The job of putting lights on your tree is no joke, and unless you have a team of elves to help you, chances are you’ll just find an easy way to put lights on a Christmas tree. And while this tedious task can be a headache, oh the rewards! that glitter can take your breath away!
chances are you’ve been hanging lights on your tree just like your parents did. But believe it or not, there are a few different ways to light a Christmas tree. Online and offline, questions abound: do you hang your Christmas tree lights horizontally or vertically? Do you go from the top down or from the bottom up? do you put lights on a christmas tree first? (for the record, we definitely say yes to this). Before you start second-guessing (or changing) your stringing technique, we’ve got some good news: There really isn’t a right or wrong way to light your tree. if your method of equipping your tree suits you, stick with it, you have no reason to change!
Still, it never hurts to try something new, which is one of the reasons we’re sharing these tried-and-true Christmas lighting methods. who knows? maybe you will find a more efficient way to tackle the yearly task. now get bright!
Tip: Typically plan for about 100 Christmas lights per foot; a 6 foot tree would get 600 lights.
how to put lights on a christmas tree vertically
The vertical approach to hanging Christmas tree lights is a trend that started making the rounds a few years ago. this method ensures that the tree shines brightly, because the lights are more visible, since branches are less likely to cover them. bonus: it’s much easier to remove them once the holidays are over!
- plug in each strand of lights to make sure all bulbs work properly.
- start with the unplugged end of the lights at the top or bottom of the tree and let the lights place vertically like a seam.
- every time you reach the top or bottom, turn the lights the other way until you have a lateral “s” pattern around the entire tree.
tip: hang glittery decorations in the middle to help reflect light and add depth.
how to hang christmas tree lights horizontally
Hanging Christmas lights horizontally is the most used technique when decorating the tree. pretty self explanatory, but if this is your first time hanging lights, you’ll want to follow these instructions:
- First, connect each set of lights to make sure all bulbs are working. (This will save you a lot of stress later.)
- Starting at the top or bottom of your tree (depending solely on preference), wrap the lights above and below the tree’s branches.
- You can mix things up by placing some lights “deeper” in the tree than others and alternating the patterns to make it look more organic. be creative and have fun!
Tip: When it comes to connecting outlets, hide the eyesore by attaching the area to a branch with floral wire.
how to hang christmas lights from top to bottom
“I string the lights from the top down because the plug is at the end of the string and closer to the bottom of the tree and the outlet,” says sarah fishburne, director of trends and design at the home depot, which makes a solid case. for this method. Plus, she says, if you run out of lights, it’s easier to distribute them this way, and it’s easier to add more lights at the bottom than at the top of the tree.
- plug in lights to make sure all bulbs work.
- starting at the top of the tree, weave the lights at the top and under the branches.
- work down and around the tree, hanging lights at the back as well .
- when you get to the bottom, hide the extra lights behind the tree.
- if you want to add more lights, just make another pass, again starting at the top and working your way down .
Tip: Make sure to wrap the lights loosely around each branch for the best overall effect.
how to hang christmas lights from the bottom up
the home depot’s senior director of merchandising, kelie charles, goes from the bottom up because she can plug in the lights first. “It makes it easier to see what the illuminated tree will look like while I’m setting up the lights,” she says. do you have extras? just put them down. and if it runs out, just start a new chain and run an extension cord through the back of the tree.
- plug in lights to make sure all bulbs work.
- starting at the bottom, zigzag the christmas tree lights across the tree in quadrants, section by section, versus around the tree.
- place some deeper lights in the branches and place a few closer to the front to create depth.
- hide the light connectors by pushing them deep into tree branches near the trunk.
- once you get to the top, you can plug the additional light connectors into the back of the tree or run an extension cord through the back to the outlet.
tip: try to avoid any obvious patterns or spirals; you want the highlights to look natural.