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Five Original Ways to Use String Lights

by on Jan 6, 2011

Who doesn’t love the twinkle of string lights? They lend oodles of atmosphere to any environment.

Good News: String lights are on clearance right now! You can save some major cheese by stocking up right now. 

Bad News: When displayed plain and lonely, string lights tend to read a little too HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Or worse, WELCOME TO MY DORM ROOM.

Solution: Get creative. With the addition of a few inexpensive items you probably already have around the house, string lights open up dozens of doors of opportunity into the exciting world of accent lighting. Second to fresh paint and a good vacuum, nothing transforms a room like accent lighting. And you can do it on the cheap!

created at: 01/05/2011 Mini Lamp Shades
Poke a hole in the center of cupcake liners and push the bulb through the hole. Drape around a mirror or doorway to lend a whimsical touch to any room!

created at: 01/05/2011The Flaming Frame

I stole this idea from a 1970’s horror movie (name anyone?). Very dramatic. Easy too. Just wrap the string lights around an empty frame and hang it up. Leave it empty, or insert an art piece worthy of grand illumination. Warning: choose your art piece cautiously —large images of faces can take on the appearance of a memorial if you’re not careful. Then again, that could be a good thing —if you have always wanted to erect an Elvis shrine, here is your chance.

created at: 01/05/2011Vino Nightlight
You like wine. She likes ambient lighting. Why don’t you put this on your night stand and get busy already? 



created at: 01/05/2011Sunset in a Shadow Box
You know those cheapy clear acrylic frames your dentist keeps in his Tribute to The 1980’s office lobby? The frames featuring outdated, water-stained posters of people skiing in turquoise leotards? Well, image you removed those gnarly posters (save for gift wrap, obviously) and used the frames for other purposes. Just yank out the cardboard box inside, slice off the top, and tape a small string of LED lights on the inside. Cover the exterior acrylic frame with whatever you want…paint, paper, coffee filters….just be sure it is at least semi-translucent. Note: an enclosed space like this would run very warm so keep it safe and stick to LED lights.

Log Lampcreated at: 01/05/2011
Some famous architect said something about ‘every room needs an element of raw wood to make it feel grounded’ or something like that.…well, wood doesn’t get more raw than an old dirty log from the field behind your Uncle’s house. Or your alley. Or the dumpster trolley behind your neighbor’s landscaping truck. Just get a log, clean it up and wrap with string lights. Giant burlap loops come in handy when it comes to hanging from the ceiling above your couch or dining room table. Don’t get fussy about it, just hang it up enjoy your new and nearly-free lighting fixture.

Handcreated at: 01/05/2011y Tip
Worried about the hassle of plugging in the chord behind the couch every time you want to turn on your new string lights? Consider getting a socket converter. Cheap and easy, socket converters can be found in any hardware store, usually around the lamp repair section. Just screw it in light same as a light bulb, then plug in the chord of your string lights. Don’t worry, your light is still fully functional and will turn on and off with the flip of a switch, same as always. Ugly old ceiling light be gone; warm and friendly twinkle lights are coming to town!

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