20 Ways to Magically Light Your Home at Christmas (that aren’t a tree)

What types of lights are available?

  • Battery-Operated Metallic String Lights. These are ideal for installations where plug-in lights would be impossible or unsightly. They automatically come on at the same time every day and stay lit for six hours. This means that you can use them almost anywhere AND the battery will last a few weeks. If you buy rechargeable batteries and a charger, you can save money over time.
  • “Outdoor” Solar Lights. These lights work well near a window so the solar panel can be placed against the window pane. They even come in colors such as pink!
  • Battery-Operated Candle Lights. These lights have a sensor which detects outdoor light. This allows them to automatically come on at dusk and stay on for many hours afterwards. This means the batteries last between Thanksgiving and New Years without replacing.
  • Wired Lights. These work well when an outlet is nearby and the lights can be installed without the cord showing.
Glass Vase. These battery-operated metallic string lights intertwine with antique mercury glass ornaments in a large glass vase.
Domed Cake Stand. These battery-operated metallic string lights and boa surround a vignette placed on a cake stand and topped with a glass cloche. The vignette includes a house from World Market and bottle brush tree such as these.
Ornaments in a bowl. Here, battery-operated metallic string lights intertwine with antique ornaments and boa in a large decorative bowl.
Shadow box. To create this shadow box, a Christmas saying was designed, printed and matted to serve as the backing. A crescent moon was hung and some favorite miniatures: a Corvette, an Airstream trailer , and bottle brush trees similar to these, were placed in the bottom, along with some fake snow.
Wreaths. Wreaths are ideal for battery-operated metallic string lights since no unsightly cords will hang below.
Centerpiece. These battery-operated metallic string lights twist around garland, pearls, lace and a boa surrounding candelabras with pink candles.
Chandelier. Battery-operated metallic string lights are ideal for a chandelier Add ornaments, boa and pearls for extra interest. Garland and lace could also work well.
Indoor Plants. Pink solar lights intertwine with herbs planted in a rustic wooden planter on a kitchen windowsill.
Behind a Fireplace Screen. These wired lights are hung behind a stained glass fireplace screen. Please see our tutorial on how to create this screen.
Gingerbread House. Battery-operated metallic string lights are used both inside and surrounding a gingerbread house. For tips on creating this house, please see this post
Christmas Card Display. These battery-operated metallic string lights surround an entry closet door. Decorative clothespins are used to attach Christmas cards as they arrive. The center of the door features an antique card sent by the original owner of the home.
Candle Lights in Windows. These Battery-Operated Candle Lights conserve energy through the light sensor. The candle is surrounded with garland, wire lights, pearls, lace, and a boa. Above the candle lights hangs a crystal snowflake ornament.
Atop a Mantle. These battery-operated metallic string lights illuminate a collection of vintage Santas amongst garland, lace, pearls, and boas. Other decorations include a Santa advent calendar, ivory stockings, and round ornaments placed on candlestick holders.
China Cabinet. These battery-operated metallic string lights help to illuminate Bavarian china, though the glass front of a china cabinet. An ornament hangs on the door.
Garland. Garlands can be created from tree decorations and hung above windows and mirrors. With battery-operated metallic string lights there is no need to be near an outlet.
Front of a Shelf. These battery-operated metallic string lights illuminate a yard-long print and a boa.
Plate Display Rack. Battery-operated metallic string lights front a plant display rack decorated with vintage Santa figurines, boas, and Bavarian china dishes
Bathroom window. “Outdoor” Solar Lights are ideal to surround a bathroom window even indoors since wired lights would be unsafe above a bathtub. These lights are relaxing for warm winter bubble baths. A glittery miniature tree sits in the copper tray on the windowsill. In the spring, seeds will be planted here.
Atop an Armoire. These battery-operated metallic string lights draw attention to the framed Christmas tree created with ornaments.
Headboard. These wired lights pair with a pink boa above a headboard. To learn how to create this headboard, please see this tutorial.


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Some posts on this site include affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please know that the opinions expressed are entirely our own.

Layering Details for a Magical Gingerbread House

I have been wanting to build a gingerbread house for literally decades. I decided this was the year. I absolutely underestimated the amount of work, but I ended up being pleased with the final product. I think the key to creating a house that I love was layering inexpensive decorations, mostly purchased from dollar stores and Wal-mart. Let me share with you some specific details and also let you know where I purchased many of the decorations

The house features pink swirl lollipops on either corner of the house. The pastel marshmallows line the roof’s edge. Royal icing is highlighted with dragees in many places. Chocolate sugar wafers form the front stairs.

Where did you find the _____?

Some posts on this site include affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please know that the opinions expressed are entirely our own.