May 23, 2019

The Very Basics of DIY Outdoor Christmas Lights


 Lighting the Trees–

 xmas house

Probably most everyone would agree that Christmas lighting for the trees in your yard and adjacent parkway (if you have one) is a terrific idea.  But if you’ve never done this before, just how as a “newbie” do you execute this task?  Although it looks quite foolproof, as if anyone could do it, it’s helpful to have some tried and true tips.  First of all come up with a plan for what you would like the outdoor tree lights to look like.  Then if you will be decorating coniferous trees (those are the pine) select C7 and C9 Christmas light strings.  These bulbs are the old standard light bulbs that come in colors.  The C7 are the smaller ones and the C9 are the larger ones.  Unless the tree is very small, consider using the larger bulbs for a brighter tree with more visual appeal.

 For deciduous trees (those are the ones that have lost their leaves for winter), we recommend mini Christmas lights.  These are the little white Christmas lights that you’ve probably seen around on trees for years.  In fact, they are so popular they are used on many trees year round.  Among the notable establishments to use them is at New York’s Central Park eatery, Tavern on the Green. 

These little white lights lend themselves to the slender branches of this type of tree.  Yet other good choices for a deciduous tree are variations on the theme of little white lights.  Consider icicle lights, the cascading droplets of white lights.  These can also be purchased in various colors, such a green, purple, pink and blue holiday lights.  Various other icons are available in the icicle format.  We’ve seen plenty of stars and snowflakes, and sometimes even more unusual choices like candy canes, Santas and candles.


Lighting the House–

When it comes to lighting your house, any of the above mentioned bulbs can be used successfully.  In order to hang them from gutters or around eaves and windows, you might want to consider purchasing some holiday lighting clips which will make the whole process easier.

 Lighting Everything Else–Some other products you might consider trying are net lights and rope lights.  Net lights have bulbs which are attached to a net which you simply drape over a bush.  The benefit of a net is a nice uniform distribution of lights with a minimum of hassle.  Rope lights consist of a string of holiday lights encased in a plastic tube.  These work well for decorating fences, windows, stair railings and doorways.  Available in “always on” or pre-set blinking  patterns, rope lights are typically sold by the foot.  Spotlights are yet another commonly used light for Christmas decorating.  They are used to draw attention to a particular area of interest in the yard.  Trees, wreaths, doors, windows and interesting displays in the yard are often highlighted by using spots.  Another favorite of ours is to use spots for uplighting trees.  With this technique the light is placed on the ground a distance in front of the tree and pointed slightly upward. This method allows one to create a dynamic effect against the wintry, night sky.

As you plan for the holiday tap into these simply ideas and be ready with your creativity.  You’re sure to come up with some eye-popping holiday designs to spruce up the yard around your home.

Christmas Decorations–Craft Projects for Kids

Holiday Decorating With Kids in Mind

xmas decoration craft project for kidsComing up with holiday decorating ideas for kids is a well-known challenge for teachers and leaders of scout and community groups across the country.  Where can you they go to come up with unique ideas to use to help kids make their own simple Christmas decorations?  Lucky for them the internet has just about eliminated this familiar challenge.  These days the quandary is which of the multitude of holiday decorating ideas to choose.

Some of the best sites for kid-friendly Christmas decorations are, and  These sites offer some quick, simple and inexpensive ideas that teachers can use to help kids come up with holiday decorating projects to take home to the family.

Holiday Decorating and Crafting Supplies

Some of the best places to get supplies for these projects for kids are your local craft shops or the craft departments of your local discount store.  We found supplies for Christmas decorations as early as July in craft stores such as Hobby Lobby, Michaels and JoAnn Fabric Shops.  Of the large discount stores, Wal-Mart appears to be the one that offers the largest selection of home crafting materials.

xmas decoration craft project for kids 1Many of the materials we found we located in the floral departments of craft stores.  Here we found artificial boughs and holly, glitter poinsettias and an amazing array of floral pieces beyond our wildest dreams.  If you’ve a bit of creativity, visit one of these stores and let your imagination flow.  You’re sure to come up with your own original ideas like this beautiful, simple floral craft project that hangs on a door.  The only catch here is when you get into floral you can spend a bit more than if you stick to simple children’s projects with materials like foam, paper, glitter and the like.

Beautify Your Projects with Xmas light

xmas decoration craft project for kids 2If you’ve a bit more to spend, you can always add interest to holiday craft projects by adding some Xmas light.  We like to scan the stores after Christmas and pick up discount holiday lights sets.  These mini Christmas lights are inexpensive during the season, but if you wait until after the holiday and buy for the year ahead you can often purchase your strings for less than you would pay for wholesale holiday lights. Even large lights like those shown, if purchased at a discount, can be used in many uniquely creative ways.  After all, whatever way you choose to go, the kids you work with are sure to have fun and enjoy creating their very own special Christmas decorations.