There's nothing more festive during the holiday season than basking in the glow of twinkle lights — whether they're decking your tree or the eaves of your house. So why pack those sparkling strings away after just a couple of weeks? For all the sweat — and swearing, if my experience is typical — you put into untangling them, the lights deserve a longer display. Year-round, even.
As someone who travels for the holidays and doesn't get a Christmas tree, I wanted to find a nondenominational way to bring the cheery lights into my apartment beyond the holiday season. While simply stringing them up along the ceiling is always an option, I was looking to create a more elegant light source. A friend's outdoor summer wedding sprang to mind: The groom had tied together fallen branches and wrapped them in lights, creating a gorgeously rustic chandelier that was mounted over the dance floor. It was a showstopper.
I was sure that if I re-created that chandelier without any kind of instruction, I'd eventually be held responsible when a branch slipped out of my shoddy knots and conked someone on the head — causing concussion, brain damage and, probably, death. So I took to Pinterest to find sturdier DIY chandeliers.
There was some weird stuff. At least three sites suggested I affix icicle lights to a Hula-Hoop and hang it above my dining room table. I'll give them points for creativity — but it still looked like a Hula-Hoop. No amount of lights could disguise that.
I settled on something a little less circus-y. A craft blog called All Things Heart & Home gave simple instructions for crafting an outdoor chandelier, in which tiny white lights were threaded through globes of twisty grapevine and hung from a birch branch. It looked woodsy and magical. I adapted the idea for indoor use with pretty good success, if I do say so myself. (See my step-by-step directions below.) Supplies cost about $60 — not bad for a chandelier!
The best part, at least for other fix-it-challenged folks like myself? This project doesn't require a chainsaw, a power drill, a belt sander or even a wrench. If you can tie a double knot, you can make this. A Christmas miracle, indeed.
(available at most craft stores)