Uses for Christmas Lights

Don't pack away the lights. When you pack away your Christmas decorations, leave out a strand of clear lights. You can use these to brighten a room on some of the dull, gray winter days ahead. There are numerous ways to include these lights in your home decor.


Here are six suggestions for using left over Christmas lights to chase away the winter blahs.

  1. Save an empty wine or sparkling cider glass bottle. Wash and let it dry completely. Put a strand of lights (20 lights work well with most bottles) inside of the bottle. The lights reflect beautifully on the clear or colored glass bottle. You could also use some type of clear glass vase instead of a bottle.
  2. Place a strand of lights along a mantel or around an accent table to highlight a decorative display.
  3. Make a tabletop arrangement and include lights in the arrangement
  4. Add a strand of lights to an artificial ficus or evergreen tree.
  5. If you have a container of rosemary growing, add a strand of lights to it.
  6. Arrange various size glass containers on a mirror and wind the lights in between the containers. The result is a stunning, yet not overwhelming display of light.

By VeronicaHB from Asheboro, NC

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December 15, 2008

Christmas lights, not just for Christmas anymore! Think about buying a few packs of lights after this year's holiday when they go on clearance . . . and use them all year round. Strings of "Red" lights adds a lot more romance to a Valentines Day.

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You can brighten up a sad corner by reusing white Christmas lights. "Fairy" lights are all over shops and YouTube right now, why not have them in your house to lift up your spirits? :) I smile because it gives me a little reminder of Jesus' light all throughout the year.

A window treatment with white Christmas "fairy" lights framing it.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 29, 2008

Let's pretend the you have a ton of non-working strands of Christmas lights. You tried to fix them by replacing the bulbs but they still aren't working. What would you do with them?

I have a number of stands of lights that didn't make it past last Christmas. I would like to find some use for the bulbs or the wires beyond just keeping them around and using the working bulbs to replace others. Any ideas?

Corene from Neenah, WI


September 29, 20080 found this helpful

I'd like to know what to do with mine, too!

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By sue132 (Guest Post)
September 29, 20080 found this helpful

Hang them in a tree outside while you wrap them in the trunk of the tree. You can't see the wire but the ones that light will over lap and light up your yard. Works great!

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September 29, 20080 found this helpful

Well, I am thinking if none of the bulbs are working then take them all out and use the strand like it's a piece of rope and the bulbs could be used for decorating Christmas ornaments or maybe even leave the bulbs in and use it as if it were ribbon for Christmas gifts?

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September 29, 20080 found this helpful

If you have no other use for the lights and are willing to get rid of them, putting them into a campfire will give you a couple of hours of beautiful colors. They do not explode. My son in law had a campfire and I asked how he got the fire to burn blue and green and he told me about the broken lights. His family has done it for years.

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September 29, 20081 found this helpful

OK, I am all for being thrifty; but it seems silly to hang on to strings of lights that don't work. I would be fearful of using the cords for anything electrical (if you read the UL labels--the lights are not safe beyond 1000 hours of burn time) and because they have the joints for the light bulbs, I cannot imagine they would be a stong rope. Putting them in the campfire sounds fun (if not exactly eco-friendly), but I would be sure to scoop those ashes into a box and get rid of them afterward, so as not to contaminate the area with chemicals and heavy metals.

You can buy a bulb tester for under four or five dollars at the "mart" type stores. I would pull the bulbs and test them to use as replacements; and throw the rest of the mess out!

It may not be as thrifty; but my family's safety is worth the five dollars I spend on new lights each year... I don't buy into the "recommendations" of the light manufacturers--one does NOT need 100 lights for every foot of tree! I watch for sales or buy them on clearance after Christmas.

I can think of a ton of uses for all the other "useless" stuff hanging around here.... (*grin*); but I have to draw the line somewhere!

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September 29, 20081 found this helpful

Some things, you just have to let go of. Safety first, like the one poster said.

Otherwise, someday after you are gone, your family will look in your attic and find an old shoe box marked "string too short to save"!! That was meant to make everyone chuckle, but that really happened to a lady who's mom saved everything. When she died, she had 2k unused McD's french fry cups...

I say unplug it, cut it up so no one will be tempted to use it.

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September 30, 20080 found this helpful

I take out all of the bulbs and use the wires in the garden for staking/tying up plants that tend to flop over. The green wire blends in with the plants and is not noticable. Since most Xmas lights have multiple strands of wire, you can weave some of the leaves and stems through the wire strands to help hide the wire even more.

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September 30, 20080 found this helpful

Those are great ideas, especially the one using them in the garden. Honestly, I wasn't looking for ideas for using them in a "plugged in" state. Rather a use or craft project using the bulbs or the wires. Thanks all!

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September 30, 20080 found this helpful

Those are great ideas, especially the one using them in the garden. Honestly, I wasn't looking for ideas for using them in a "plugged in" state. Rather a use or craft project using the bulbs or the wires. Thanks all!

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By kat (Guest Post)
October 1, 20080 found this helpful

I just took a bunch of plugs. I didn't know what they went to to my local recycling center. They will pay you by weight for the wire in the lights.

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By Beth (Guest Post)
December 7, 20080 found this helpful will recycle them.

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March 13, 20090 found this helpful

My first idea;a clear glass light bulb cover, or one of those ball shaped vases, and one of those "shop" lights with the cage removed (or any plug-in cord with only a light bulb receiver on the end). Remove just the bulb portions from the string of lights, and hot glue them to the glass. It should look like a porcupine ball with all those bulbs sticking out.
Put the regular light bulb into the opening of the glass, and tape across the hole to keep bulb straight. Tip over the whole thing and set on a table as a lamp. 25 or 40 watt bulb for glowing nightlight, 60 or more watt bulb for brighter lamp.

Or you can skip the plug-in part completely, find a clay pot with a bottom that's just a little smaller than that hole in the glass, spray paint the pot a color you like. Turn the pot upside down, and put your light covered ball on top for a home made/unique gazing ball! Will be pretty with the sun shining through all those Christmas lights.

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Answer this Question

How do you keep up Christmas lights in your house without damaging the wood or walls?

By Connie Rohrer P. from Pelican Rapids, MN


December 6, 20110 found this helpful

3M makes assorted clips, hooks and hangers called 'Command' and they are awesome! I use an assortment of their products including picture hangers and am so happy with them. They also have refill strips so you don't have to purchase the clips, hooks and hangers themselves again. They cause absolutely no damage whatsoever. Here's a link to see what's available. You can definitely purchase at all hardware stores and even markets and pharmacy's carry a small selection of them. :-)

And you can download and print coupons from this link and sign up for special offers and coupon email notifications.

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July 12, 2013

Since an artificial ficus is not as full as a Christmas tree, how should the lights be strung?


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