Christmas Decoration Ideas With String Lights

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Discover a variety of ways to use these Christmas decoration classics to create a beautifully lit seasonal display in your home. Use colored and white lights in traditional and innovative ways to highlight doorways, windows, railings and more.


Lining your windows with a string of Christmas lights is one of the most common ways you'll find these decorations being used. Whether you want the classic look of multi-colored mini-lights lining your windowsill, or a modern and chic take on white lights, try some of these window ideas in your home this holiday season:

  • For the standard Christmas look, purchase a string of colored, mini-lights on a green wire. Use thumbtacks or nails to thoroughly secure the string along your sill, making the lights visible through the window, while hiding the string as best as possible. For a more subtle look, use white lights.
  • If you plan to use fake snow and other white décor in your Christmas window display, use white lights on a white wire.
  • For more color and brightness, purchase classic Christmas string lights. These feature much larger colored bulbs, spaced out further along the string.
  • To enjoy your window Christmas lights indoors, try combining them with sheer curtains. Hang a string of white traditional or icicle lights behind a sheer curtain of any color. The lights will softly glow from behind the curtain, giving the room an elegant yet festive feel, and the curtains will effectively hide the lights' wire.
  • Icicle lights are often used to line the eve of a home outdoors, but can be just as fun to use indoors along windows. Securely fasten a short string of icicle lights along the top of your window. Using one string in each front window of your home can create the same festive effect as hanging them from your roof, without the hassle of working outdoors on a ladder.
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While you may not have considered doorways as a possible area to decorate with your string lights this Christmas, this feature of your home can be adorned with lights to create beautiful indoor light displays.

  • Doorways with frames that protrude slightly from the wall are the best to wrap with lights.
  • Wrap a string of white or colored lights on a white wire around a doorframe in your home. The white wire will blend much better with most home's lighter shades of painted walls (unless your walls are a very dark color, then use a green wire).
  • Use thumbtacks or a staple gun to secure the lights firmly against the frame.
  • This works well with doors that have an electrical outlet nearby. If you do need to stretch the string lights from an outlet to a door more than several feet away, be very careful to keep the string off the ground and out of the way, as they can easily trip someone if left on the floor.
  • If you need to, simply continue the string lights along the base of the wall, around the perimeter of the room. This will keep the string off the floor, and create a unique and festive Christmas light display.

Creative Uses For String Lights

Try some of these unique and creative ideas for decorating your home with Christmas lights this year.

  • Jar of lights: Use mason jars, glass vases or other large glass containers to create a DIY Christmas light display. Place the glass jar next to an electrical outlet. Plug in a string of white or colored lights, and stuff the string into the glass jar. The lights should be tangled, creating a jumbled mix of twinkling lights inside the jar.
  • Curtain Of Lights: Many online lighting retailers sell curtain string lights. These lights hang in strips, usually several feet across and six feet long, creating a curtain of lights. Hang these behind existing sheer curtains, use as a lit headboard display, or line an entire wall for a festive and unique Christmas lighting option.
  • Light Christmas Tree: Create a lit Christmas tree by hanging string lights from the ceiling. Purchase a large plastic ring used for bed canopies from a home décor store. This will act the Christmas tree's base. Attach the string lights to a single point on your ceiling, then let them hang. Wrap the hanging ends, evenly spaced, around the plastic ring, forming a coned, Christmas tree shape. While entirely green lights are preferable, this will work with white or multicolored lights.
  • Celling Canopy Lights: Plug in a string of white mini or traditional Christmas lights, and secure to one corner of your ceiling with a thumbtack or nail. Drape the string light across the ceiling, to the opposite side of the room. Fasten this end with a thumb tack or nail as well. In the middle of the string (or the middle of the room, if the string is longer than the room), use a thumb tack or nail to pin the string lights to the ceiling, creating a billowing, canopy-like effect. Continue with several string lights across the ceiling for DIY Christmas lighting in any room.
Last Updated: December 19, 2011
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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