Decorating with Christmas Lights

Colorful lights are a staple of Christmas. We see them on trees, we see them indoors and outside. Bright and beautiful, they are an intrinsic part of the holiday spirit. And with Christmas fast approaching, these dazzling dots of color will soon be decorating houses, rooms and trees across the world.

But there is more than one use for string lights, and with a few simple tricks, there’s no need to leave your Christmas lights hidden away to gather dust in the new year. Here are just a few ways you can use them to increase their lifespan, and brighten up your home or enliven an event. You don’t need to be a master designer, you just need to be willing to create and experiment.

Visit your local craft shop or browse the internet for materials you think would combine well with color and twinkling lights and you’re sure to ignite your imagination.

Wine Bottle Lights

Have you ever bought a bottle of wine simply because it looked good? Or, having finished the wine itself, remarked on how unique and beautiful the bottle is? Great care is often taken with wine bottles to produce an eye-catching and stunning design, something that stands out from the hundreds of bottles around it and jumps out at the customer.

These bottles, whether quirky or elaborate or simply pretty, are perfect to add cozy warmth to your room. Christmas lights are small enough to be able to feed into a wine bottle, and when the light shines through the dark glass, it dims it, turning the bright light into a muted warm glow.

A simple combination with near-limitless potential, wine bottle lights are easier to create than you might think. There are two ways to go about making them: you can drill a hole in the bottle, or, if they are small enough, you can feed the lights in through the mouth of the bottle itself. If you opt for the latter, of course, you might want to cover the cable with some sort of decoration. Ivy, grapes, flowers -- the only limit is your imagination.

Be careful if you opt to drill through the glass, though, because if you are too firm it could shatter. Make sure you wear protective gloves and glasses or goggles to shield your eyes from small flecks of glass, should it break.

The soft glow a wine bottle light display gives off can vary greatly depending on the color of the lights used. Try experimenting with different effects and combinations to get the best results.

Shop for Wine Bottle Lights »

Glass Block Lights

In a similar way to wine bottles, glass blocks offer you a chance to use your Christmas lights in an entirely new way. It’s possible to buy glass blocks of varying size and shape with a section already cut out for you. These are ideal to use for decoration, in that they require minimal effort to convert to housing for your lights, and there’s no dangerous drilling needed.

You can, of course, drill into a glass block that hasn’t been cut for your convenience, much in the same way as you would drill a hole in a wine bottle. Again, be sure to wear all necessary protective equipment, and drill with great care: you will be surprised at how little pressure you need to exert in order to drill effectively.

Glass blocks come in all shapes and sizes and have the added advantage of having more room to play with than a wine bottle, which is usually a far more restrictive casing. You can decorate the outside of the box, and watch as the lights inside shine through and create a myriad of different effects.

They also come in a variety of styles, with the glass cut in different ways. These kinds of blocks can be reminiscent of crystals or ice, and even unadorned can make for spectacular decorations. Their sturdy build and wider base make them perfect for using outside, perhaps lining a path or being used as tables or walls.

You can experiment with light-reflecting craft materials like tinsel and glitter, and drape them with silk and other materials to create a plethora of awe-inspiring combinations.

Shop for Glass Block Lights »


Try re-purposing your Christmas lights to create spectacular centerpieces. They can be used for anything from a wedding to a dinner party, from your bedroom to your hallway. Used minimally, they can accentuate; used more freely they can themselves make for an alluring focal point in any display, and they are a great conversation-starter. If you want to create something truly memorable, something to set tongues wagging, string lights can be the perfect touch.

Their flexibility gives them many uses. You can add the lights to other craft materials: entwine them around ribbon and suddenly there is a lot more scope for maneuverability; or you can add extras to the lights themselves.

You don’t have to be a genius to create something brilliant: you just have to get creative, and be willing to experiment with new ideas.

If you’re throwing a Christmas party, why not thread string lights through a wreath? You can even use the wreath itself in the middle of the dinner table, perhaps as the base for a vase or bowl. The lights will dance and play on the glass and make for a simple, but nonetheless effective centerpiece. And why not thread them around candle holders or chandeliers?

Play around with colors. You can unscrew the light bulbs and mix and match colors for varying effects. You might like to work the lights around the staircase banister, perhaps using only green lights in combination with a rope of faux leaves, or use all-red lights to draw attention to your mistletoe display. The possibilities are endless.

Shop for Centerpiece Lights »

Other Craft Projects for Lights

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination when crafting with lights. Some other ideas for crafts include:

  • Threading through faux leaf rope
  • Weaving into wreaths
  • Decorating wine bottles with baubles
  • Painting glass blocks
  • Hanging lights from the ceiling to mimic icicles
  • Lining the path with glass blocks
  • Wrapping lights around ribbon and hanging it from the walls

Have you done something great with lights? Share your craft ideas with us:

Where to buy lights

Purchase mini lights for craft projects online, and they are delivered quickly to your home or business... Start your project today!

35 Mini Light Set; Pink Bulbs; 3" Spacing

Online Price: $3.75

20 Mini Light Set; Purple Bulbs; 3" Spacing

Online Price: $3.00

20 Mini Light Set; Red Bulbs; 3" Spacing

Online Price: $3.00

35 Mini Light Set; Yellow Bulbs; 3" Spacing

Online Price: $3.75