We are entering an exciting new phase of parenthood: school dances, graduations and weddings! We are in full party planning mode for several upcoming events: my daughter’s 8th grade masquerade ball, my son’s senior prom and high school graduation…plus a November family wedding! Between writing articles about furniture paint projects and room makeovers, I’ll be sharing lots of DIY party decorating ideas here on the blog. Of course, everything is being done with a budget in mind, so I hope you enjoy our projects!
DIY Street Light for Parties
Masquerade Party Ideas
My daughter’s 8th grade formal will be held at her school. The theme is “Masquerade” which takes place in a New Orleans style street setting. I’m hoping to create pretty building facades with awnings, street lights adorned with hanging ferns and Spanish moss. Imagine wrought iron trellises accented with Mardi Gras colors including green, purple and yellow. This is the kids’ first school dance where they dress up, and they’re so excited! The PTA moms and I are working hard and will be decorating the main hallway, and outdoor courtyard and the school gymnasium. Here is the design concept:
I volunteered to take on several projects, which by default means Mark volunteered, too. 🙂 Making the street lights look realistic was my goal – I felt the lamps could fit most any theme for future dances. I pictured these for Halloween decorating, any elegant theme in the future.
Create the Top Lantern
- Lantern pattern (download from our library) – coming soon!
- Black Corrugated Cardboard
- Tracing Paper
- Box Opener / Cutter
- Black masking tape
- Metal straight edge
Instructions: (I suggest assigning a single task below to any volunteers if you’re coordinating a group crafting event. Assembly line crafting worked wonders for us!) Download and print our pattern on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. Cut out the pattern, then trace the outline of the lantern onto the back of your corrugated cardboard.
Once you draw the pattern onto the cardboard, it’s time to cut. Use the metal straight edge and a sharp box cutter, cut out the shapes, four per lantern. Next, create your faux “windows” using white tracing paper. Attach paper “windows” on the brown side of your lanterns using Scotch tape at the 4 corners. (Tip! For Halloween you can also use green, purple or orange paper for your lantern windows).
Next, it’s time to assemble the lantern. Space them out evenly, leaving a gap between each lantern window. Then tape with the slight gap using black masking tape:
Once all the lantern parts are assembled, stand it upright on your work surface:
After you tape your lantern completely together, add the bottom (square template) to hold it’s shape. I notched the ends of the tape so the tape lays flat.
Time to make the lid using our free triangle template. Create four adjoining triangles, like the diagram below. Lightly score in between triangles on the underside:
Fold the lid where it’s been slightly scored. This forms the pyramid. Secure the last seam with black masking tape.
Your top is finished! You can remove the lid and drop an LED tealight inside for ambiance. The height is approximately 15.5″ tall. If you prefer, you could finish off the exposed cardboard edges with more black masking tape to give it a more finished look.
Make the Lamp Posts:
Optional (add a horizontal bar for street signs, or to hang ferns)
- 1/2″ dowel rod, 36″ long
- 1/2″ drill bit
- 1/2″ dowel cap (two needed) – for a finishing touch
Instructions to add a horizontal bar: Drill a hole 18″ from the top of the mailing tube, paint the dowel rod. Once dry, force through the drilled hole in the mailing tube. Place a 1/2 inch dowel cap on each end of the dowel rod and paint a color of your choice, we are choosing gold.
Create the X Support Stand
- 2″ x 6″ pine boards cut into three pieces as follows: (One 19″ long. // Two 7″ long)
- 3.25″ hole saw
- Kreg Jig
Stand instructions: Cut a 2 inch by 6 inch board into 3 pieces, one 19″ long and two 7″ long boards. In the 19″ board, use a 3.25″ hole saw attach to drill. Drill a 3.25″ hole in center of 19″ board. This is your “stand” for your post. To make the “X” see diagram: Measured 9″ in from the right and left side of board. Use Kreg Jig to put pocket holes in one end of each of the 7″ pieces. Then attached both 7″ pieces to the 19″ piece using long screws. Paint black when finished!
Almost 7.5 feet tall at $11.75 each
The approximate materials cost to make 15 finished street lamps was $175. Hopefully we can reuse these for future dances and events for the kids. More “masquerade” decor is in the works, including paper pom poms, and if we have time will will build brick facades and pretty buildings to line the hallways. We also need to decorate the entire school gym so I’ll post photos after each event and include all the finishing touches.
We have lots of projects still in the works. While this post isn’t sponsored, I will be partnering with a well-known party supply company soon. Stop back for some more great ideas to decorate kids’ schools and large venues!