New Ways to Use Old Lights when Decorating for Christmas
If you find yourself with more lights than your Christmas tree or the outside of your home can handle, use some of these decorating tips to breathe new life into old lights.
Safety should always be a consideration when using old lights. Never use lights that are designed for strictly indoor usage as part of your outdoor decorations. You should also test how much heat radiates from the bulbs before using them in close proximity to flammable surfaces. Although most modern lights give off minimal heat, this is not always the case with older strings of lights, especially if the bulbs are large. You should also carefully examine the cord, sockets and bulbs of an old string of lights before using them to make sure they are in good condition. Once you’ve determined your old lights are safe to use, the fun can begin.
Not Just for Christmas Trees
Miniature “twinkle lights” have long been popular for decorating indoor Christmas trees. However, these light strings also work quite well for decorating indoor trees and large house plants. Simply wrap the light string loosely around the trunk or stem, taking care not to damage the plant. Then, continue to drape the light string through the branches to add a twinkling look. If you use clear white bulbs, you might just like the visual effect enough to leave them in place all year long.
Create a Sparkling Wreath
Although small battery-powered strings of lights have become increasingly popular for decorating wreaths, you might find that a short string of electric lights can work just as well in some cases. For example, if you plan to hang a wreath over a mantel, you might already have an electrical outlet in close proximity. If this is the case, you may find using electric Christmas lights to be more convenient and economical than battery powered lights. If you do need to use an extension cord, always make sure to keep it safely positioned to avoid potential accidents. Short strings of specialty lights, such as those which have decorative globes, often work especially well for wreaths.
If you have a staircase with a railing in your home, use your extra strings of lights to decorate it. As long as you have a safely accessible outlet nearby, you can simply wind the string of lights up the railing to add sparkle and color. Accentuate the look by also wrapping the railing with evergreen swags, ribbon or garland.
Christmas Tree Wall Art
If you’re looking for a fun and funky way to decorate for the holidays, use your old light strings to create an outline of a Christmas tree directly on your wall. To make attaching the lights easily, cut a large Christmas tree shape out of cardboard and paint it green. Then, cut small slits at regular intervals around the outside edges of the cutout. Attach the light strings to the cardboard, securing the cords in the slits to hold in place. Hang on the wall, plug in and enjoy.
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