• DIY Ping Pong Ball Cafe Lights

    DIY ping pong ball cafe lights

    Right now Edie sleeps with us in our bedroom. Sometimes she actually sleeps with us in bed in a LulyBoo (love that portable thing) and other times she sleeps in this cradle above in the corner by the door to the sunroom where the rest of her nursery is (see the full nursery tour here). Because this is a small space I wanted to make it special and thought some colorful cafe lights might do the trick!

    DIY ping pong ball cafe lights

    Did you know you can make these cafe lights from a strand of LED lights and ping pong balls? It will cost you about $16 with plenty of extra ping pongs to spare for another strand. The LED part is crucial- don’t use regular twinkle lights. LED lights don’t get hot and so it’s safe to add the plastic balls.

    DIY ping pong ball cafe lights

    DIY ping pong ball cafe lights

    I really love how they turned out. My hope was that filtering the colored lights through the white ping pong balls would create a pretty pastel color and it totally did, which I was pleased with.

    DIY ping pong ball cafe lights

    In the daytime the cafe lights look pastel but at night they get more vivid- almost primary colors. Edie is mesmerized by them! Because they’re LED you can make them dance and sparkle and flicker all you want. It’s kind of enough to give you a seizure so I like to keep them on either constant or slow fade. Edie prefers slow fade too. Last night these lights were what relaxed her enough to finally fall asleep after a good long crying spell.

    See how to make them after the jump…

    Photography and styling by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Sara Albers. Graphics by Loren Croiser

    Multicolored LED lights ($6 for a string of 100)
    Ping pong balls ($10 for a bag of 144)
    Exact-o knife

    Directions: (see written below)

    DIY ping pong ball cafe lights

    1. With an exact-o knife make a very small cut along the seam of the ping pong ball about 1/4 inch wide or smaller. Cut another across the first to make a very small cross shape cut.
    2. Wiggle the ball onto a bulb.
    3. Be careful to not handle the balls too much when you wiggle it onto the bulbs. They do tend to get squished. Although when doing this whole strand we only squished 2 or 3.

    And one more of Edie Jean in all smiles:

    DIY ping pong ball cafe lights


    1. Debi C said… April 5, 2014 5:22 am

      Please please please if you are going to use these and they are so very pretty, pull the bed AWAY from the wall (or better yet do not string these lights on any wall near the crib. I hate when people are alarmist but I had a friend who loved children and babysat for an adorable little girl that she absolutely loved. She made a mobile for over the crib never thinking that this child would ever be able to reach it but YES she did and she is not longer with us and my dear friend will never be the same again and of course never will her parents. SO NOT WORTH TAKING THE CHANCE…… Please don’t hate me for posting this I just couldn’t not do it. I read your post that you don’t actually leave them over the bed but others may not read that particular post.

    2. diy cafe lights | evergreen&sweetpea said… March 20, 2014 12:49 pm

      […] this is an adorable diy I recreated, origially from liz stanley at say yes (her picture on the left, mine on the right via instagram). all it requires are some ping pong balls and a strand of LED lights. in the tutorial she used colored ones and I chose to go with white ones. it was a very easy project but rather tedious to cut the holes in the ping pong balls (I didn’t have an exacto knife so I just used a kitchen knife!). head over to her blog for the full tutorial. […]

    3. Cleo said… March 18, 2014 6:33 pm

      Pretty sure that if you are using LED lights the flammability of ping pong balls shouldn’t be a big issue. They let out hardly and heat at all, especially compared to incandescent balls, so as long as they are in an area where air can circulate it should be fine.

    4. maja said… March 17, 2014 2:26 am

      Looks cute, but it is a BAD IDEA. Not only may the balls be flammable, but the plastic exhales poisones fumes (sorry for my bad Englisch, I am Dutch and writing from Germany and don´t know the correct words!!!)


