Christmas costs can rack up without the extra financial expenditures associated with both indoor and outdoor decoration. One aspect of decoration that oozes with holiday spirit is adorning the house, trees, shrubs and bushes with glimmering Christmas lights, giving the home a glowing and comfortable ambiance. Though traditional Christmas lights bring a brilliant appearance to a home, there are several homemade versions of lights that can separate homes from the pack, differing from more typical appearances lining the neighborhood streets.
One method of dressing up holiday lights is by adding your own special touch. A small clear plastic cup drilled to offer room for a small light to peek through offers a different spin on Christmas lights, offering brilliant displays that can be strung on patio areas as well as within the home. The finished balls of lights can be dangled from almost any safe location in the home or outdoor spaces for a dramatic look that can’t be achieved for such a long cost with one’s own tow hands. Pride ensuing provides an even more beautiful and glimmering appearance from homemade Christmas lights.
(50) 9 ounce plastic cups
(2) Strings of mini Christmas lights (50 count each string)
3/8 drill bit
With care, each clear plastic cup should be drilled with additional cups available in case one cracks during drilling. After drilling each cup, line 12 of them up side by side, laying on the longest ends of the cups on their sides into the shape of a circle (not sitting up like a cup would). The cups will look almost wreath shaped with the top of the cup pointing outwards. After stapling to hold them into place, place two of the mini lights into each cup. The next layer of cups will consist of only nine counts, arranged just as the base layer was. After that level is arranged, it should be placed on the base and fastened with staples (or soldered). Fix two lights into the cups as previously done. The remaining four cups will be layered differently, fastened to the other cups to create a more 3D appearance rather than merely laying them flat on top.
After the cups are stapled together creating the desired shape, they should then be filled with two lights per cup, being careful during insertion to prevent cracking. The finished ball shape can be hung outside like outdoor ornaments or hung inside for tasteful decor that doesn’t break the bank.
Other Uses and Options
Though it may be more convenient for some to use a drill to make holes in the bottom of the plastic cups that will eventually transform into a Christmas shaped ball, it may be easier for others to use a soldering tool to solder through the bottom of the cup and create a hole for the lights to protrude.
While the ball shaped Christmas lights created above exude feelings of dangling ornaments, lit within the home or yard to create extra feelings of holidays and Christmas, using the same idea, different decor can be created. Cups can be stapled into the shape of a wreath or star for different shapes and decoration. Additionally, different colors of lights can create a different feel, corresponding with other decorations lighting up one’s yard or living room. A theme tree sparkling in front of a living room tree can gain pizzazz from a similarly colored homemade Christmas light ball. Different shaped cups, such as a fluted design can offer a different look and more delicate feel to the design, creating a different shape altogether. Arranging several completed balls together can create a bouquet feel, offering an array of colors and sizes if desired.
Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.