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How to Make Outdoor Christmas Trees Out of Lights: A Simple DIY Guide

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The holidays are upon us, and there’s no better way to embrace the festivities than by creating a unique and stunning Christmas tree out of lights. This DIY project is fun, cost-effective, and sure to brighten up any space. We’re excited to share our tips and ideas for making your very own Christmas tree masterpiece.

lighted christmas tree

To get started, we’ll guide you through the process of choosing the right lights, creating a tree design, and setting up the tree structure. We’ll also discuss important safety precautions and proper maintenance to ensure your dazzling tree lights up the season for years to come.

Gathering Your Materials

Before we start creating our magical Christmas tree out of lights, let’s make sure we have everything we need. Collecting all the necessary materials beforehand will save us time and ensure a smoother building process.

For our tree’s structure, we have two common options: using a PVC pipe or a wooden pole. PVC pipes are lightweight and weather-resistant, while wooden poles are sturdier and more natural-looking. To fasten everything together, prepare a drill, screws or zip ties, and a hammer.

  • PVC pipe or wood: Depends on your preference
  • Drill & screws: To assemble the frame and attach decorations
  • Hammer: In case you need additional support when setting up the tree base

We’ll also need to measure the space where we’re placing the tree to ensure a perfect fit. You’ll need a tape measure for this task.

To create the tree’s sparkling appearance, outdoor string lights are a must. Along with those, gather some ornaments, decorations, and zip ties to keep the lights in place and add a festive touch.

Outdoor string lightsChoose between LED or incandescent, colored or white lights
Ornaments & decorationsBased on your personal taste and theme
Zip tiesFor securing string lights and decorations

Now it’s time to make sure that our tree remains steady and stands upright. To do this, we’ll need to create a base using either stones, bricks, a metal frame, or a mix of these materials. Assemble your ladder to reach the top when installing the lights.

  • Stones & bricks: For additional stability of the tree base
  • Metal frame: Optional, to provide more support
  • Ladder: To assist in setting up the tree

Finally, don’t forget about the extension cord to supply power to your beautiful tree. Double-check the cords’ safety and length, as well as confirm their compatibility with your chosen lighting type.

With these materials on hand, we’re all set to embark on our adventure of crafting a dazzling outdoor Christmas tree made of lights!

Choosing the Right Lights

lighted christmas tree in forrest

When creating a Christmas tree out of lights, the choice of lights is a crucial factor. In this section, we will guide you through selecting the ideal lights for your project.

First of all, it’s essential to opt for energy-efficient LED lights. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they also generate less heat, making them safer for indoor use. Plus, they come in various colors and styles, allowing you to customize your tree just the way you like it.

There are several factors to consider when choosing your lights:

  • Brightness: LED lights can range from warm white to cool white, with the latter being slightly brighter. You may also find multicolored or single-colored lights. Keep in mind your preferred theme when selecting the right color.
  • Indoor vs. outdoor use: If you plan to display your light tree outdoors, make sure the lights are marked for outdoor use. Outdoor lights are typically more durable, with plastic coatings designed to withstand the elements.
  • Connection: Traditional Christmas string lights may require multiple plugs, while newer models feature end-to-end connections, enabling you to connect several strings together with ease.

To make your decision-making process simpler, here’s a table comparing some popular types of lights:

Type of LightsProsCons
LED LightsEnergy-efficient, low heat, variety of colors and stylesCan be slightly more expensive than other options
String LightsEasy to string together, classic Christmas lookMay require multiple plugs, can generate more heat
Outdoor LightsDurable, weather-resistant, suitable for outdoor displaysMay not be as versatile for indoor use

In conclusion, it’s important to select the right type of lights for your Christmas tree project. Consider energy efficiency, style, and use scenario in order to make the best decision. With the perfect lights in hand, your DIY Christmas tree will be a dazzling display of festive cheer!

Deciding on the Tree Design

christmas tree with presets and stars above

Creating a Christmas tree made of lights is a fun and budget-friendly alternative to traditional Christmas trees while still capturing the holiday spirit. In this section, we’ll guide you through the process of deciding on the perfect tree design for your home.

First, consider the height of your light tree. You could opt for a smaller, porch-friendly tree or go big with a stunning 20-foot Christmas light tree that will surely turn heads. To help you with this, we’ve put together a handy table:

Tree HeightLocation
3-6 ft.Porch, indoors
6-10 ft.Front yard
10-20 ft.Tall structures

It’s essential to choose the light colors that best represent your Christmas spirit. Traditional favorites are warm white, multicolor, or solid-color strands. Pro-tip: Combining two or more different colors can create a lovely effect!

