Recycled Crafts: Make a Nightlight out of a Crystal Light Container

I don’t know why I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for Crystal Light containers. They are sturdy, tall, slender, and I’ve been wanting to turn them into a useful craft for a very, very long time. Some ideas have failed. But this weekend I triumphed and turned the Crystal Light container into a durn purty nightlight that you can decorate with decoupage in an infinite number of ways!

As you can tell, this week I’ve been on a recycled crafts kick for Earth Day. But what’s really happening is that I’m relapsing into my terrible pack rat ways as suddenly I am having a hard time throwing anything out at all! I suppose the earth shall thank me someday for this, but my husband isn’t thanking me. *grin*

And is anyone else appreciating the irony of making a nightlight out of a Crystal Light container? I know, I should have quit while I was ahead.

Recycled Nightlight Craft

Recycled Nightlight Craft

What You Need to Make a Recycled Night Light Craft

Recycled Night Light craft Materials

Recycled Night Light craft Materials

  • An empty Crystal Light container
  • A night light from your local Dollar Store (the real cheap kind shown below)
  • A plastic covered large paper clip
  • Mod Podge or other glue for decoupage
  • Paper or fabric to decoupage the plastic Crystal Light container
  • A paint brush for the glue
  • Ribbon trim (about 30″ inches)
  • Wire cutters
  • Razor blade to cut the container
  • A small ruler or other straight edge
  • A medium sized nail and a hammer to poke two holes in the plastic
  • Glue gun

How to Make This Night Light Recycled Craft

Cut the Crystal Light Container with a Razor Blade

Cut the Crystal Light Container with a Razor Blade

First you need to cut up your Crystal Light (or Wyler’s Light, to be PC about it all) container. In this photo, I was using the tall Wyler’s Light container, or this would also be the same size as the extra large Crystal Light packages (with 6 tubs, not 4).

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First I held the ruler straight edge to the side of the container and carefully scored the plastic to slice the container open from top to bottom. I then was able to cut through the container easily (but carefully, because it’s easy to slip on a curved surface). I repeated this step so that I cut out about a one-inch piece from the side of the container. Then I was able to lay the plastic flat on a carboard surface and cut the container into two even pieces, as shown above. If I messed up at all, it was easy to clean up my edges with sturdy kitchen scissors.

Poke Holes in the Plastic with a Nail

Poke Holes in the Plastic with a Nail

Next I poked two small holes into the bottom corners of the plastic with a hammer and nail. I recommend using a larger nail than the one shown above, because I ended up needing to find a screw to twist into the holes to make them a little larger. You need them to be large enough to stick the end of the paper clip through them.

Decoupage with Recycled Tissue Paper

Decoupage with Recycled Tissue Paper

After you have poked the holes into the corners, now is the time to decoupage the plastic however you like. I used tissue paper circles to coordinate with the ribbon in my example at the top. My daughter took the leftover tissue packing paper we get at the dollar store when we buy fragile items, and we used a circle hole puncher to cut out and decoupage her night light.

You probably don’t want to use paper from a book or magazine, unless you are happy with the reverse side showing through. Because when the night light is turned on, it really glows through the paper.

Quick decorating tip – you can also use fabric that coordinates with your child’s room decor!

Attaching the Paper Clip Attach the paper clip around the night light Glue the paper clip ends with a glue gun to secure it in place

Now you want to unbend a paperclip and wrap it around the base of the night light. Be sure you’re doing this with plastic wrapped wire and around the groove of the night light at the base (made for sliding the plastic cover onto the light). Higher end night lights aren’t nearly as easy to use, as they don’t have this handy groove to hold your wire.

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Twist the paper clip around the base with your fingers or with the wire cutters, and then use the wire cutters to make two “L” shaped bends in the paper clip as shown in the second photo. Slip the ends of the paper clip through your holes.

Lastly, you will need to lay a line of glue from your hot glue gun underneath the wires and glue the ends of the paper clip to the back side of the decoupaged container. If you don’t do this, the cover will flop all over the place.

Cover the back edges of the plastic container first
If you need to have a raw edge of ribbon, dab some glue and fold it over to give a clean edge Glue the ribbon around the top and bottom edges

Now you want to cover the edges of your plastic cover with ribbon to hide the wire and make the edges look polished. Start at the back and cover the back two ends with ribbon first, and add enough glue from the hot glue gun around the paper clip to cover it up too.

To put ribbon across the top and bottm, fold over the edge just a bit and glue it in place to give the corners a clean look (like in the inset in the second image above). Then simply glue the ribbon onto the top and bottom edges with the glue gun.

And viola! You  are done! Start to finish the craft takes about 30-45 minutes, not including drying time for the decoupage.

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About the author

Founder and CEO of Woo! Jr. Kids Activities, Wendy loves creating crafts, activities and printables that help teachers educate and give parents creative ways to spend time with their children.

View all articles by Wendy Piersall


  1. Tina

    OMG… I was so excited to fined something to make with these Crystal Light Containers. My mom has saved so many of them and she wants to make something. Now we have to try this!!

  2. Toddler Crafts Onna

    What a great idea! They came out so beautiful too! We will definitely have to try this out. I love recycled crafts. There’s nothing better then having craft materials already in your home to put to use and being earth friendly at the same time.

  3. Pingback: Friday Finds | kiddio | kids. craft. life.

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