You Light Up My Life!
Five easy ways to use seasonal string lights year-round
The end of the holiday season typically means that it is time to pull down string lights and put them The holiday season has come and gone for another year, and it’s time to pack up the decorations. Before you shove your lights into a box in the attic for the next 11 months, you should consider something: is it possible to use seasonal lights year-round? The answer, in short, is yes.
Seasonal lights can be used no matter the time of year, maintaining their magical radiance in your home without looking tacky. The majority of these ideas are suited to clear, softly-lit lights, but depending on your creativity, any brightly colored lights or bulbs can be used as well. (An important disclaimer—for projects with outdoor lights, make sure the strings are certified for indoor/outdoor or outdoor use. Subjecting indoor-only lights to the elements can cause a fire hazard)
Illuminate your bedroom with a soft, magical glow from a string of lights. Instead of relying on a single bulb plugged into your wall socket, drape strings of white lights around your ceiling or bed frame. These nightlights will be comforting to young children in the dark and can even be attached to a timer or motion sensor to turn off when they are sleeping.
However, nightlights are not just for kids; they can offer soft lighting alternatives for adults that are more relaxing than overbearing overhead lamps. Try wrapping the lights in tulle or mosquito nets and hanging above the bed or draping them on the headboard for a romantic mood.
Seasonal lights can be a chic addition to anyone’s outdoor venue. Bring parties outdoors under warm, intimate lighting by stringing lights above your patio, around trees, or within fencing. Draping strands over a pool will create a reflective appearance family and friends will find very attractive.
If your backyard has any secondary structures—such as a shed, chuppah, or gazebo—string lights are great for calling attention to them, as well as to your garden.
If you are a fan of rustic or vintage style, wrap string lights around an old wooden ladder or wheelbarrow for a unique, down-home look.
Accentuating wall decor
Repurpose old, unwanted decorations into up-cycled, voguish décor simply with the addition of seasonal lights. Wrap a strand of bulbs around an old mirror to make a vanity usable in any room.
Seasonal lights can also accentuate a sign or piece of art to frame it like a glowing marquee. In fact, they can be used AS art—try this fun lighted constellation project from DIY Network. It’s great for a kids room or other space.
Pick your favorite constellations—either random ones or use an actual star chart. Paint them onto a piece of black-stained plywood, drill holes for the stars, and push twinkle lights through the holes. Hang on a wall and wow all of your guests. See the full instructions here.
For something more personalized, try clipping your photographs or children’s artwork to a string of lights, held on by clothespins. String lights or fairy lights nestled among items on a shelf make a great way to highlight any special collections or groupings of photographs.
On certain occasions, typical overhead light bulbs can be excessively bright. Set the mood with simple, elegant seasonal lights. Wrap them around an old chandelier or lamp to give the appearance of normal lighting but with more subtle finesse. Mason jars and wine bottles can also be filled with light strings for portable lighting sources.
Create a path
Shed some light on a darkened path down the basement steps or through the backyard to the shed by stringing a guide of lights. This will create an illuminated path that is bright enough to avoid obstacles but subdued enough not to be blinding (to you or the neighbors). Set them on a motion sensor, and you will never need to carry a flashlight.
Ready to get started?
Now is a great time to pick up string lights at after-holiday sales! Look for LED strands for extra cost savings down the road. Don’t be afraid to get creative, and remember…every great idea starts with a lightbulb switching on, right?