Once you have settled on the height and colors, it’s time to think about the tree topper. Classic options include stars, angels, or even a bow. For an extra touch of creativity, you could craft a DIY tree topper with materials like ribbons or paper.

Decorating your tree made of lights is where the fun truly begins. First, plan out the connection of the light strands. For a simple but elegant design, you may create loops of lights that flow down from the top to the base. Alternatively, you could arrange the strands in a spiral formation around a central pole or structure.

Now that you’ve decided on your tree design, height, colors, and tree topper, it’s time to start crafting and decorating your unique, alternative light tree. So gather your materials and let’s bring your vision to life this holiday season!

Building the Tree Structure

Before we get started, let’s gather our materials:

  • PVC pipes
  • A saw, or a cutting knife if working with other materials
  • A tape measure
  • Drill
  • Landscaping staples
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Tape (for securing the lights)

Now, let’s build our Christmas tree.

First, we’ll need to measure and cut the PVC pipes, wood, or other materials you’re using for the tree structure. We recommend using a tape measure to get the desired length for each section. Use the saw or cutting knife to cut the material accurately.

Next, we will create the frame for the tree. It helps provide stability and a base to work with. We can either use a metal wire Christmas tree frame, a conical garden obelisk trellis, or T-posts for the structure. Simply bend the material to create the shape of a tree and secure it with tape.

To create better stability, especially for outdoor trees, consider using cement to fix the tree’s base. If using a metal pole or T-posts, drill a hole into the ground and pour the cement, followed by placing the pole and allowing it to dry.

If you’re working with PVC pipes, you can easily create notches using a drill. Drill holes into your PVC pipes, ensuring they’re aligned correctly. Alternatively, you could use a reciprocating saw to cut slots for the lights to sit in.

To protect our tree from the elements, especially if it’s planned for outdoor display, we can paint the materials with weather-resistant spray paint. Also, consider the final decorating look you’d like to achieve, and choose a color that complements your holiday theme.

Once the frame and materials are prepared, we can start building our tree. For PVC pipe trees, attach the pipes to your base using landscaping staples. Make sure the pipes are spaced evenly.

For other materials, follow any specific tutorial provided by the product you’re using. Typically, you’ll start at the top of the tree and work your way down, connecting the materials at the center pole.

Finally, plug the end of the light strand into an extension cord, wrap the lights around the frame, and secure them with tape or other fasteners as needed.

Now, our lovely and unique Christmas tree is ready to illuminate our yard and spread holiday cheer!

Hanging the Lights

To create our beautiful Christmas light tree, we need to start by hanging the lights. In this section, we will walk you through the steps to create an easy, affordable DIY project that will brighten up your holiday celebrations.

First, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary equipment and materials. Here’s a list of the items we will need:

  • String lights: LED or incandescent Christmas string lights (the number of strands depends on the desired height of your tree)
  • PVC pipes or a wooden/metal trellis: as a frame for the tree structure
  • Garden staples, hot glue, or holes: for securing the lights on the frame
  • Ladder, drill, and loop: for reaching high spots and attaching the top of the tree
  • Measuring tape: to measure the height of the tree
  • Additional decorations: ornaments, paint, and colors to customize the tree as you desire

Now let’s begin assembling our Christmas light tree. First, measure the desired height and width of the tree, making sure it will fit on your porch or desired outdoor space. Once we have our measurements, we can proceed with setting up the framework.

If using PVC pipes, construct a conical structure, or simply place the wooden/metal trellis where you want the tree to be. For added stability, secure the frame with garden staples or hot glue.

Next, let’s start hanging the lights. We recommend using LED lights for energy efficiency, though incandescent outdoor lights work as well. Begin at the top, secure the plug end of the string lights to the top of the frame using a loop or a hole drilled into the wood. It’s essential to have a ladder handy at this point for easy access to the top of the frame.

Now, carefully and evenly, work your way down by wrapping the lights around the frame, making sure they are well spaced and secured. Feel free to get creative with the colors and patterns, depending on your preference.

Lastly, don’t forget to personalize it with decorations and ornaments! It’s the perfect opportunity to turn this project into a fun family bonding experience, adding that special touch to your holidays.

And there you have it! With a bit of effort and creativity, we’ve just created a festive and unique Christmas light tree to illuminate our holiday decorations. Happy hanging and enjoy the season!

Adding Final Decorations

beautiful outdoor christmas lights

Now that we have our Christmas tree made out of lights, it’s time to add some final touches to make it even more festive and eye-catching. In this section, we’ll guide you through adding ornaments, garlands, and a tree topper to our lovely light tree.

