8 Clever Ways To Decorate With Christmas Lights

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String lights are delightful additions to holiday decor every December, but there are so many uses for these twinkly dots of cheer even when we’re not days away from Santa’s arrival. String lights can add a dose of warmth and joy to any room, year-round, if you apply a little creativity.

For inspiration, here are eight simple ways to transform inexpensive string lights into a non-holiday decorative treat.

1. Make A Photo Wall

This idea brings some magic to an ordinary photo display. While you can purchase strings of light-up clips on Amazon and hang photos from the clips, the same effect is easy to achieve with a few strands of lights, some clothespins and nails for securing the lights.

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2. Wrap Around A Rustic Ladder

An old, wooden ladder can be a beautiful decor piece, and can be used for storing blankets or magazines. Add a cozy touch by wrapping a string of lights around the ladder.

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3. Cupcake Liner Lights

We love this idea! Using everyday cupcake liners, poke holiday lights through the center and hang. Use metal silver liners for a more modern aesthetic or colored ones for a softer look. Colorful paper wrappers would add some whimsy to your summer garden. Check out how blogger Kelly Elko crafted this look in her Facebook post:

4. Enchanting Domes

Turn an empty glass dome or globe into a warm, golden light source and place it next to your record player, books or vintage knickknacks for an old-fashioned vibe. Add some twigs, acorns, moss or other earthly elements to the dome for a sort of indoor fairy garden effect.

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5. Welcome Guests With Light

Up-cycle old beer or wine bottles by removing the labels and stuffing string lights inside them. Place in windows or on shelves for a safer alternative to lit candles.

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6. Make A Festive Fort

Create an indoor wonderland play space with some well-placed pillows, blankets, stuffed animal friends and twinkly lights.

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7. Brighten The Mantle, Table Or Bookshelf

Of course, many people dress up the fireplace and mantle with lights around the holidays, but a string of lights can lend a soft, sweet glow to a mantle, end table or shelving unit any time of year.

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8. Festive Mason Jar Lights

By now, you’ve likely seen this idea on Pinterest and elsewhere across the internet. Simply fill some mason jars with twinkly lights and create the nostalgic illusion of caught fireflies. Add in seasonal items for a festive look that changes throughout the year, like seashells in the summer and small ornaments around the holidays.

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How do you like to decorate with string lights?