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DIY Giant Christmas Lights

Paige Paige

Every year, Rockefeller Center decorates for Christmas… and it’s always over the top and very festive. A few years ago, they made giant Christmas lights, and today we are going to make them a reality for everyone at home to have a similar look to the artists in New York. The actual ones that were built for Rockefeller Center were HUGE – 7 ½’ tall by 75’ by 10’. Yep you hear me … it’s pretty massive. Ours won’t be quite as large but they will definitely be impressive and give you that Holiday edge over your neighbours decorations. A little healthy competition never heard anyone am I right?

You Will Need:

  • 10 2-liter bottles (empty soda bottles are the best to use)
  • 10 Deli cups, about 6” high and about 5” in diameter
  • 10 Plastic drinking cups (can use clear Solo cups)
  • 1 Set of LED string lights (LED keep the temperature down so definitely don’t skimp on this part of the project!)
  • Stained glass spray paint in several colors (yellow, red, green and purple)
  • Pipe insulation (any size to cover your string lights)
  • Dark green spray paint
  • Black spray paint
  • PLUG – 1 waste basket bin (I used a 7 gallon but you can use whatever size you would like)
  • Styrofoam ½” piece about 24” x 24”
  • Gold spray paint
  • Hot glue
  • Super glue
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Floral wire
  • Wire cutter
  • Optional: Super glue accelerator
  • Optional: Drill with circular drill bit (can use craft knife instead)
  • Optional: Dremel circular cutter (can use a craft knife instead)


  1. Take your dremel tool (or craft knife) and cut off the top of the 2-liter bottle just below the lip (where the cap would go).
  2. Take your dremel tool (or your craft knife) and cut off the bottom of the 2-liter bottle, all the way around.
  3. Cut the top of the plastic cup, about an inch from the top all the way around
  4. Cut a hole in the bottom of the deli cup. You will need a hole large enough to get the head of your LED string lights through.  I used a 13/16” drill bit, but you can use any size you have on hand.  You can also do this with a craft knife.
  5. Cut a hole in the bottom of the plastic cup.
  6. Take your stained glass spray paint and spray the 2-liter bottle on the outside. Set aside to dry.
  7. Spray paint the inside of the deli cup black and set aside to dry. This will allow the green paint on the outside to be more opaque (so you can’t see through it.)
  8. Turn the deli cup over and spray paint the outside of the deli cup dark green. Set aside to dry.
  9. Paint the pipe insulation the same color of green spray paint. Set aside to dry.
  10. Take your LED light string and remove every two bulbs, keeping the third one in place. This will allow every third light to be used, and we will hide the other light bases in the pipe insulation.
  11. Take one of the bulbs and thread it through the bottom of the deli cup.
  12. Take off the bulb but keep it in hand for the next step.
  13. Take the plastic cup and place it upside down on the deli cup, and push the base of the bulb to the hole, taking the bulb on the other side of the cup and screw it into place.
  14. You can use hot glue here to secure the cups together inside, though this is an optional step.
  15. Take the painted 2-liter bottle top and place it over the deli cup. You can fit it into place, or secure it with hot glue on the inside and crazy glue on the outside. You can also use an accelerator on the crazy glue to help with time.
  16. Continue this process until all of your oversized bulbs are in place.
  17. Take the pipe insulator and place it over the cords and empty bulb holders. Once in place, you can remove the tape that comes with the pipe insulation, revealing two sides of self-adhesive tape. Push these two sides together.
  18. Continue this process all the way down so that all your cord is covered.
  19. Take your additional pieces of pipe insulation and wrap them around the other pipe to create the look of a double cord (mimicking the look of a real set of lights). Secure these together with floral wire.
  20. Take the ends of one side and secure together for the section of the plug.
  21. To make the plug, spray paint your trash bin the same dark green spray paint as the deli cups and the pipe insulation.
  22. Once dry, cut a hole in the bottom of the trash bin big enough to fit two pipe insulation cords inside it.
  23. Take your styrafoam and cut a piece to the size of the top of the waste bin.
  24. Also with styrafoam, cut out two sections that will serve as the legs of the plug. Cut them about 3” wide by 12” long.
  25. Glue the legs of the plug to the styrafoam base with super glue (hot glue will not work).
  26. Paint the legs and the base gold. Set aside to dry.
  27. Bring in your pipe insulation into the bottom of the trash bin and secure into place with floral wire and/or super glue.
  28. Glue the gold-painted legs and the plug base to the top of the trash bin.

Total Cost & Takeaway: $25

This DIY was super fun and super easy o make at home. Have you got a fabulous & festive DIY? Share with us in the comments below and remember we want to see your DIY’s on Instagram and Twitter  so make sure you follow @paigehemmis & hashtag #DIYholidays  #DIYplay



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