      • Jess said… March 23, 2014 8:08 am

        They’re LED lights! So they aren’t flammable

    5. Juli said… March 15, 2014 9:14 am

      Ping pong balls are extremely flammable! Watch this. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=laC5lf5AdnA

    6. Juli said… March 15, 2014 9:05 am

      Science teacher here. Please don’t make these lights. Ping pong balls are made of one of the very first plastics discovered and they are extremely flammable! Seriously, go outside and try lighting a match to one before you hang them over your baby’s bed!!
      (Too bad. They were super cute.)

      Please don’t put these in your child’s room.

      • Jess said… March 23, 2014 8:07 am

        She’s using LED lights, didn’t you read the post? They don’t get hot at all.

    7. Worthy of the Week | Oh Hey said… March 14, 2014 5:00 am

      […] want to string ping pong ball lights […]

    8. cortney said… March 11, 2014 5:27 pm

      love this! great idea!

    9. lyndsay // coco cake land said… March 11, 2014 10:23 am

      that is the COOLEST idea! you are a crafting genius and a great way to give a nice matte soft-glow effect to the light feel of LEDs. i really want to try this one!

      heehee that last pic is adorable – edie looks pretty pleased, too! ^__^

    10. Chrissy said… March 9, 2014 10:25 am

      These are amazing!

    11. […] Ping Pong Ball Cafe Lights. […]

    12. eric said… March 7, 2014 10:08 pm

      love it!!!

    13. Stacey said… March 7, 2014 8:38 am

      These are super cute! Do you leave them on at night? I always worry about training my kids to want a night light (like my parents did to me), so I try to keep it dark when they go to sleep.

      • Liz Stanley said… March 7, 2014 10:43 am

        this is actually a great question. i’m still debating it actually!

    14. Lindsey said… March 7, 2014 8:35 am

      This is so fantastic! We are moving back to the US this summer and I’m making these for my daughter’s room the moment we arrive! 🙂

    15. Melissa said… March 7, 2014 8:15 am

      this is adorable, and I know a million people will tell you this, but above the crib this is a major strangulation hazard! I’ll just say from experience that sometimes they can reach much higher than you think, and the first time I ever saw my little guy pull to stand was in his crib, so just move them higher than you think they can reach!

      • Liz Stanley said… March 7, 2014 10:41 am

        Yeah we don’t actually hang them over her head in the crib, we just wanted to get a shot of her looking at them 🙂

    16. Samantha P said… March 6, 2014 5:10 pm

      This is beautiful! Definitely want to give it a try

    17. Danielle said… March 6, 2014 4:03 pm

      So genius!!

    18. Elizabeth Miller said… March 6, 2014 10:33 am

      This is so lovely, definitely want to try it! The balls don’t fall off?

      • Liz Stanley said… March 7, 2014 10:40 am

        No! I think we’ve only had one fall off and we’ve hung it several times in different spot and such. They stay on great! Just keep that cross cut small 🙂

    19. ashley rachelle said… March 6, 2014 9:53 am

      love this!! how fun would they be as party lights! can’t wait to make some!!

      • Liz Stanley said… March 6, 2014 10:26 am

        I agree, pretty party lights (for a baby shower too!)

    20. Khand said… March 6, 2014 8:17 am

      This is such a great idea! So simple and doable with a great effect. Thanks for posting about this!

      • Tanya Schaeffer said… March 11, 2014 4:16 pm

        This is way to cute! Have you tried with regular xmas lights? Or do you think they would get to hot. We just bought travel trailer and definitely going to make for the awning. Thank you for the wonderful idea!

    21. Casey said… March 6, 2014 6:31 am

      I love this idea! I’ve got the amazon links open and I’m planning to make these this weekend! Do you think using the warm white instead of multicolored would work? Do you think they’d be too faint?

      • Liz Stanley said… March 6, 2014 8:41 am

        Hi Casey. Yes I bet the warm white would totally work too! Have fun!

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