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Heart String Lights – Make Your Own For Valentine’s

Brighten your home with these easy DIY heart string lights.

One of the things I don’t like about living in the UK is the gloomy, grey winter days. To brighten up my home, I made some fun heart string lights to go with the neon string heart decoration I made.
When I was eight years old, I discovered Shrink plastic. I thought it was a fantastic craft and made endless key chains, badges, and bracelets from the stuff. I even experimented with shrinking everyday plastic packaging into fun trinkets.
This used to be great fun with the old-style crisp packets, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work with the new foil packets.

DIY Shrink Plastic Colourful Heart-Shaped Lights

Even many decades later, I still haven’t grown out of my love of crafting with shrink plastic. I have used it recently to make some fun luggage tag pins for a travel-themed map magnetic board. I’ve also used them to make some Christmas illuminated garlands.

Keeping with this theme, I used shrink plastic to make colourful heart shapes for these Valentine’s string light decorations.
This craft is also a great way to find a good use for the copper string lights, you have leftover from your Christmas decorations.

What you need to make heart string lights

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What you need to make heart string lights.

How to make heart string lights.

Step 1: First, place the heart-shaped cookie cutter onto a sheet of shrink plastic and draw around it. Then cut out the heart shape.

Cut out as many heart shapes as you want on the string of heart lights.

Drawing around heart cookie cutter

Cut out heart of shrink plastic

Step 2: Next, colour your hearts using sharpies in various pinks, reds, and oranges.

For these string lights, I just went for a simple striped design. However, if you want to be more creative decorate your hearts with different designs. You might want to check out my embroidered hearts for more ideas for heart designs and patterns.

colouring in heart shrink plastic

Step 3: Next, place the heart shapes on an oven tray and shrink them according to the instructions with your shrink plastic. Mine was at 150c for about 3 mins.

The plastic, as it heats, will curl and then uncurl as it shrinks to about 1/3 of its original size and becomes 6-9 times thicker.

shrink plastic hearts in the oven

Step 4: Using a glue gun, glue the plastic hearts to the copper wire lights. I twisted the copper wire, so three lights were stuck to the back of each heart.

Gluing copper wire lights to the back of plastic hearts

Step 5: Continue sticking the heart shapes to the copper wire until they are all stuck down. There were about 20 plastic hearts on my string of lights.

heart string lights made from shrink plastic and sharpies for Valentines day.
heart string lights made from shrink plastic

Now all you need to do is decide where to hang the string heart lights and plug them in.

Brighten up your home for Valentine's day with these DIY heart string lights.  Made with shrink plastic and sharpies.  #sharpiescraft #valentinescraft #valentinesday #valentinesdecor #stringlights.

These lights make for a lovely, fun Valentine’s decoration. However, you could use different-shaped cookie cutters to make other-shaped string lights.

Also, some plastic packaging can be shrunk like the shrink plastic sheets, so you might want to play around with some of your plastic waste and use that instead for a more eco-friendly craft. I have a great tutorial on how to make shrink plastic earrings and many more Shrinky dink ideas.
If you like Valentine’s light decorations, you may want to check out the ones I made from actual string last year. I have many more Valentine’s crafts on the site, many of which are upcycled that you should check out. These include more illuminated ones, such as the upcycled Valentine bottle lights.

Vicki Slater

Friday 9th of February 2018

I don't know how to receive your blog or follow you, but I want to! Please add me! I love everything I've seen of yours (map board & pins, Valentine decor & more). Love, love, love!

Claire Armstrong

Friday 9th of February 2018

Thank you, Vicki, that is lovely to hear. You should get an email asking if you want to subscribe. If you are on Instagram you can follow me there too, @pillarboxblue.

Top 10 Best DIY Valentine Decorations ~ Bluesky at Home

Wednesday 31st of January 2018

[…] I love battery operated lights and I have a few strands of the copper wire lights she used. These Valentine string lights would be so cute in several places ~ a clear vase or wrapped around a branch ~ Valentine’s […]

Scraptastic Saturday Linky Party 173

Saturday 27th of January 2018

[…] […]

Lynda Hardy

Friday 26th of January 2018

What a brilliant idea! I love a good excuse to play with shrinkies!

Claire Armstrong

Friday 26th of January 2018

Thank you, enjoy the shrinking ?


Friday 26th of January 2018

I lurve shrink plastic, but haven't used it for ages. This is such a pretty idea. I too have fond memories of shrinking crisp packets, I seem to remember a particularly fetching Quaker brooch I made myself!

Claire Armstrong

Friday 26th of January 2018

Thank you. I grew up in Hong Kong where the crisp packets we had were Australian so I used to make Twisties brooches.