Ornaments: One of our favorite ways to accessorize our light Christmas tree is with various ornaments. We can use both traditional ornaments, like baubles and icicles, as well as more unique items to suit our personal style. To keep the balance and ensure our tree doesn’t look too cluttered, let’s stick to one simple rule: place larger ornaments near the bottom and smaller ones towards the top.

To attach ornaments, you can:

  1. Use ornament hooks and secure them to the connecting points of the lights.
  2. Tie a ribbon to the ornaments, then loop it around the lights for a whimsical touch.

Garlands: A festive garland can add more color and texture to our tree. We have some options to consider:

  • Beaded garlands: These give a sparkling effect when light bounces off them.
  • Ribbon garlands: Create a simple yet elegant look by draping your favorite ribbon around the tree.
  • Pinecone garlands: For a more natural touch, intersperse small pinecones along a string or twine.

Feel free to choose a garland that complements your other holiday decorations, and don’t be afraid to mix and match different types.

Tree Topper: Last but certainly not least, the tree topper is the pièce de résistance that completes our creation. Some popular tree topper ideas are:

  • A traditional star
  • An elegant angel
  • A festive bow
  • A homemade or personalized keepsake

Whichever tree topper we select, make sure it’s in proportion with the overall tree size and securely attached to the top of the light strands.

With these final decorations, our Christmas tree made out of lights will surely stand out and impress our friends and family. Happy decorating!

Safety Precautions

Before we dive into creating our spectacular outdoor Christmas light tree, let’s take a moment to review some important safety precautions. This will ensure that our DIY project is both enjoyable and safe for the whole family.

  1. Ladder Safety: When setting up and decorating our outdoor Christmas tree, we’ll likely need to use a ladder. It’s important to have a stable ladder and remember the “three points of contact” rule: two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot, should be on the ladder at all times.
  2. Extension Cord Management: To power our Christmas light tree, we may need to use extension cords. Make sure to use cords rated for outdoor use, and lay them out in a way that minimizes tripping hazards. Keep chords away from water and follow the directions on the packaging to avoid overloading.
  3. Choose the Right Location: Selecting the ideal spot in our yard is crucial for the safety and appearance of the light tree. Ensure the ground is level and free of obstructions, and double-check that the tree is at a safe distance from power lines and other potential hazards.
  4. Hammer with Care: If using stakes to anchor the base of our Christmas light tree, make sure we carefully hammer them into the ground, avoiding any underground utilities or sprinkler systems.
  5. Check Your Equipment: Before starting the project, let’s inspect all of our decorations for damage. Check the Christmas lights, extension cords, and any other components for frayed wires or damaged sockets. Replace damaged items to minimize the risk of electrical issues.
  6. Outlet Overload Prevention: Plugging too many lights into a single outlet can be a fire hazard. Consult the instructions provided with the lights to determine the maximum number of strands that can be connected together, and be cautious not to exceed the rated capacity of our outlets.

By keeping these safety precautions in mind, we can ensure that our outdoor Christmas tree project goes smoothly and brings joy to the whole family during the holiday season. Now that we have these precautions in place, let’s start creating our dazzling display!

Maintaining Your Christmas Tree

lit christmas trees in rows

Creating a Christmas tree out of lights is not only an enjoyable way to celebrate the festive season, but it’s also a great alternative to traditional trees for families with limited space, allergies, or those seeking a more sustainable option. In this section, we’ll cover some tips on how to properly maintain your light-up Christmas tree.

Choosing the Right Lights

To ensure the longevity and safety of your tree, it’s essential to select the appropriate lights. We recommend using LED string lights or mini lights as they are energy-efficient, produce less heat, and are gentle on your electrical setup. Outdoor Christmas trees will require lights that are specifically designed for outdoor use. Make sure to use an outdoor extension cord and waterproof connector, if necessary.

  • Table1: Light types and their advantages Light Type Advantage LED String Energy-efficient, low heat, long-lasting Mini Lights Small, discrete, low power consumption

Securing Lights and Decorations

Your tree will need a sturdy support structure to maintain its shape and hold the lights securely. Consider using PVC pipe, a ladder, or a trellis for this purpose. Fasten the lights and decorations to the structure using S-hooks or garden staples to keep everything stable and in place.

  1. PVC pipe: Lightweight, easily cut and shaped, weather-resistant
  2. Ladder: Sturdy, provides a unique framework, adjustable height
  3. Trellis: Stable, easy to decorate, extra support for outdoor trees

Regular Maintenance

A little maintenance can go a long way in keeping your tree looking spectacular throughout the festive season. Regularly checking the lights for any faults or burnt-out bulbs will help maintain a uniform glow.

