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Ways to Use String Lights

String lights are some of the most versatile lighting solutions available and are increasingly popular in home decor. They can be manipulated to fit into any space, no matter what size or shape it may be. Similar light fixtures run on rigid tracks must be installed in straight lines. With string lights though, you get the glow you want and the versatility you need. You can even bring most of these projects to life on a moderate budget. Make a statement with one of the creative ideas below:

a lamp of string lights stuffed into a geometric container

a lamp of string lights stuffed into a wine bottle

a lamp of string lights stuffed into a glass container


Stuff copper or painted festive string lights into a container for a unique, custom lamp. Be creative with your choice of housing to reinforce the room’s theme or to display facets of your own personality. Use wine bottles in the dining room, or even any room if you’re a wine connoisseur. A rope added to a glass lid provides a rustic flare or may even suggest a nautical theme. Battery-powered lights can be used if you’d like to avoid the clutter and other inconveniences of an electrical cord. For a modern, minimalist alternative, simply hang a set of white string lights against a white wall, over a nightstand. This approach will create more free space on the nightstand while maintaining the familiar lamp+table combination.

String lights creating a minimalist lamp, saving space on nightstand

pin photos to string lights

pin photos to string lights

photos pinned to string lights


Tape, clip, or pin photographs onto string lights for an eclectic and unique display that is bound to capture the attention of guests. The string lights can be given slack for a more casual appearance, or they can be held taut to organize the photographs in straighter lines. Alternatively, you may use string lights with some bulbs removed as spotlights to highlight specific pieces on your wall.

take some bulbs out and use the remaining to highlight works of art.

using string lights to add interest to white bedroom walls

using string lights to add interest to white bedroom walls

Warm string lights behind canopy


String lights can be draped over the frame of your canopy to create a faux headboard. The appearance is exceptionally dream-like when the entire canopy is covered with festive lighting. Alternatively, a headboard can be build from 2x4s with crossbeams, and stuffed with string lighting. Use polycarbonate sheets to create a translucent container.

string lights over a canopy creates a dreamlike environment.

shades constructed from dixie cups covered with paper.

squares of tulle fabric tied onto string lights

lit rugs can be created by crocheting around a rope light


Festive string lights can be decorated in endless fashions. Tie some kind of accent between each light, like the photo of the bows above. In this case, the bows translucence creates a dream-like quality by softening the harshness of each individual bulb. Miniature lamp shades can be crafted from miniature cups wrapped with printed or textured paper. You may even knit around a set of rope lights to create a light-up rug. Don’t forget to be creative with how and where you hang the lights. String lights across a long dining table will lengthen the appearance of the table.

Dining table lighting

About the Author: Jim Hilliard

I started Outdoor Lighting Perspectives back in 1995, since then we have franchised and now have over 35 offices around the country. Our business has grown to what it is today because of our extraordinary service. Thank you for your interest in Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.