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Rope lights for a special occasion

Party lighting is expensive to buy - or hire - and this simple project by Michelle of Pocketful of Dreams shows how easy it is to make your own decorative twine lighting for a wedding, party of special occasions using twine and balloons. The finished result is stunning and would look gorgeous at any event.


I’ve seen twine balls used for all sorts of purposes, from chandeliers to pretty table decor, so I thought I’d have a go at making a light garland using this idea. I wanted something that would create a really pretty lighting effect, but I also wanted the string to have quite a strong and vibrant colour. So I chose to use coloured twine, alternating between pink and purple twine balls. But what I actually found was that the glue and cornflour mixture tended to make the colour look a little dulled and whitewashed, it still looked pretty and works really well if you have more of a muted colour-scheme, however this is not the look I was going for.

So to create the vibrancy I wanted I sprayed my twine balls with spray paint once they had dried, this gave them a really lovely sheen as well as the strong colour I wanted - worth noting if you want strong as opposed to muted colours. And of course if you are spraying yours you can use any twine, you don’t need to go to the expense of sourcing pretty coloured ones.


Twine ~ Either plain or in colours of your choosing

PVA Glue ~ About 1/2 litre


Warm water


Marker pen


Old tray for the glue mixture

A broom or long piece of wood to hand the balloons from

Twinkly light garland to attach the twine-balls to

Fishing wire





First of all blow-up the balloons, - one for each twine-ball you want to make - and draw a circle around the top using your marker so you know where to wrap your twine up to, then smear the balloons with a thin coating of vaseline, this will stop your twine from sticking to the balloons.

Next, I tied a piece of string to the ends of each balloon and then around an old piece of wood which I had balanced across the backs of two chairs outdoors. This allowed me to work quite easily with the hanging balloons. Make sure you have something underneath, like plastic sheeting or bin bags to catch all the drips.

To make your glue mixture, take an old tray (I used a disposable roasting tin so I could just throw it away afterwards) and mix up PVA glue, a few tablespoons of cornstarch and warm water. You want the mixture to be smooth, not too runny, and make sure there’s lots of it as twine is quite absorbent.

This is the really messy part. Take the twine and dip it into the glue mixture, running it through so it is entirely soaked, then begin wrapping it around the balloon, both vertically and horizontally until you get the desired effect. I wanted mine to have quite a lot of twine so did this a few times. When you have finished snip off the end of the twine and tuck it underneath another piece so it doesn’t stick out. Do the same for all the balloons.

Leave to dry overnight, you will find that your twine balls have now gone hard, if they haven’t then just leave them a little longer until they are fully set. All the balloons on mine began to pop as they dried, but if they haven’t give them a nudge and pop them then remove the balloons.

Use Rust-Oleum 2X spray paint to paint the twine balls into your desired colours and attach to your light garland. I used fishing wire which is clear to attach mine. Hang with more fishing wire.