Tips for hanging Christmas lights

Whether you like to decorate your home for Christmas on the inside, the outside or both, it’s a given that strands of twinkle lights will be involved. You probably have a Norman Rockwell picture in your mind of how you want the finished design to look, but do you know how to achieve that look?

Here are a few tips that will make hanging your Christmas lights this year as easy as sugar cookies!

Outdoor lights.

The first thing to do when you get ready to decorate outdoors is to have an overall plan and an end result in mind. This will prevent you from major headaches once you get started.

  • Where will you hang the lights? Gutters, roof lines, eaves, and around doors are popular places to hang outdoor lights to frame your home. Bushes, trees and hedges also look great with net lights draped over them. Decide before you start what the focal point will be.
  • Do you have enough lights? Measure areas where you will string lights, and count how many strands you already have so you can purchase anything you need before you get started. Double check that they all still work since being stored from last year.
  • Do you have the necessary equipment? If you’ll need a staple gun (a la Christmas Vacation) or light clips, have those before you start.

When you start working on your outdoor lights, lay out all the strands with the ends pointing the correct ways. Use a dependable ladder or a pole designed for just this purpose if you’d rather not get off the ground. Finally, attach all the lights so that they point in the same direction for maximum effect.

Indoor lights.

Even indoor lights can be seen from the outside through windows, so they can have a big impact if done correctly. Here are some tips to create an amazing Christmas display. If you are hanging lights around the house (somewhere besides the tree), invest in some suction cup hooks or other product so you don’t ruin your walls with screws.

As a general rule, you should use 100 to 150 lights per foot of tree height. Unless you’re going for a non-traditional look, use red, green, gold and/or white lights for your indoor lighting. These classic colors go a long way in creating a picture-perfect Christmas mood.

On your tree, start at the top and work your way down in a zig zag pattern to avoid gaps. Better yet, wrap lights around individual branches starting near the trunk and working your way to the tip of the branch. This gives your tree a 3-dimentional look.

Hiring a professional.

You may choose to hire someone to hang your Christmas lights. Here are some reasons getting a helping hand might make sense for you:

  • You don’t have the time.
  • You want someone with a real eye for design.
  • You don’t want to invest in lights and then have to store them when the holiday season is over.
  • You want to change your display from year to year.
  • You aren’t physically able to hang the lights yourself.
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