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Paper-Bag Party Lights

Beribboned colored bags hung from lights make fun lanterns.




  • Utility knife
  • Outdoor string lights
  • Gusseted flat-bottom bags, 5 by 9 3/4 inches
  • 1 1/2-inch-wide single-face satin ribbon
  • Masking or paper tape


  1. Step 1

    Use a utility knife to make a slit through both sides of a bag, 2 inches from the top.

  2. Step 2

    Open the bag; cut an X in the bottom center. Slip a 2-foot length of ribbon (we used wide satin) through the slits, and knot it. 

  3. Step 3


    Push a bulb through the X, so the socket is fully inside. Use masking or paper tape to seal in the wire and socket. Continue until all bulbs are covered. Don't leave the lights on unattended, or for longer than 8 hours.

Martha Stewart Living, April 2004



Reviews (3)

  • geoferr 4 Aug, 2012

    When finished, the bags will hang upside down with the open end down. The X cut is made in the center of the bottom of the bag and allows the bag to slip over the light bulb. The slits on either side two inches from the open end of the bag are for the ribbon. I think you could also just staple the ribbon to the bag and skip cutting slits.

    Hope this helps.

  • lotsokittycats 29 Jul, 2012

    I totally agree with NavyWifeBeth! You have such a great site with super craft ideas, you should take the time to add details (set by step pictures or, even better, videos, too!) to allow us less-crafty types to actually make them. Not everybody can just read your sometimes cursory instructions and be able to succeed with the craft(s) we so much want to make.

  • NavyWifeBeth 28 Jul, 2012

    It would be very helpful to have pictures of the process of many of your crafts....I'm a crafty-lamer and need more info...and am a visual learner :) Thanks so much!