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DIY Ping Pong Ball Lights

Life is reason enough to celebrate. Decorate with these easy and fun ping pong ball lights!

After we built a pergola over our concrete patio, I was excited to decorate with fun patio lights. Call me cheap, but I was a little surprised by the price: a string of 25 clear globe lights costs $40 at Crate and Barrel, $26 on Amazon and $15 at Target.

Since I already had strings of lights in my Christmas decoration box {I’m sure you do, too} that are approved for outdoor use, I set about finding a way to use them instead. I had two sets each of white and multi-colored lights that I bought on sale after Christmas last year. Each string has 100 bulbs.

To start, I bought a bag of 144 ping pong balls from Amazon for $7.

Life is reason enough to celebrate. Decorate with these easy and fun ping pong ball lights!

I cut an “X” in each ball with an X-ACTO knife and pushed the bulb through the hole.

Life is reason enough to celebrate. Decorate with these easy and fun ping pong ball lights!

Kona “helped.” :)

Life is reason enough to celebrate. Decorate with these easy and fun ping pong ball lights!

The bulbs are not in contact with the ping pong ball — they are completely inside the ball.

Life is reason enough to celebrate. Decorate with these easy and fun ping pong ball lights!

That’s it! It took me less than an episode of Paw Patrol to have my string of lights ready.

I have to admit the first day I put them up, I thought they were a little tacky. My friend confirmed my fear, too: they looked like ping pong balls during the day.

Life is reason enough to celebrate. Decorate with these easy and fun ping pong ball lights!

BUT I gave them a chance and that night when I turned them on, they were perfection! Bright, beautiful and fun!

Life is reason enough to celebrate. Decorate with these easy and fun ping pong ball lights!

I used only one string to drape lights along our pergola and opted for the multi-colored ones for fun and festivity {white lights would work just as well}. I couldn’t be happier if I had spent the money to get the real deal. Instead, I am satisfied to have used what I already had on hand and only spent $7 on ping pong balls to get the same warm glow.

So if ambience and festivity are what you want without a hefty price tag, then DIY Ping Pong Ball Lights are the way to go!  — v.

SOURCES FOR DIY PING PONG BALL LIGHTS
string of multi-colored lights
bag of 144 ping pong balls
x-acto knife

UPDATE: I’ve had my string of ping pong ball lights up for over a year and I still love the ambience they create. They’re up year-round so some of the balls blew away in storms and a few bulbs burnt out. Both were easy replacements.

The only ‘problem’ I’ve had was that rain water would get trapped inside them. It would eventually evaporate, however a reader recently provided a terrific solution that I am including today as a smart improvement to this DIY project: add a pinhole to the bottom of each ball to allow rain to drain. Such an easy fix!

To ensure proper alignment, cut your X along the seam as described above, then stick a sharp needle or straight pin through the ball along the seam on the opposite side. Hang and enjoy!

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