DIY: Paper Cube String Lights

I love string lights and their endless possibilities. I wanted a little something special to drape over our headboard, and a row of glowing paper cubes turned out to be just the thing!

diy paper cube string lights

First get a string of 20 lights (use LED lights if you are worried about this being a fire hazard) and 20 square pieces of paper (I used 8.5″ x 8.5″).

Then fold 20 cubes like this. (Click the image to zoom.)

diy paper cube string lights

Then poke each light into a paper cube. No glue necessary!

diy paper cube string lights

Easy and lovely! What more could you want?

diy paper cube string lights


  1. Emily

    Dear Wit and Whistle,

    I have featured this DIY project on my blog as I loved it so much and wanted to share it with my friends! I hope this is ok with you. Please contact me if it is not, and I will gladly remove the post. :)

    x Emmy

  2. mismikado

    I am the editor-in-chief of the monthly art newsletter, Balch Springs Unbound {} and I would love to feature this tutorial in our April issue. I hope that is ok? :)

  3. Hannah

    these are so cute! i really want to make them for my apartment. I was wondering though if there is any danger of the paper burning?

    1. wit & whistle Post author

      Mine haven’t caught on fire, but I don’t leave them on for very long, and I don’t leave them unattended. You can always use LED lights to cut down on the fire risk, since LED lights don’t put off as much heat.

    1. wit & whistle Post author

      To get to step 15 you just unfold what you have for step 14 a little bit. Essentially step 14 is just a squished version of step 15. You could probably just find the hole in step 14, blow in it, and skip 15 all together. Hopefully that helps!

    2. Debbie Peters

      Hi. So on one end of both sides after step 14 you can see a little opening in the last triangle you created. Stick your finger in it to open and slip the flap below it up into the hole. Get it as tight in the outside corner as you can.

  4. belen (from Argentina!)

    Hey! I love this! Thank you so much. I’m doing a bunch at the moment but I can’t seem to understand step 13. Anybody? Could you help me? Thanks!

  5. wit & whistle Post author

    It’s kind of hard to describe how to fold things aside from showing a picture, so for those of you that are having trouble try Googling “origami balloon” for more tutorials. Maybe looking at a different set of instructions will help clarify the steps you’re stuck on.

  6. Jacob

    Loving this creative diy idea using normal string lights. Curious to know what other origmi shapes could be used – dragons, roses, endless possibilities. Such a versatile idea.

    I shared your tutorial on my blog here:

    When I fly home I am definitely going to be trying your other string light diy project, the one with the wine bottle. With so many different wine bottle shapes and colors, there will be a nice variety of lighting effects.

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Mine haven’t, but if you are worried just use LED lights since they don’t get hot.

  7. sara

    Hi, we’d love to do this with origami cranes as part of our upcoming wedding (my fiance’s family is Japanese-Hawaiian. Any chance you could make a tutorial for that? I’m wondering how they’d fit on the light.

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Unfortunately I don’t think this would work with paper cranes since they aren’t hollow.

  8. suzeannadanna

    I think cranes would be amazing also – I bet a crane could be designed that was hollow. in addition to or instead of a sting of lights you could make a swirling chandelier / mobile – whatever shape – and whatever colors –

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      It’s kind of hard to describe how to fold things aside from showing a picture, so you might try Googling “origami balloon” for more tutorials. Maybe looking at a different set of instructions will help clarify the steps you’re stuck on. :)

    2. Zee

      I had to stare at it for a couple of minutes…basically all you do is take the loose portion (the side you can actually move the other side you can’t)fold that up and out to make an upside down triangle and then you fold that upside down triangle in half taking the extra piece hanging off the side and fold it inward and then tuck that it into the middle (the little pocket) of the piece it is on top of…and repeat
      I hope this helps others :)

  9. Ann

    love your DIY. I’ve just made ​​one for my daughter and shared your great DIY on my blog. Hope that’s okay: o)

    Best regards


  10. Susan

    I tried to make these. Let me say, the photo instructions start off great but lose something around step 8. I wasn’t sure what needed to be stuck where and so on. When all is said and done, not really my cup of tea. Too wrinkly. I do appreciate your taking the time to make the directions for us. Thank you very much.

  11. Dorie

    At first I couldn’t get pass step 13, I had to look at it for a few minutes only I understand, then I’m stuck at step 15 again only to realize I just need to blow through the hole.

    This is a wonderful guide, I’m gonna make one and hang over head bed.

    Thanks <3

  12. noor

    what I really love about it is that the lights you used are really small, (or does it just seems to?) and i wondered where you bought them?
    definitely going to make them!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      They are just regular sized Christmas lights. I can’t remember where I bought them—it has been so long since I made this!

  13. Steph

    This is really really awesome. I don’t get steps 11-13 and 15 though. But other than that, thank you!! :)

  14. Laura

    I make these “waterbombs” out of Xmas papers and put them on my tree and in other areas that I am decorating with lights and garland. Dresses things up and customizes with a minimum of work!

  15. Erik

    Thanks for the idea! I bought a 200 sheet ream of printer paper and am now folding the cubes to put around my bedroom light. I also plan to buy an LED light bulb, so that the paper won’t be a fire hazard when I put them around the light in almost a stalactite so that it both covers up the kind of ugly light fixture. It worked before I repainted my room, but it doesn’t work now. Anyways, thanks for the idea of folding these!

  16. Amanda

    Great work! You really inspired me with your work. I just finished to making this light. It was very easy and fun for me. It is looking awesome in my room. Thanks and keep sharing.

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