DIY Light Table

how to make a light table

While my son is at school I tend to use that time for errands and it’s really not fair to my toddler so today when I saw the extra string of Christmas lights I decided we’d have some fun exploring colors. This DIY light table should not be used for long periods of time, only with a parent right there at the box and please don’t let your kids touch the light strands as they have lead, and remember to wash your hands after touching them too. We only played for about 10 minutes and that was enough time for the lights to get warm so I wouldn’t play longer than that .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a clear plastic container with lid, some wax paper, a strand of white christmas lights, scissors and tape. For the colors we used take and toss cup lids. No need to buy expensive color forms if you have something you can use at home already.
  2. Start by putting the lights on the lid, I taped them down in 2 places just so they were staionary in the box.
  3. Cut some wax paper and line the bottom so the light diffuses well.
  4. Close the lid with the cord sticking out – mine closed no problem but you could cut a notch out if you can’t close the lid with the cord out. comfortably ( you don’t want to run the risk of the cord being cut, my lid was very loose and didn’t press into the cord).
  5. Plug in and play.
  6. She LOVED it.
  7. Explore.
  8. We piled them on , identified them – I had no idea she knew so many colors, we had a blast.

Please only try activities that you feel are safe for your family, I share what we have made and done with the request that you will only make and do what your child is ready for and you can do safely.

Book About Colors For Babies

I Love Colors by Margaret Miller is one of my daughter’s favorite books. When we went to the library she started pulling the parenting books off the shelf because there are pictures of babies on the covers. The librarian was quick to notice and started finding us books with babies and this was one of the winners. We have now renewed this book twice and read it many many times a day. The book is super simple and each page shows a baby with a colored item like glasses, a hair bow etc… the photos are big and of real babies which if your toddler is like mine, makes a big difference.

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  1. says

    This is the first time I have seen this with Chrustmas lights. How inventive. I love it. I have a couple of small containers like this I got at the dollar store. Now each child can have a light box. 🙂

  2. kimberly n says

    Not all the Christmas lights have lead. We tested our 10 year old strands last year and threw them all out since they did have lead. We bought new LED lights and those tested clean.

  3. Nancy Pittman says

    I also used those push closet lights from the Dollar Tree. I have only one in my box but think next year I’ll have at least two for more light. Love the wax paper idea. As you know the bottom works really well for “table” top. Also used colored plastic pieces found at yard sale. Like your idea of lids. Thought about cutting up plastic bottles and letting kids use markers to color and then use those. Gives them ownership of box.


  1. […] Line a clear shoe box sized container with waxed paper and tuck a strand of Christmas lights inside. After you snap the top on, leave a small end of the strand and plug hanging out of the side of the box.  Plug it in and have fun! For more details on how to make this diy light box, visit No Time for Flashcards . […]

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