10 Creative Ways to Decorate with String Lights All Year Long

Think outside the Christmas tree with these dreamy DIY decor ideas for string lights that will have your home glowing year-round.

Homey Oh My.

Holiday string lights are universally adored. We hang them up indoors and outdoors to dazzle our homes during the holiday season, but once January rolls around, we pack them all away. Instead, try keeping the ambience in your home long after the holidays are over with these 10 creative ways to use your Christmas lights all year long.

1. Host a Festive Dinner Party Under String Lights

The Kitchn.

Dreaming of long summer days of grilling out and dining together underneath strands of patio lights? You don't have to wait for summer. Hang a few strands of string lights above your dining table to give your home a cozy, bohemian look. Then have some friends over for a cozy dinner party to alleviate the chill of winter. Light a few candles, whip up some casual cuisine, and serve it family-style beneath the warm glow of string lights. We promise it's just the evening you and your friends need to chase away the winter blues.

Learn more at The Kitchn.

2. Create a Twinkling Reading Nook for the Kids

Rooms for Rent.

You're not the only one going stir-crazy this winter. Give the kiddos a new place of their own with a bit of fabric and some twinkle lights. In this adorable nursery, a small hoop and tulle curtains adorned with string lights and some charming paper flowers create a reading nook. Check out more images at Rooms for Rent and build one for your kids today. Who knows, it might inspire hours of quiet reading time. Worth a shot, right?

Get more inspiration at Rooms for Rent.

3. Compose an Illuminated Work of Art


There are lots of examples of lighted artwork out there. We've seen canvases transformed into constellations, light-up initials, cityscapes, and more. The simplicity of this gold glitter piece boasts both visual interest and mass appeal, as well as that cozy, warm glow that string lights add to a space. No matter what route you go, the basic process is the same. Paint your canvas, use an awl to poke small holes where you want the lights to shine through, and secure each light with a bit of crafts glue.

Check out this tutorial from JoAnn to create your own custom canvas.

4. Make a Gorgeous Grapevine Chandelier

Ciao Newport Beach.

This string light craft idea has some serious impact and requires very little money and minimal work. Simply buy a grapevine wreath -- available at most crafts stores -- and weave some string lights throughout. That's it! This chandelier is the perfect mix of minimalist and rustic, so it works in a variety of spaces: above the dining table, on a patio or screen porch, or even above your bed! Assemble one today and bask in the soft glow of your handiwork.

Learn more at Ciao Newport Beach.

5. Enjoy a Glowing Flameless Fireplace


Have a fireplace that doesn't work? Or perhaps you have a perfectly good fireplace but are too lazy to chop the wood and clean up the ashes. No matter the case, this faux fireplace is maintenance-free! Assemble a few small logs in a fireplace grate or basket, and weave some string lights throughout. Now, instead of lighting and fanning a fire, you can just plug it in and enjoy! Spend less time tending flames and more time reading your new book and sipping your favorite wine. You're welcome!

Learn more at DesignLoveFest.

6. Turn String Lights into a Lush Garland

Homey Oh My.

Turn a simple strand of lights into a lush garland with a bit of faux greenery and some florists wire. Simply cut sections of greenery to fit the lengths of cord between the lights, and wrap some wire around to hold it in place. Try different types of flora to fit your spaces: delicate flowers for a nursery, eucalyptus for the area above your kitchen cabinets, and autumn leaves for the front entry. The possibilities are endless, and you're sure to have a one-of-a-kind garland that will illuminate your home year-round.

Check out the tutorial at Homey Oh My.

7. Construct a Dreamy Bed Canopy


Here's another great craft that involves a small investment with a huge payoff! Transform a boring bed into a showstopper with a sheer curtain and some string lights. To achieve this canopy, use two curtain rods to attach the tulle. Or hang floor-length streams of fabric and lights from the four corners of the mattress to mimic a four-poster bed. There are lots of possibilities and installation options, all of which are sure to bring some serious drama.

Get more ideas at Remodelaholic.

8. Assemble Sparkling Mirrored Wall Art

Apartment Therapy.

Is your house feeling a little dreary now that all the holiday decor is packed away? Bring a little light back into your life with this glittering wall hanging. The original artist had some mirror garland on hand, but you can easily create your own with small mirror squares from a crafts store, fishing line, and a hot glue gun. Drape the mirrored strands and some string lights over a curtain rod or dowel, and enjoy the dazzling scattered reflections. It's the perfect piece to brighten your space and warm up your walls.

Learn more at Apartment Therapy.

9. Fill Up Moonlit Mason Jars

All Things Heart and Home.

Want to add a bit of sparkle to your mantel, dresser, or entry table? This is the perfect way to use holiday lights as year-round decor. If you have battery- or solar-powered string lights, fill up a glass lantern, oversize bowl, or some Mason jars. Have a strand that needs to be plugged in? Try a birdcage! No matter the vessel, you'll enjoy the glittering lights all year long.

Get more inspiration at All Things Heart and Home.

10. Craft an Adorable Paper Cup Garland

Hey Gorg.

Talk about upcycling! This cute-as-a-button garland is a far cry from its humble beginnings as a strand of string lights and some disposable cups. Simply wrapped in patterned paper, these cups went from paper goods to a customized lighted garland perfect for a porch or nursery. Choose papers to match your decor and color scheme.

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