4th of July mini shades, so this Halloween I decided to make three different mini shades for sting lights.

3 DIY Halloween Mini Shades

Paint, hot glue, and a bit of spooky inspiration transform simple plastic cups into darling Halloween decor. Simple to make, these mini shades bring a delightful treat to normal string lights. This is a great project to do with your kids. You can fill the string lights with one kind or all three shades for a wickedly cute addition to your Halloween decor.

All three shades start life as plastic cups. For these mini shades, I used plastic stemless wine cups. The shape of these cups is perfect for all three mini shade designs. I found these at my local party supply store, but plastic punch cups work well too. This part of the DIY requires a soldering iron so it’s best that an adult make all the holes in the cups.

Melting hole in cup for mini shades

You’ll want to do this first part in a ventilated area because the melting plastic can get quite smelly. Start by heating up your soldering iron. Once it’s hot, carefully press the iron into the bottom of the cup melting a hole through it. You shouldn’t really have to press it at all. It should just sink through the bottom of the cup. Let it cool and check the hole on the lights you will be using. If the hole needs to be widened, gently circle around the hole melting it bit by bit. Keep checking the hole as you go. You need a hole that lets you put the light and socket through without it falling off easily.

Don’t worry if you do get the hole a little too big. Just wrap some tape around the light socket when you’re hanging the finished shades. That will make the socket thicker so the shade won’t fall off.

Continue making holes in each cups until you have as many mini shades as you need. The rest of the DIY is great to do with kids with only a bit of adult help needed with scissors and hot glue. The first shade has the most steps but it’s still fun and easy to do.

For the bat mini shade you need:

  • Black acrylic paint
  • Decoupage medium
  • Hot glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Black foam sheets
  • Scissors
  • Paint brush
  • Plastic cup
  • Soldering iron

DIY Bat Mini Shade

Start out will one of your shades with a hole melted in the bottom. Mix together about three parts black paint to one part decoupage medium. The decoupage medium will help the black paint stick to plastic. Otherwise you will have a hard time painting and it will easily flake off. Paint around the plastic cup. I recommend painting in strokes from top to bottom for an even coat.

Leave that to dry and make the wings. Cut two rectangles out of the foam sheet about 3 inches by 6 inches. Stack the rectangles together and cut out the bat wings. Make sure you have a small square section for attaching the wings to the cup. I drew a wing shape with a pencil on the top piece before I cut them out. My scissor skills aren’t the best so I definitely needed the guide. 😀  You can make the wings whatever size you want, but I like my bats will a generous wing span. And you need less shades since you have to leave more space in between mini shades for them to hang right.

Now it’s time to assemble your bat. When the paint is completely dry, apply a little hot glue to each googly eye and stick into place. Apply a generous amount of hot glue to the square section of a wing and press onto the cup. Hold the wing in place until the glue has set. Repeat with the other wing. And there you have one adorable bat. Repeat the steps until you have as big of a bat colony as you want.

Remember that the bottom of the cup is the top of the mini shade. So unless you want your bat to hang upside down, stick the eyes near the top and the wings the right way up. You certainly could make your bats hang upside down, but I don’t think that applies to the ghost mini shades we will do next.

For the ghost mini shades you will need:

  • Decoupage medium
  • Gauze
  • Foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Googly eyes
  • Hot glue
  • Plastic cup
  • Soldering iron

DIY Ghost Mini Shade

Using one of the pre-melted cups, roll out the gauze and cut a section a little longer than the cup. You will need about three strips of gauze to cover one cup. Start by applying decoupage medium to the top of the cup. Then press the gauze on to the cup at the top applying more decoupage medium on top. Continue applying the gauze and decoupage down the side of the cup. You need to press the gauze on to cup. Brushing it on will stretch the gauze too much and cause it to slip off. Continue applying the gauze strips the same way leaving the excess at the bottom for the floating draped ghost effect.

Set it aside and let it dry completely. It may have to dry for a couple of hours if the decoupage was generously applied like mine as. 🙂 Once it’s dried you can hot glue on the googly eyes. There you have a cute little ghost. Repeat the steps and these little ghost will happily haunt your lights this Halloween. If Jack O’ Lanterns light up your front porch, next are mini shades that won’t rot…ever.

For the pumpkin mini shades you will need:

  • Orange tissue paper
  • Decoupage medium
  • Foam brush
  • Permanent marker
  • Plastic cup
  • Soldiering iron

DIY Pumpkin Mini Shade

I’ve saved the easiest for last. They might even be my favorite. Start out with your pre-melted cup as usual. Tear orange tissue paper into small pieces. Then apply some decoupage to the outside of the cup. Press a piece of torn tissue onto the cup and apply decoupage over the top. Continue tissue all the way around the cup. You do want to overlap the tissue pieces to completely cover the glass. For a clean edge around the bottom of the shade, apply a bit of decoupage to the inside rim and press any overhanging tissue around the rim and inside. Once it has completely dried, draw a Jack O’ Lantern face with permanent marker on the front and back. I started mine by outlining where I wanted the orange to show. Then I drew the rest of the outline and filled it in.

There you have not only your pumpkin mini shade but all the adorable Halloween mini shades.

3 DIY Halloween Mini Shades

Aren’t they so cute! It’s hard to decide if you just want a string of one kind or all three. Either way these delightful mini shades are fantastic for Halloween. Easy to make and you can reuse them year after year without having to dedicate a string of lights just for them. That also makes it easier to pack them up for next Halloween too. So get your whole family in the Halloween spirit with these cute mini shades.

If you need an everyday lighting solution, check out this color changing LED light strip available at Heartland America right now.

Color Changing LED Light Strip at Heartland America

This sixteen foot long light strip has three hundred multi-color LEDs that change change the mood of your room with just a touch of a button. The remote control has twenty preset colors with multiple effect option so you will always have the right lighting. The adhesive back make installation a snap. So check these lights out today while supplies last.

Now you have some fun options to add some light to your Halloween festivities. I hope you enjoy creating mini shades with your whole family. Next time I’ll help you get a head start on your holiday shopping because Christmas is coming. 😀 Until then enjoy your fall and remember you are always welcome at Home with Heartland.

 

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