7 Ways to Transform String Lights from Holiday to Every Day

When it's time to take down the tree this year, you might want to hold off on packing up the holiday lights. With a bit of effort and a dose of inspiration, you can dress up ordinary string lights so they can stay out to play long after the season's over. Here are 7 clever ideas for using surprising items like upcycled party hats and lots of Ping-Pong balls to turn your Christmas lights into year-round decor.

  1. Lights Over Paris

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    DIY Outdoor Lighting

    These festive outdoor lights bring home the look of French bistro lights—without the overseas shipping charges. Achieve this soft lighting on your own by brushing the bulbs with Mod Podge before wrapping them with dyed squares of cheesecloth. BuzzFeed Life has the tutorial.

    buzzfeed.com

  2. Natural Glow

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    DIY Light Shade

    They may look like something out of a catalog, but you can make these jute-wrapped light shades yourself with just a few supplies—they're actually small (Dixie-size) plastic cups dressed up in jute twine. Make a small X in the base of each cup for the light to pop through neatly. Visit Ella Claire Inspired to see how.

    ellaclaireinspired.com

  3. Cups of Cheer

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    Cup Light

    Here's another bright idea that relies on disposable drinking cups. Simply wrap each light in a medium-weight paper, using a flattened Dixie cup as your template. By changing up the color of the paper, you can make a set of these for any occasion—from a baby shower to Halloween. Hey Gorg has the details.

    heygorg.com

  4. At the Drop of a Hat

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    DIY String Lights

    Ever wonder what to do with birthday hats after the party's over? Upcycle them by creating a unique set of colorful string lights. Snip off the tip of each hat to fit the bulbs in place, then use a thumbtack to poke tiny holes for the light to shine through, as Crème de la Craft shows.

    cremedelacraft.com

  5. Rattan Radiance

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    DIY Patio Lighting

    Want a beautiful set of custom patio lights that you can make using no tools whatsoever? This quick project uses only a string of lights and rattan balls, which can often be found by the bag at the dollar store. Just weave the cord through the openings in these rustic spheres, and the lights should hang on all by themselves.

    craftybutt.blog spot.com

  6. Your Serve

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    Ping Pong Ball Lights

    Transform a strand of colored LED lights with nothing more than a bag of Ping-Pong balls. The only prep work needed is a small cut along the seam of each ball, providing an entry point for the bulb. Depending on the time of day, your new café lights will emit both soothing pastels and vivid primary hues.

    sayyes.com

  7. Geometric String Lights

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    Geometric Lights

    Bedazzle your lights with folded paper gems like these from Hello Hydrangea, where you'll find a template for festive cut-and-fold 3-D diamonds that wrap around each bulb. Attach a crepe paper streamer fringe to one of the facets to really amp up the set's party vibe. 

    hellohydrangea.com

  8. For More...

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