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The Ultimate Guide

Introduction

11 DIY Ways to Decorate With String Lights All Year

string lights with hearts

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You may not have thought of string lights as everyday indoor decor before, except, perhaps, in college dorm rooms. But these DIY projects may change your mind. Hung alone, they have a minimalist, artsy-look that suits industrial spaces or city lofts. String lights can also be utilized as a lighting source for other projects, such as nightlights and artwork. Indeed, they have a soft, cozy glow that has a lot of appeal. If you love the ambiance Christmas lights create throughout the holidays and find yourself feeling reluctant to pack them away when the tree comes down, here are some other ways to use string lights throughout the rest of the year.

  • 01 of 11

    Fall Leaf Garland

    fall leaf string lights
    Wallflower Girl

    Who says string lights can only be used with green garlands at Christmas time? This beautiful fall display was simply created with fallen leaves that were dried and pressed, then clipped onto a string of lights.

  • 02 of 11

    Pumpkin Luminaries

    pumpkin luminaries
    This Old House

    Another great way to utilize string lights in the fall is to have them stand in for the candles in hollowed-out pumpkins. Several of these luminaries would make a gorgeous autumn display on a porch or fall mantel.

  • 03 of 11

    Window and Twig Nightlight

    window nightlight
    Hometalk

    As winter approaches and the days get shorter, nightlights come in handy when the sun goes down. This clever idea utilizes an upcycled window, some bare twigs, and a string of lights to make a unique piece of wall art that mimics the look of a wintry scene, and also illuminates a dark hallway.

  • 04 of 11

    LED Stuffed Animal Nightlight

    led stuffed animal nightlight
    Matsutake

    Here's another way to make a nightlight using a string of lights. Using LED lights to replace the stuffing in a stuffed animal is one bright idea for a baby's nursery or a child's room.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Illuminated Wall Art

    glitter canvas with lights
    Jo-Ann

    Strings of lights are ubiquitous with the holidays, but here's a unique way to use them.  The colors in this DIY wall art created with glitter and fairy lights is neutral enough to keep up from Thanksgiving to New Years, yet still adds a lot of sparkle to your home for the holidays. 

  • 06 of 11

    DIY Light Globes

    diy light globes
    Lowe's

    In warmer months, string lights are often used to light up outdoor spaces such as patios and decks for dining al fresco. But instead of just stringing them up in the usual fashion, try making these light globes to hang overhead in the trees instead.

  • 07 of 11

    String Lights in the Bedroom

    string lights above bed
    Digs Digs

    The soft glow of string lights is perfect for bedrooms, but they can look messy if not hung with at least a little planning. These strands are hung from a "cloud" above the bed and have stars around the bulbs, creating a charming look day and night.

  • 08 of 11

    Dixie Cup Light Strand

    dixie cup light strand
    Rhiannon Bosse

    Making shades for each bulb on a strand of lights cleverly disguises the bulbs so that they look just as pretty unlit as they do lit. Use these lights in a child's room, for parties, or over a desk for a fun way to light your workspace.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    String Light Photo Display

    string light photo display
    BuzzFeed

    Display your photos, small art prints, or your child's artwork clothesline-style with a strand of lights. This kind of display is great for home offices, playrooms, or other casual spots in your home.

  • 10 of 11

    String Light Gallery Wall

    string light gallery wall
    Remodelista

    For a more grown-up look, use a strand of lights with large bulbs to highlight the art on a gallery wall, giving it an urban, sophisticated feel.

  • 11 of 11

    DIY Marquee Sign

    diy marquee sign
    Homey Oh My

    Typographic art is certainly popular, and lately, marquee letters and signs are quite trendy. It's easy to see your name in lights with just some basic craft supplies and light strands.