How to String Christmas Lights on Outdoor Trees

2 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Decorating for Your Christmas Party

Have trees in your yard? String them with Christmas lights to create holiday magic. The best way to string Christmas lights on outside trees is by starting at the base of the trunk and following these instructions:

  1. Test the lights to make sure that they’re working, and then leave them plugged in while you work to get an accurate idea of how the lighting will look.

  2. Secure an extension cord supplying electricity to the tree at the base by staking a dowel rod into the ground.

  3. Tape the female end of the extension cord to the dowel rod with electrical tape.

    After plugging in and stringing lights, you may cover this part of your extension cord with a plastic bag; tape the bag to the dowel rod to prevent moisture from seeping into the connection making it a fire hazard.

  4. Start winding lights up the tree.

    You don't need to wind lights on every single branch, although the more you do the better it looks. Look at your tree with a critical eye and decide which branches get lights; keep in mind how the tree will look lit up at night.

    Keep adding strands as necessary, making sure to wrap each connection thoroughly with electrical tape.

Make sure that you string a maximum of only three strands of lights or less to one extension cord to reduce fire hazards. You don’t want your holidays to go up in smoke, or all your hard work to just short out only moments after lighting it up.

To cover shrubbery, look for the type of lights that are netted together. They’re perfect for giving a unified look, and you won’t have to worry about stringing the right coverage of lights on a particular shrub. Netted lights do the design work for you.

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The Essentials of Decorating for Your Christmas Party

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