DIY: Lampshades with Clear – Throw Away Party Cups

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Last updated on June 7th, 2019

Something I am a big fan of is upcycling. When I first saw this DIY, I was super excited. And I knew I had to make my own.

I made mine a little different, making mine striped instead of solid, since that worked better with where I was wanting to put them.

This DIY is super easy. All you need are some disposable party cups (I used paper, where as the original used clear ones), some scrap fabric in colors of your choice, scissors, and glue. For this particular project, I used Mod Podge, since that was what I had on hand.

Materials:

  • Party Cups (Either Paper or Clear Plastic work well)
  • Material (Any scrap fabric you have on hand or old t-shirts will do the job)
  • Scissors
  • Paper (to make your template)
  • Glue (Mod Podge, Elmers, or Decoupage)
  • Paint Brush (An Old one is perfect for this)

Step 1: Prepping Your Cups

This first step is super easy, and super quick.

All it requires are your cups and a pair of scissors. I used a Sharpie to mark where I wanted my hole, but you don’t need to.

You can either cut an “X” into the top, or punch a whole carefully with the scissors.

I chose to punch a whole, since my string of lights has small lights.

Make as many cups as you want to hang. Since my lights are hung up in my outdoor kitchen, I only made a few to accent the area.

Step 2: Prepping Your Material

Start by making a stencil to cut out your fabric.

All you need to do is place your cup on a piece of paper and trace the top and bottom. Cut it out and you have your stencil. Next you want to cut out enough pieces to cover each of your cups. For example, I used 8 cups, so I cut out 8 of each piece of material.

Since I striped mine as an after thought, I had 16 strips of fabric, cutting my top stripe thinner than the first. Make sure you cut your strips longer than the trace of the cup. It’s okay if you have excess, because it would be better than it being too short.

Step 3: Gluing Your Material To Your Cups

This is the fun part. Lay out some newspaper or an old cloth, so you don’t have to worry about getting any glue on your table.

Starting with the first cup, spread your glue around your cup using a paint brush, and carefully lay your material around your cup.

As I was laying my fabric to the cup, I decided I wanted to use two materials per cup, so I glued my first strip halfway down. Go cup by cup, gluing in the same way.

Cut off any excess material as you go.

After my first strips dried, I glued my second ones across the top of my lampshades. Make sure to let the glue dry completely before moving your cups around or adding any additional embellishments.

Step 4: Hanging Your New Lampshades

After your glue is completely dry, you can hang your lampshades. Use an LED strand of lights. If you used multiple fabrics feel free to get crafty with an alternating pattern.

*** Use these instructions at own risk. Make sure the lights are safe

And there you go! You made fun DIY Lampshades out of Party Cups!

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27 Comments

  • Reply Suzanne

    I absolutely LOVE these:) Thanks for sharing!

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  • Reply Shyla

    OHH! How cute!This a must do!

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  • Reply Anonymous

    I can't wait to put these in my shop!!!

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  • Reply Anonymous

    wow. How creative….I can do the projects but I just can't come up with the idea…my hat is off to you….

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  • Reply pipigirl

    this is what my grandaughter is getting for her (one of) birthday presents. i think shell love it. just getting to age of liking to deco her room.

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  • Reply Aneta Hayne

    That is sooooo COOOL ! Love it, can't wait to make it for the party lights ! thank you so much for sharing this brilliant idea! you are a genius 🙂

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  • Reply Anonymous

    Is it safe with the plastic and hot light?

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  • Reply Anonymous

    Really LOVE this and I know my daughter would too….but my concern is about the plastic and hot lights? How safe is it?

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  • Reply J's mom

    Hi, Thanks for all the comments. It's done with the tiny Christmas still lights. They are cool to the touch, so should be fine with the plastic. Remember, they are designed to be next to dried trees in the house. 🙂

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  • Reply Anonymous

    Can't wait to try! Thank you!!!

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  • Reply Margo Lastick

    Wonderful idea!!

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  • Reply Anonymous

    Use LED lights….they are cool and do not give off heat!!

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  • Reply ANNE FARRELL

    SO pretty!

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  • Reply On Life, Love and Veggies

    To the person that re-posted this from the original blogger – have you made these? I just bought all the stuff to do it, but I was wondering if you had a more detailed explanation of creating the template for the fabric – conceptually I get it, but it seems like it might be a little more awkward in execution.

    Also, I was planning to just drill holes into the bottoms of the cups to poke the lights through – I couldn't understand her explanation of how she did this, and the pictures aren't very clear – so if you know how she did it, or a better way, I would love to know.

    Thanks!
    Jessica

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  • Reply J's mom

    I am trying to make some. The hard plastic cups, drilling is a great idea. For the soft plastic, you can cut an X in the bottom, with a knife or something like that.
    Thanks,

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  • Reply Jennifer G

    adorable!!! My daughter would love this in her room!

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  • Reply Stampin n da Hood

    "Cut / rock since a cross in the bottom of the cup / lamp shades on a light string."
    I think this is the step to cut a cross in the bottom of the cup to feed the lights through!

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  • Reply Anonymous

    What type of fabric did you use?

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  • Reply J's mom

    I'm sure you could use a number of different fabrics. The thinner the more light will show through. I just used a woven cotton for mine.

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  • Reply Anonymous

    I adore this idea!!! It is so cute and would be adorable to add a little colour to any room<3

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  • Reply Anonymous

    Hii…If you look evry closely and carefully at the very last picute on the right you can see that she cuts an X all the way through the base of the cup…basically efactly the same concept as putting a straw through a lid of a cup from a fast food resturant. <3 hope this helps.

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  • Reply GivvMiGreen

    Suggestion: If you don't have used cups to recycle, use recyclable cups for this. That way if one of the cups breaks, you can recycle it and make a new one!

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  • Reply Unknown

    I used craft/scrapbook paper instead of fabric…worked great!

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  • Reply starla jasper

    I can’t wait to use this for Christmas decoration to go along my living room doorway. Thanks so much for the idea.

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  • Reply Rebeccas DIY

    Hi there and thanks for featuring my lanterns on string! I am happy to inspire!
    /Rebecca

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    • Reply admin

      Your welcome. I truly love them. & nice to finally know where they came from.

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  • Reply Khadija

    Oh my goodness! So many good ideas! I wish I had seen this when my kids were little!
    Thanks for sharing.

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