Christmas lights are one of the very best things about the holidays, but you don’t have to take them down once the festivities are over. Retain the glow and warmth of these little beauties with a bit of creative re-purposing.
While the colored lights shout, “Christmas!” white twinkle lights can be used all year round to beautiful effect.
1. Make a romantic retreat in your bedroom by hanging gauzy mosquito netting over your bed. Wrap white fairy lights around the crown of the netting to create an ethereal canopy that invites naps, reading, and daydreaming.
2. These glowing lights work brilliantly in children’s bedrooms, performing double duty as nightlights to keep nightmares away when darkness falls. Try wrapping them around a headboard or foot board, or tack them around the wood frame of a closet.
3. Give the kids a place to clip their favorite drawings or pictures of their best friends by stringing fairy lights in swooping strands along one wall. The strand provides a place for hanging while the lights illuminate the dangling images.
4. Transform your front porch by wrapping white lights along the railing or making a “curtain” of white lights in front of a boring old window. The soft light makes a luminous gathering area on a warm spring or summer evening.
5. Use long strings of lights as guidewires between the house and outlying buildings such as a shed or garage. The gentle light will ensure safe passage and help travelers avoid tripping in the dark.
6. While you’re in the shed or garage, soften the harsh fluorescent light often used there by filling glass Mason jars with strings of lights and turning them into effective lanterns.
7. Create illuminated artwork by bringing in beautifully twisted branches or small dead trees, standing them in a sturdy jug or jar, and decorating them with lights. The glow not only highlights the twists and curves of the wood, it also creates patterns on the walls.
8. Light up a dark corner with a large basket filled with tumbleweed or smaller branches and draped with white lights, or light up an unused fireplace with a pile of white lights draped over white candles.
9. Never go hunting for a flashlight again by using strings of light as soft illumination for hard-to-see areas such as cupboards, closets, and under the bed.
10. Transform dead space into a glowing playroom by stringing twinkle lights in the attic, under the stairs, or in the narrow crawlspace under the house. Children’s imaginations will run wild in such places and they will love having their very own child-size space to play in. Or, use them in your own cozy space.
Bonus Idea: Nighttime often puts an end to outdoor activities, but you can change that by draping backyard trees and bushes with white lights to create a beautifully lit spot for nighttime parties, dinner with the family, or a serene place to sip your wine and let the cares of the day melt away.
Photo Credits: Ganymedes Costagravas, half alive, Rob Faulkner, Edward Simpson, Quick Like A Mule, Lee Gavin, Andrea Rose, RachelH, Zeds Stock, Sarah Rose, and reidmix.