Christmas lights aren’t just for the tree. You can use string lights and fairy lights to make your entire home glow for the holidays—once you get them untangled, that is. These décor DIYs offer fresh, inventive ways to deck your halls with twinkling Christmas lights.

Sparkling DIY Pine Swags

A single strand of craft store garland stapled above your garage door doesn’t exactly scream “happy holidays.” That’s why this DIY uses multiple strands of faux pine garland and other accents to create a festive pine swag that looks lovely wrapped around the posts on your front porch, hung above your garage door, draped over your mantel—the list goes on.


Image via The Kim Six Fix

  1. Weave together three strands of faux pine garland to create a fuller, more realistic look.
  2. Wrap a strand of string lights in a spiral pattern around the pine garland.
  3. Enhance the garland by adding ribbon, bows, berries, pine cones, real greenery or other trimmings.

The finished product is a sparkling pine swag that looks realistic, warm and welcoming hung above your front door. See more at The Kim Six Fix.

Tomato Cage Christmas Tree

DIYs don’t have to be complicated. If you’re short on spare time this holiday season, consider crafting these tomato cage Christmas trees. This project repurposes tomato cages into glowing Christmas trees, which look great in your garden or on your front porch, and they only take about 15 minutes to put together.


Image via 17 Apart

  1. Stack two tomato cages on top of one another to create a stronger base. You may have some sitting in your garage. If not, try your local hardware store.
  2. Secure the tops of the cages—the stake parts that would go into the ground—with a rubber band.
  3. Wrap the string lights around the cage. LED string lights, like the ones pictured, create a bright, white glow and barely use any energy. Or, switch it up with incandescent lights or fun, colored bulbs.
  4. Secure the string light outlet to the tomato cage using a twist tie or floral wire.

Visit 17 Apart for step-by-step instructions.

Christmas Cacti

Have a front yard full of cacti and succulents? Dazzle them with string lights. Just make sure you put on a sturdy pair of work gloves to protect your hands and wear long sleeves. Use a long reaching or pick up tool from a hardware store to maneuver string lights, or drape net lights over smaller cacti for a quick and easy DIY.


Image via Danger Garden

No cacti? No problem! String lights look equally magical wrapped around tree trunks, limbs and branches, or draped over shrubbery. Get the full tutorial on The Spruce.

Dressed Up Home Décor

Christmas lights can dress up most anything, so don’t be afraid to mix them with existing décor around your home. You might be surprised! Traditional Christmas lights work just fine, but if you find them a little bulky, opt for twinkle or fairy lights. They’re smaller, daintier and held together with flexible coated wire that allows them to stay wherever you want them.

Faux animal heads, skulls and antlers are in style, and you just might have one mounted on a wall in your home. Wrap around a strand of twinkle lights for a festive touch.


Image via My Paradissi

Have a houseplant? Twinkle lights add ambience and keep the holiday feeling going all year long.


Image via Pflanzen Freude

Wrap them around bookcases, bar carts, mirrors, banisters or centerpieces. Fairy lights can dress up just about anything.


Image via Sand and Sisal

Painted String Lights

Traditional green string lights blend in perfectly with a Christmas tree but try to decorate with them anywhere else in your home, and they stick out like a sore thumb. Paint your string lights, and you open up a whole new world of decorating possibilities.


Image via The Merry Thought

  1. For this DIY, you’ll need to use string lights with bulbs that be unscrewed. Unscrew them and carefully set them aside for safe keeping.
  2. Stuff the sockets with pieces of paper towel to keep paint out.
  3. Hang the lights from a clothesline using a wire hanger or set the lights on a piece of cardboard in your yard.
  4. Spray paint the lights, which will take a few coats.
  5. Remove the paper towels after the paint has dried, screw in the bulbs and decorate.

Colors like gold and silver are perfect for holiday time, and they complement everything. Wrap them around railings, windows, the tree or anywhere you’ve shied away from using traditional green lights. Plus, by picking a neutral yet endlessly complementary color like rose gold or pewter, you can repurpose these lights throughout the year. Read more at The Merry Thought.

Twinkle Light Marquee

Transform a canvas into a sparkling marquee emblazoned with a jolly word or phrase that glows with twinkle lights. This is one of the more labor-intensive DIYs on this list, but if you aren’t one to shy away from a project, the result is a delightful decoration you can repurpose year after year.


Image via A Beautiful Mess

  1. Fashion a large frame using pieces of wood and a panel of acrylic plexiglass, which you can purchase and have cut for you at a home improvement store.
  2. Trace a word or phrase like “cheers,” “peace,” “joy” or “be merry” on the back of a sheet of glitter paper. You could also swap the glitter paper with wrapping paper or other material.
  3. Attach the glitter paper to the acrylic sheet using a spray adhesive.
  4. Use a glue gun to fasten the acrylic panel to the frame.
  5. Weave Christmas lights back and forth on the back of the frame, using a glue gun to secure them.
  6. Plug in and enjoy!

Set the marquee atop your mantel or on a sideboard in your entryway to greet visitors. Get complete instructions at A Beautiful Mess.

Your halls may be decked with boughs of holly, but holiday decorating isn’t really complete until you turn on the lights. Who doesn’t love the warm glow of twinkling string lights? They tie everything together. Just don’t forget to test them before you plug in your finished product.

The end of the year is a smart time to revisit your homeowners insurance policy and ensure that you’re adequately covered, especially if you know you’ll be hosting friends or family over the holidays. Call 1-800-499-3612 or meet with a Homegrown Pro in your neighborhood to review your coverage.

Happy decorating!

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*The information provided in this blog is designed to give helpful advice on the topic discussed. It is not intended to provide legal or any other type of advice and is not meant to be a thorough discussion of every issue that a person should consider or may encounter. Personal Express Insurance is a brand utilized by the following insurance underwriting companies: Integon National Insurance Company and National General Premier Insurance Company. All policies will be underwritten by these two underwriting companies.

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