This paper garland takes a festive twist on an old favorite by creating cone shaped pennants attached to a strand of cafe lights. Strung in the trees or over outdoor tables, this is a wonderful way to light up an evening wedding. In this sample I chose to write out a couple’s names (“EVA & JACK”) but feel free to punch any wording or design that you like. Click “more” below to see the rest of the project.

RIFLE design




1. cafe string lights; 2. scissors (plus X-Acto knife if you have one); 3. glue (heavy duty); 4. craft paper (at least 14″x14″); 5. screw punch; 6. ruler; 7. pencil and eraser
Additional items: bone folder (for scoring folds), tape

Begin by printing out the template for the shape of the pennant. The template prints on two sheets of 8.5″x11″ paper so trim off the margin on one side, line up the edges and tape the two sheets together on both sides before cutting out the shape. This template will also serve as a guide for where make your fold creases (the dotted lines).


Trace the shape onto your desired paper and cut out. Next, refer to the template and use a bone folder to make your creases along the dotted line (try using a letter opener if you don’t have this tool). Fold the main creases so that you see the triangles form. This will help you find where to draw your design or letter on the other side before punching it out.

Turn the pennant over and draw your desired design or letter with pencil and then punch it out along the lines with a screw punch. Also, cut the slits in the top triangle of the pennant (guide shown on template).This is how you’ll pop the cafe light into the pennant.


Fold in the tabs, and working one at a time, apply glue and and attach to the opposite sides (note: if you don’t have good glue this stage will be very frustrating). Hold each side together until the glue sets.

Once the glue is dry gently pop the cafe bulb into the top of the pennant.


Online Resources:

String Lights
local Target or Party Lights

Martha Stewart 18″x18″ craft paper

Paper Source 26″x20″ cover paper


cost: about $40 (for lights and paper as shown)
time: about 5-10 minutes per pennant

Project created by Anna Bond of RIFLE design


Comments (28)

Elissa | Reply

I’m throwing a barbecue at my house this weekend and I was wanting something to hang around my terrace but really wasnt feeling paper lanterns or bunting banner. These are fabulous though. Perfect timing!!!

chelsea | Reply

Absolutely darling! Way to go, Anna!

Danielle | Reply

Probably the cutest garland I’ve ever seen.

Kiersten | Reply

SO adorable!! This is perfect for the rooftop BBQs we throw. Can’t wait for more of your DIY projects.. keep ’em coming!

Tori | Reply

These are so cute!! I want to have a summer party just so I can have an excuse to make them. July souds promising for a party. Thanks for this, I really love the idea!

Lacey | Reply

I love the DIY projects for outdoor weddings. Any great ideas on making streamers in trees? I’ve seen this a lot recently but didn’t have a good idea on how to make it look so chic?
Love your projects!

Dana | Reply

This is such a great idea for any type of celebration. I am saving this project in my inspiration folder for my next party.

The Perfect Palette | Reply

we love this! the colors are great too!

ginnybranch stelling | Reply

oh my gawd!!! i want to do this for the fourth of july! if only i wasn’t moving!!

Maria Elyse | Reply

Yes!! This is what I’ve been looking for!! My wedding is in a couple months, and I’ve been desperately searching for just the right lighting option.

Where would you suggest I try and buy these cafe lights?? I’m having trouble with that. :)

bridal expert | Reply

The wedding preparation looks great. You can actually do this even on other occasions. Great post and photos.

Jess | Reply

This might be a weird question, but what is the typeface that says “lighted paper pennant garland”?

Kirsten | Reply

These are so beautiful! And easy to make! I’m going to put them on my DIY list for my wedding!

kirstin | Reply

I love these! we’re throwing a party later this month that this will be perfect for… I’ll be linking!

the daily smudge | Reply

These are so beautiful. Would make fantastic presents too… can’t wait for an opportunity to make them!

cindy | Reply

I love them! They’ll be perfect for a shower I’m hosting. Thanks! :)

Trish | Reply

Gorgeous! I absolutely love these! Looking forward to making them when I have a really good reason/opportunity :)

Mo | Reply

Another amazing idea. Really really beautiful. Thank you!

Pauline | Reply

Do they have to be cafe lights?
Will Christmas lights work???

Holly | Reply

We have a big party every year and I’ve been looking for something just like this! Last year I spent a week hand punching designs into tin cans then filling with tea lights and hanging from trees. This year they are all rusty :(

Your lanterns will be perfect – great project!

n | Reply

this is FABULOUS! :D

Natalie | Reply

My entire extended family is heading to Lake Tahoe in a couple of weeks to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday – these pennants are perfect for the occasion: gender-neutral, festive, and perfect for an outdoor celebration. I’m going to shop for paper tomorrow – thank you!!!

Lenetta @ Nettacow | Reply

So cute! I linked to this on my weekly roundup, post is under my name. Thanks!

nicole | Reply

i made these for an outdoor graduation party and they are absolutely perfect and easy to make! i can’t wait until the day so i can show them off! thanks for the great idea :)

Maria Kutskova | Reply

I made these for a baby shower and they turned out super cute. I had it say “Oh Baby” and the mom is going to use it in the nursery afterward. The one trick I learned along the way is to punch your holes symmetrically. If that makes sense. So if you are doing a square shape do all four corners, then in the center of the line, then in between those holes, and so on until you get the desired space in between holes. Otherwise my holes were too close together and then too far apart. Thanks for the great idea!

Wedding Lighting | Reply

Excellent idea! Perfect step by step instructions, very helpful. LEDS might work well too, they don’t burn out. Might be good for a longer term installation.

JoyHey | Reply

Beautiful and so creative. Loving the idea! Added this in my inspirational blog post: http://blog.joyhey.com/2011/12/07/inspiration-pretty-paper-garlands/ :)