Outdoor Christmas trees may need extra attention to ensure they stay clean and free from debris. Gently wiping down the lights and structure with a damp cloth can help keep your tree looking its best.

Following these tips, we are confident that you’ll have a dazzling and unique Christmas tree to delight your family and friends throughout the festive season. Remember, creating a tree from lights not only adds a touch of magic to your celebrations, but it’s also an eco-friendly and economical alternative. Happy decorating!

Storing Your Christmas Tree

Now that we’ve shared how to create a beautiful Christmas tree with lights, it’s essential to know how to store it properly. We want to ensure our tree lasts for many holiday seasons to come, and our decorations stay in pristine condition.

Organizing the lights Before we disassemble our tree, it’s best to remove the lights carefully. Make a habit of checking the bulbs and replacing any burnt-out ones. Wrap the strands of lights around an empty wrapping paper tube or a piece of cardboard to prevent tangles. Don’t forget to label them by type or location, such as ‘outdoor lights’ or ‘tree lights,’ so we know what’s what next year.

Storing decorations It’s vital to keep our ornaments and decorations safe during the off-season. We can separate fragile items from sturdier ones and wrap delicate ornaments individually in tissue paper or bubble wrap. Here’s a simple categorization we can use:

  • Fragile: Glass ornaments, hand-painted items
  • Sturdy: Plastic, wood, or metal decorations
  • Miscellaneous: Ribbons, garlands, tree skirt

We can store these categories into separate, clearly labeled containers. If our family has a large collection, we might also consider investing in ornament storage boxes with dividers to keep everything in order.

Finding the right space The ideal storage spot is a dry, cool, and dark place like a closet or a basement where it’s not exposed to extreme temperatures or humidity. The height of the storage area should also be considered, ensuring easy access for everyone in the family.

Now that we have our lights, decorations, and tree properly stored, we’re ready for a stress-free setup next holiday season. Our tree will be shining beautifully, bringing joy to our family and friends once again.

Frequently Asked Questions

lit christmas trees with presents

How do I create a flat wall Christmas tree using lights?

To create a flat wall Christmas tree using lights, first choose a suitable wall in your home. Sketch out the desired shape of your tree on a piece of paper or use painter’s tape to create a guide directly on the wall. We recommend using adhesive hooks or nails to fix the lights in place as you string them to form the outline of the tree. Fill in the tree shape with more lights or decorations as desired.

What are some DIY ideas for a Christmas tree made of lights?

There are numerous creative DIY ideas for a Christmas tree made of lights. Some popular options include:

  • Hanging lights from the ceiling in a spiral pattern to create a “floating” tree effect.
  • Stringing lights in a zigzag pattern down a ladder for a unique and rustic tree alternative.
  • Forming a tree shape on a wooden pallet and securing the lights with small nails or staples.

Get creative and use your imagination to make your lighted tree truly one-of-a-kind!

How can I make an outdoor Christmas tree from lights and a frame?

To make an outdoor Christmas tree, you’ll need a suitable frame, such as a cone-shaped wire frame or a series of stakes secured together in the shape of a tree. Once your frame is set up, carefully wrap your chosen lights around the frame, making sure to cover it evenly. Secure the lights with zip ties or twist ties if needed. Plug the lights into a weatherproof electrical outlet and enjoy your beautiful outdoor Christmas tree!

What is the best way to string lights on a wall-shaped Christmas tree?

The best way to string lights on a wall-shaped Christmas tree is to start at the base, working your way up, and creating the outline of the tree first. After the outline is complete, begin filling in the tree shape with more lights, evenly spaced. To secure the lights in place, use adhesive hooks, nails, or even small pieces of painter’s tape. Be sure to use a step ladder for the higher sections of the tree to ensure safety.

How many lights are needed for a 7ft tree made of lights?

The number of lights needed depends on the width of the tree and your personal preferences for brightness. As a general guideline, for a 7ft tree, we recommend using around 400-500 lights. If you prefer a denser and brighter tree, you may want to use more lights; if you like a more subtle effect, you may use fewer.

What are some tips for making an outdoor lighted artificial tree?

When making an outdoor lighted artificial tree, consider the following tips:

  • Choose weather-resistant materials for your frame, such as plastic or treated wood.
  • Use weatherproof, outdoor-rated lights to ensure durability and safety.
  • In case of a metal frame, make sure it is properly grounded to avoid any electrical hazards.
  • Secure the tree and lights to prevent damage from wind or other elements, using stakes or weights at the base.
  • Regularly check for any damage or loose connections, especially after extreme weather.

By following these tips, you can create a stunning outdoor lighted tree that will last throughout the holiday season.

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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