Holiday lights are festive and beautiful, and sometimes it feels sad to put them away at the start of a new year. Fortunately, you can keep a hint of the holidays around by finding new ways to use these colorful lights.

Below are six quick and easy craft projects you can do to recycle your holiday lights as year-round decorations. They’ll look so attractive, you might even want to stash some away to give as gifts next year.

Here Are 6 Great Excuses to Reuse Holiday Lights

You’ll be amazed by how great your post-holiday lights will look with just a little bit of sprucing up. You can turn them into decorations, fairy globes, year-round decor, and more.

1. Wrap ’em up

This is a great way to use holiday lights that have lost their sparkle (in other words, ones that have burned out), notes How Does She. Grab a roll of baker’s twine and heat a little bit of glue. Pick a spot on the metal end of the bulb. Dab a little glue and wrap the twine around the bulb. Don’t worry; the twine will stay in place.

These colorful decorations can be placed in jars, used in garlands or as fillers for a vase. You can also add them to your table decor for a dash of dining room color. Or, you can use the baker’s twine to string the holiday lights together and hang them, as shown below.

2. Think shine, think glitter. 

Another option is to buy a can of metallic all-in-one paint and primer. You can then spray paint your holiday lights as shown above.

Or, try some glitter. You’ll need good old-fashioned school glue and glitter (like the kind of glitter we played with as kids). Brush the bulb with glue and sprinkle with glitter. Once the bulb has dried, spray it with clear spray paint to keep the glitter where it belongs and you’re all set.

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3. Hang a fairy lights globe. 

Do you have any rusty old wire baskets hanging around and being useless? Give them a new job, says Curbly. You can do that will a few small zip ties, two wire baskets, a can of silver spray paint, a strand of fairy/Christmas lights and a pair of pliers.

  1. The first step? Remove the chain from the basket, and place the baskets together so that they form a globe.
  2. Next, fasten them with the zip ties and snip the tails off the ties.
  3. You can spray the sphere with silver spray or leave it plain. However, we recommend the silver paint because it picks up the sparkle of the holiday lights. This highlights the globe effect.
  4. Wrap the fairy lights around the sphere, making sure they face all kinds of different directions. The lights will prevent the wire from slipping. Keep wrapping until you’ve used all of the lights.

Now, find a length of chain and a hook from one of the baskets. You can use this to hang your new fairy globe anywhere near an outlet. You may also need to install a hook from your wall, ceiling, or porch.

Love this….this lit vines on the headboard are perfect!Noel

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4. How about a new headboard festooned with holiday lights? 

There is just something about mood lighting in a bedroom that makes the whole thing seem peaceful and romantic. The above is a perfect use for holiday lights, and you don’t need any skill to twine string lights and other decorations around your headboard.

For the carpentry-minded among us, the DIY headboard with LED lights is ideal notes Shelterness. Just make sure to use LED lights, as other lights could make the materials catch fire. You’ll need carbonate sheeting, a drill, and a simple wood frame, which you can build from 2×4’s.

Now add some crossbeams and drill a few small holes to allow cords to pass through the bottom of each opening. Paint the frame the color of your choice and attach it to the wall above your bed. Fill each space with lights and cut translucent panels from carbonate sheeting, then affix this to the frame with screws

5. Find a new use for those extra Dixie Cups.

Need some festive decorations for a party, bridal shower, Halloween, or another celebratory event? With some dixie cups, your holiday lights, and colored paper, you can make a colorful string light garland. Rhiannon Bosse explains this is a simple three-step process that you can do in a jiffy.

Step 1. First of all, cut a Dixie Cup apart and flatten it out. Grab a piece of paper (ideally scrapbook paper) and trace the outline of the smoothed out cup. This will serve as a template for the paper you use to decorate the cup. Create as many cutouts as needed to cover each bulb on your holiday lights garland.

Step 2. Using double-sided tape, affix one end of a shade cover to a Dixie cup. Adhere another piece of tape to the other end of the cutout and wrap the piece around the cup. Sliding the edge of the cutout up to the lip of the cup will give the shade a seamless appearance. Make sure your edges all match and repeat this process until all the cups are used.

Step 3. Grab a pencil and make an “X” on the bottom of each cup. Now use an Exacto knife to cut into the X. Use a bit of caution here. Exacto knives are extremely sharp. Push a bulb through each of the X’s and string them along until the garland is covered. Please note: This project is for LED lights only. Standard Christmas lights may melt the cups or even catch fire.

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6. Mason jars filled with holiday lights can add some year-round cheer. 

This is a really simple project that can be completed in a matter of minutes.

  1. Buy the following: Washi tape, Mason jars, a strand of battery-powered LED lights, and a bit of burlap (to cover the LED box). You can get these at a craft store or hardware store.
  2. Put your LED lights in the jar. Now, you’ll need to tape the top of the light string to the underpart of the Mason jar’s lid. Carefully place the battery box at the bottom of the jar and wrap it in burlap. This is such a beautiful effect!

And the best thing about these quick, easy, post-holiday crafts? You not only get to keep some holiday cheer year-round, you’re also helping the environment. As Green Eco Services notes, many of these string lights don’t biodegrade. That means the more we reuse, the better off we are. These crafts also make great holiday gifts for next year. And if you still have working lights left over, you can donate them to Goodwill.

Featured image courtesy of Hans/Pixabay

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