Spoiler Alert! DIY Curtain Lights are Easier Than You Think!

DIY Curtain Lights using LED Mini String Lights
LED Mini String Light Curtains
DIY Curtain Lights Made with Patio String Lights!
Globe String Light Curtains

If your mind isn't already racing with all the possibilities for where and how you can have your own shimmering wall of string lights, we have a few ideas we want to share!

Where to Hang DIY Curtain String Lights

  • Bedroom
  • Entryways or Doorways
  • Arches
  • Gazebos
  • Weddings & Social Events
  • Baby Shower (blue lights for boy, pink for girl!)

Ready to start on your DIY curtain lights journey? Our adventure begins with the key to perfect curtain lights: symmetry. To achieve symmetry, we'll create a power source to plug all those lights in across one straight line.

How to Make DIY Curtain Lights


DIY Light String Supplies
(optional for custom light curtains)

*SPT1 & SPT2 indicate insulation rating. Always select zip plugs to match the insulation for your wire. For example, if your wire is rated SPT2, then your zip plugs should also be rated SPT2. Click here for more on wire insulation.

Make a Curtain Light Power Source Using Zip cord Wire & Inline Zip Plugs

Install Your Power Source

  1. Attach your power source to your hanging surface. The awning we used had a sturdy metal bar running the length of it, so we secured our wire to the bar using zip ties. If the area you are hanging your DIY curtain lights does not already have a natural support for your wire, consider cutting a piece of wood to the length you need or find a metal bar to provide support for the weight of your wire, plugs and hanging string lights.

  2. Plug in your light strings! It's time to choose your adventure; will you use standard string lights or will you make your own? In one version of our project we used 8 foot long strings of LED lights. However, if you'd like to use larger bulbs or customize your curtain light colors, you can create your own light strings by cutting existing strings to the exact length you need and adding plugs to the ends. Click here or scroll down to find out how we made our own DIY string lights with globe patio bulbs.

LED Mini Light Curtains

DIY String Light Curtains

Create Custom DIY Light Strings

So you decided to continue your journey with a custom light design in mind? Welcome! Before we dive right into this, there are a few helpful hints you should know about light strings and zip plugs.

Light strings and spools can be found in lengths ranging from 15'-1000' and can be cut to custom lengths. For our project we needed 7 light strings measuring 8 feet long. We selected two 50 foot SPT2 light strings with 6 inch spacing between each socket. Each 50 foot light string could be cut into six 8 foot pieces, which was more than enough, but it's always good to have a little extra just in case! We chose 6 inch socket spacing because we planned to use small G30 globe lights, however if you are using larger G50 or C9 bulbs, 12 inch spacing may be preferred.

When choosing your light strings, you may notice they are identified by a series of numbers and letters: SPT1 or SPT2. This notation refers to wire insulation which is an important consideration, especially when planning longer term lighting installations. SPT1 wire is the standard for moderate to normal light usage, while thicker SPT2 wire insulation supports higher wattage bulbs and provides better protection against the elements, particularly in regions with extreme weather patterns and temperatures.

For this project, wire insulation is also important because you will need to match the insulation of your zip plugs to the insulation of your wire. Our light strings were created using SPT2 wire, so we made sure to use SPT2 rated male and female zip plugs as well. If you choose not to place a female zip plug at the end of your wire, you will need to securely wrap the end with electrical tape and make sure no wires are exposed.

In addition to light strings, light bulbs, zip plugs and electrical tape, you will also need something very sharp to cut the wire, we found that wire cutters work best.

How to Make DIY String Lights

  1. Measure and cut your wire to match the vertical length needed for your curtains. Leave enough wire on the ends to attach your zip plugs. We cut our 50 foot strings into six 8 foot sections, each section had 16 sockets.

  2. Install a male zip plug on one end of the wire. Click here or scroll down for complete instructions on how to install a zip plug.

  3. Install a female end plug to the opposite end of the wire following the same steps you used for the male plug or wrap the exposed end securely with electrical tape.

  4. After you've installed your zip plugs and wrapped any exposed ends, insert a bulb into one of the sockets and plug the male zip plug into a nearby outlet to check that your wire is working. Then unplug the wire, unscrew your bulb and repeat the steps above to create your remaining light strings.

Zip Plug Installation Guides

How to Attach Male & Female End Plugs

  1. Slide the backing off of your zip plug, note that it will only slide on and off one way.
  2. Look inside your zip plug and locate the two "vampire teeth" set down into the channel that runs along the length of the plug. These teeth pierce the cord when the plug is assembled to connect to electric current. Note that these teeth are not aligned. One of them is connected to the wide prong or receptacle; the other to the narrow.
  3. Next, take a close look at your electrical cord. You may notice that it's actually two wires side by side. One wire has a slightly raised "rib" along its edge (you may have to feel for it). This is the neutral wire which maintains polarization of the electrical current. The ribbed edge, or neutral wire will connect to the wide prong or receptacle we took note of in the step above.
  4. Using wire cutters or a sharp knife, gently split the end of your zip cord to separate the two wires, pulling them apart to a length of a quarter- to a half-inch.
  5. Align the ribbed wire with the vampire tooth that's connected to the wide blade or receptacle of your plug, press the end of the electrical cord down into the well that runs along the closed end of the plug. Note that the plastic divider down in the well should separate the split ends of your electrical cord.
  6. Now bend the electrical cord over and lay it into the channel that runs the length of your plug. The electrical cord will lay across the vampire teeth and may need to be gently pressed into the channel.
  7. Slide the backing onto the plug again. You may need to use some pressure or pliers to make it close completely. As you slide the backing on, it will press the electrical cord firmly onto the vampire teeth, securing the connection.

Click here to jump back to creating a Curtain Lights Power Source.

Click here to jump back to creating DIY String Lights.

How to Attach InLine Zip Plugs

  1. Slide the backing off of your inline plug.
  2. Inside the plug you will see two metal prongs or "vampire teeth." Note their orientation to the polarized receptacles of the plug. Correct polarization must be maintained with inline zip plugs same as with male and female.
  3. Align the ribbed wire with the vampire tooth that's connected to the wide receptacle of the plug and lay the electrical cord into the plug.
  4. Slide the backing onto the plug again. Note how the inline zip plug's special design allows the electrical cord to pass through the back and come out both ends.

Click here to jump back to creating a Curtain Lights Power Source.

If you're reading this, that means you've reached the end of this adventure and should be feeling pretty accomplished and impressed by all you've learned and created. Now that we've taken this journey through creating DIY curtain lights together, we would love to see your finished work! Send us your curtain lights photos in the comments or tag us on Instagram or Facebook, and if you really liked this post, share it with your friends too!

You May Also LIke