String lights are beautiful — far too beautiful to use for just one month out of the year. This is why we’re always looking for new ways to use Christmas string lights outside of the holiday season. Check out these quick and easy uses for your string lights that can be used all year long.
Use these two techniques to either give a boring lamp a little extra flair or, if you don’t have a desk lamp, build one. Add some pizzazz to a humdrum lamp by wrapping the outside of the shade with your string lights. A paper clip, or something similar, should be used at the top and bottom of the shade to help hold the wire in place. Run the cord down the lamp and plug it in. Creating a new lamp is just as simple. Take a transparent or translucent container, depending on how bright you want your light, and stuff your string lights inside. Battery operated LED mini lights are the best choice for this method since you won’t have to worry about where an outlet is, and the LEDs don’t emit as much heat as incandescents meaning they’ll last longer. This method has recently gained popularity by using mason jars strung up outside.
Just like the desk lamp ideas, you can use string lights in addition to an existing headboard or to create your own (which will take a little more work). If you already have a headboard and just want some extra light, try wrapping lights around the bars or slats of the headboard. To create a new headboard, you’ll need a curtain rod, shear curtains, your string lights, and mounting hooks. Hang the curtain rod first so you’ll know the area where the string lights should be. Use the hooks to string up the lights in the pattern you desire and then add the curtains.
If you’ve got a hula hoop and some leftover ribbon to go along with your string lights, you could have yourself a chandelier perfect for patios, gazebos, and other outdoor hangout spots. Use the ribbon to cover the hula hoop completely by wrapping it using some super glue or hot glue to secure it. Tie some of the ribbon ends on opposite ends of the hoop to make a mount like the spokes of a wagon wheel. Then, just wrap your string lights around the hoop. Icicle lights are a good choice for this project. A simple c-hook should be all you need to hang your new chandelier.
This method is a unique way to show off family photos or artwork. Tack your string light to the wall in any pattern (a zigzag pattern is particularly popular) using push pins. Be sure not to push the tacks through the wire. Use clothes pins to hang your pictures.
Twinkle Light Ceiling
Add some magic to any room with a twinkle light ceiling. Using light clips with an adhesive backing to mount several strands of lights to the ceiling. The amount of strands needed will depend on the size of the room, the maximum run of the light strings, and how bright you want your ceiling. This installation will likely take up the most time and effort of all projects, so pick a place you can get the most of it like the bedroom or a patio. If installing outside, be sure your string lights are rated for outdoor use.
These five uses aren’t the only ways to use Christmas lights outside the holiday season. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Your only limitation is your imagination.