Not Just for Christmas: 6 Interesting Uses for String Lights 

String Lights

String lights are a traditional part of holiday decor in many homes, but they have some interesting uses year-round, too. In addition to lighting up a Christmas tree, ideas for other seasons include lighting up dark areas and adding some unexpected decorative touches to your home. Draw attention to artwork or light up a dark area. This type of ambient lighting adds depth to a small room when you display it in creative ways. These ideas from Pottery Barn will help you get started.

Word Art Lighting

Use Christmas lights to spell words to make a bold statement. Attach the string lights with clear adhesive tabs if you plan to make the display temporary. Use small hooks or nails if you plan to leave the string lights up as a lasting part of your decor. Create the word art right at, or slightly above, eye level. When you put the main part of the light art up higher, it makes the room look bigger and it makes the lights a focal point in the room. Outline the word with chalk first, which easily wipes away. Attach the string lights or rope lights to form the words over your chalk outline. Adjust as necessary.

How to Use Christmas Lights Year-Round in the House

Frame a wall mirror with holiday lights to add a soft glow to a bathroom, bedroom or entryway. The mirror catches and reflects the glow of the string lights. Put the lights on a timer to make sure you always walk into a bright room. The soft lighting also adds a romantic glow to an area, which is nice when you don’t want to turn on bright overhead lights. Your eyes typically adjust quicker to the dim lights, too, and that’s soothing if you are going from complete darkness to a lit room. 

Evening Party Lighting

Welcome guests to a dinner party or after dinner cocktail party with savory treats, soft music and the delicate glow of string lights. This sets the atmosphere and helps to put everyone in a relaxed mood. Hang the string lights along the edges of shelves and bookcases to make a backdrop for photos. Frame the doorway of rooms that guests frequent, like the bathroom, dining area or coat closet. This helps your visitors easily find their way around your house and helps everyone feel at ease. Or, run lights under the edge of your serving counter or bar to draw your guests’ attention to the food and beverages. 

Walkway Lighting

Light up your sidewalk with string lights to make it easier and safer to see where you’re walking at night. If trees border your walkway, hang the lights in low branches over the sidewalk. If there are no trees close, set up a decorative fence or border. Then, weave the lights through the rungs of the border or use hooks to attach the lights to the fencing. Hanging the lights on the side of the house, around a door or around the edges of an outdoor umbrella are also ways to put a little extra light over your sidewalk. 

String Light Covers DIY Ideas 

Make your own string light covers to change the look of your lights any time you want. Start with lacy doilies, colorful cupcake wrappers or paper cups. Cut a small X in the center of doilies or cupcake papers, or in the bottom of paper cups. The X slides over the bulbs when you put the covers on. For doilies, cutting the X and sliding the doilies on is all you need to do. For the cupcake papers, squeeze them to create a flowery effect around the lights and rap a piece of tape near the base to hold the shape. For paper cups, wrap strips of colored paper or lace around the cups to make them match your other lamp shades.  

Beach Themed Decor 

Use string lights as an accent in a nature-inspired beach house or room. Brighten a beach themed room by filling a large clear vase or bowl with seashells, sea glass and string lights. Wrap the lights between the shells and glass. Put the lighted beach art beside an elegant display of lotions, an indoor potted plant or a piece of driftwood to complete the look.