I know that many of you love fairy lights at any time of year, just like I do. We’ve hung them in our bedrooms, and we’ve used them in blog posts. Yes, twinkling LED lights make rooms look pretty and they put a smile on my face every time I see them. So why is leaving Christmas lights up all year long considered tacky and unrefined? I’d like to argue that it’s no longer taboo to have fairy lights up during the year, and if A Beautiful Mess are doing it (below), then why can’t I?? Okay, maybe those garish multi-coloured strands of flashing lights might best be left for the Yuletide season, but you can use strands of one or two colours at any time of year for a budget-friendly way to add a little fun or elegance to just about any room or party. Let’s take a look at four unique ways to use Christmas lights…
Turn your outdoor space into a night-time wonderland
Wrap twinkle lights around tree trunks, branches, bushes, archways, and other outdoor structures to turn a dark night into a gleaming fairyland. Stretch them across outdoor buildings, fences and patio to create a welcoming party zone for summer get-togethers. Use all-white lights to add an elegant touch to outdoor parties, which looks especially classy for weddings. Or spice things up with a mix of reds, greens, blues, and yellows to create a carnival atmosphere for casual occasions, such as BBQs or cocktail parties. The indirect lighting creates a subtle ambience that encourages your guests to linger outdoors for longer while providing just enough light to make sure that they don’t stumble as they walk along dim pathways.
Turn a plain jar into a lamp
Fill a jar, bottle, or any other clear non-flammable container with Christmas lights to turn it into a lovely accent piece that adds romance to rooms and illuminates any shadowy corner. This quick project looks expensive, but no one has to know that all it took was a few pounds’ worth of battery-operated Christmas lights, a plain Kilner jar (or even empty jam jars in my case above!) and about five minutes of your time. It’s a cute addition to bedrooms all year round, and provides just enough illumination for that winding-down period as you climb into bed. Plus, they remind me of the jars of dreams in Roald Dahl’s The BFG (which will be in cinemas soon, how exciting!). Check out my DIY fairy jars project here.
Image via Flickr by PhotoCo.
Transform a vase of bare twigs
Craft stores and floral shops charge a premium for pre-lit pieces like this one, but you can use spare Christmas lights to create the same effect for mere pennies, especially if you already have a large vase to hand. You don’t need to run out and buy bare branches; simply borrow from Mother Nature by using what’s available in your own garden or fallen twigs from nearby woods. When you’re done, you’ll end up with a year-round ‘Christmas tree’ that you’ll be proud to display without being thought of as ‘Christmas crazy’!
Decorate your ride
If you go all out in celebrating each Christmas, don’t forget about your transport – how cool is this bike? I think it would look great parked in my garden all year round. Some people go a step further in December and decorate their cards. Techies will suggest that you add an inverter to power your lights from your vehicle’s 12-volt battery, but why go to all that trouble when you can get lights from Christmas Lights Etc in practically any colour that can run for hours off a few AA batteries? Don’t forget, however, that in some places, it’s illegal to drive a car with unapproved lights in operation on the outside of the vehicle, especially if they’re blue or red, so perhaps this is one project that you’ll have to keep on your driveway and for December only!
With ideas like these, there’s no reason to let your Christmas lights gather dust from New Years to Advent. Thanks very much to Christmas Lights Etc for sending me this guest post full of interesting ideas. If you’re inspired, stock up on twinkle lights at this time of year when they’re likely to be found in clearance sales and a save a few pounds at the same time! What will you make? Leave me a comment below and let me know.