5 Tips to Hang Christmas Lights on a Tree With Ease

Twinkle, twinkle Christmas tree, how do I put my lights on thee?

If you’ve ever struggled with figuring out how to put lights onto a Christmas tree, we’ve decided to shine a little light on the subject. You don’t have to buy a pre-lit tree to get your ideal look. Or even hire a professional decorator to show you how to string lights on a Christmas tree.

We’re here to save you the frustration of lighting up your tree from this Christmas on out.

Here’s our list of 5 tips to get your tree lighting just right:

1. Determine How Many Lights You’ll Need

You may be wondering, “How many lights for a Christmas tree?” Christmas lovers may be dismayed to know the answer is not as many as you want. There’s actually a perfect number: You’ll want 100 lights for every foot of your tree’s height. So, for a six foot tree, you’ll want 600 lights. Buy all the same wattage for your light strings to ensure there’s no shortage!

2. Check Your Bulbs

    Once you’ve untangled the mess that is your Christmas lights, it’s time to see if the lights work. Don’t try locating burned out bulbs when the lights are knotted in a ball. You may not see the non-lit bulb until it’s on your tree. Bah, humbug!

    To make sure all your bulbs are bright:

    • Straighten and lay light strands flat on the floor
    • Plug in and look for any burned-out bulbs
    • Replace as needed

    Leave your lights on as you decorate your tree to ensure you like the way the tree is being illuminated. Keep it simple if it’s your first time decorating a tree. This will have you avoid creating a complicated pattern as you may tangle your lights in the process.

    3. Start Wrapping Your Tree

    Now comes the fun part: Stringing lights on your Christmas tree. Be sure to start at the lowest branches and work your way up. Make sure to do this step before hanging your Christmas ornaments.

    There’s a few methods to hanging Christmas lights:

    • Weave: Go over and under each branch and around the tree.
    • Horizontal: Your typical wrap around the Christmas tree. Grab a helper!
    • Vertical: Section the tree in thirds and string lights from bottom to top in a triangle shape. Tuck the lights into the greenery.
    • Layered technique: Put larger bulbs on and then layer in smaller LED lights to add dimension. (Think of the tiniest, twinkliest lights you can find!)

    For more twinkle, wrap each branch individually — up and then back down the branch. This is especially a good method if you dislike going round and round your tree.

    4. Get Rid of Unsightly and Un-Christmassy Issues

    Once you get to the end of your lights, it’s time to plug in the next set. To keep the big green outlet plug from being an eyesore, tuck it deep into the branches. Additionally, be sure to look for any sagging or broken branches that need to be clipped off or adjusted.

    5. Let the Twinkling Begin!

    Stand back and admire your decorating work. Do this before placing ornaments on your tree so you can make adjustments appropriately.

    A Few More Christmas Tree Lighting Tips

    We hope you find these Christmas tree lighting tips helpful this holiday season. It takes a little patience, but generally you’ll get it on the first try. A few other Christmas lighting ideas:

    • Mix and match your favorites: Clear and multi-colored, or even flashing lights and bubble lights to give your tree a little more flair.
    • Change up your light-hanging patterns: Zig-zag, horizontal, and vertical are great options to create your ideal twinkle factor. Get creative.
    • Use a tree lighting trick: If the lights still aren’t hanging perfectly, get those nifty little floral wires (even green sandwich bag ties work!), and tie your lights to hang just how you’d like.

    Enjoy these #Christmastips year after year from your friends here at Old World Christmas!

    What’s the hardest part of learning how to string lights on a Christmas tree? Let us know in the comments below!

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    Written by

    Rachael Mitchell

    Rachael Mitchell is a freelance writer based in Seattle, Washington, and has over 15 years of writing experience. She’d never be able to pick just one favorite ornament, but narrowed it down to the S’more and Tennis Ball. She always looks forward to s’mores in the summer with friends and family adding gourmet ingredients, and played 4 years of college tennis in the mid-west.

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