Title: DIY Outdoor Christmas Decorations
There are plenty of outdoor Christmas decorations on the market, but there may be times when you want a completely unique decoration. The following are instructions on making personalized and handmade decorations with Christmas mini lights, plywood, and some ingenuity.
Finalize the Design
First, decide what you want your decoration to look like. Will it be a snowflake, Santa, or a favorite cartoon character? Decide the size of the decoration by comparing it with other Christmas decorations you already have. Adjust your idea based on whether passersby can see the decoration from the road. Keep in mind that the bigger your design, the more lights you will need.
Next, purchase a sheet of plywood large enough for your design. We recommend a ½ inch thick plywood to stand up to the elements. Also purchase solid color mini lights for the color scheme of your design.
Now, sketch your design onto the plywood by either drawing it yourself or by having an artistic friend sketch the design. Sketching with a marker ought to do the trick. Just make sure whatever you use is dark enough and thick enough to see.
How to Add Christmas Lights
After the design has been completely sketched onto the plywood, begin marking holes for the mini lights. Take a look at the Christmas lights you will be using and figure out the spacing of the lights on each string. For example, if you are using mini lights strands with bulb spacing of 4 inches, do not mark your lights any more than 4 inches apart. To make things easier, on the back of your plywood design, mark your light positioning with a color marker that matches the color light strand you will be using. This will help you keep track of where each color light strand will go.
Now grab a drill and roll up your sleeves. Using a drill bit that is large enough to make a hole through which the light bulbs can fit tightly, drill the holes that you just marked. You will essentially now have one large dot-to-dot art project with holes dotting the lines of your design.
You can now place your lights into the pre-drilled holes. Remember, because you marked the colors you need with colored markers, you can easily lay out the lights. Work your way from the outside of the design inward using one color light strand at a time, making sure to leave enough slack for extension cords and plugs to connect your light strands. Periodically step back to make sure your design looks the way you like. You may need to drill a few more holes to accentuate a curve or start a different colored light strand earlier than anticipated.
Secure the Mini Lights
Working your way through the design, you will soon fill the entire piece of plywood with mini lights. In order to make sure the lights stay in the holes, you can use a small piece of duct tape or electrical tape on the back of the plywood and the base of the bulb to keep the bulb in place.
Plug in each strand of mini lights, turn off all other lights, step back, and admire your work. Better yet, head over to the Christmas Lights, Etc Facebook page and upload a picture of your latest creation.