A Dairing Life
Exterior photo of two story house.Windows are filled and illuminated with Christmas lights

How to Install Magical Fairy Christmas Lights

December 4, 2020 0 Comments

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It’s the most wonderful time, of the year! Today I’m coming at ya with a tutorial for how we install our Christmas lights on (in?) in our house. This technique is a total showstopper and bonus: it’s way easier than you might think. Extra bonus: you’ll swear you can hear Aunt Bethany say “Is your house on fire Clark?” without the risk of bodily injury. Ha!

We’ve been putting up our Christmas lights this way since we bought our first home. I’m happy to say that we are continuing our Christmas lights tradition for the first year in our new home.

Window on front porch filled and illuminated with Christmas Lights

Bring out your inner Clark Griswald -without hurting yourself

A couple of points about this Christmas lights method:

  1. I saw an inspiration photo on Pinterest years ago that gave me this idea, so I can’t take full credit. Although after a lot of trial and error, we have a foolproof method.
  2. You are going to be installing your exterior Christmas lights inside your house. Confused? Don’t be, just read on!
  3. This will cause any rooms on the front of your house (or wherever you decide to install your Christmas lights) to be illuminated while the lights are on at night. For instance, our bedroom is on the front of the house and our baby is still sleeping in our room for now. We do turn off the lights in our room when we put him down around 8 pm for the night. It’s not ideal, but the slightest amount of light peaks in through our blackout drapes and we don’t want him to confuse day and nighttime. We aren’t worried about it, since it’s a temporary problem and still love doing our Christmas lights this way.

Let’s get started!

How to Install Magical Fairy Christmas Lights

Materials Needed:

Instructions for Installing:

  • Clean your windowsill, frame, and top of the window with alcohol. Basically anywhere you may anchor your lights. If alcohol is hard to come by (thanks, 2020), use your favorite cleaner. Ultimately you’re trying to remove any residue that would prevent your hooks from sticking.
Palm holding a 3m Command mini light hook
  • Place your first hook as an anchor for the lights – I start at the bottom of the window closest to where I’m plugging in the string of lights. That means I start with the male end. I always plug in the lights to begin until I get them more “anchored” then unplug until I’m finished. Another tip – I like to face the hook opening facing the window. In my mind that makes it more secure.
Windowsill with Command 3m hook attached. There is a string of Christmas lights running through the hook
  • Now take your string of Christmas lights to the top of the window – make them as tight or give them as much slack as you like. More slack = more lights in the window, tighter = a more streamline look (and more mileage on your lights). Be careful if you want them tight – if there’s too much tension, you might pull your hook down! Place your hook at the top of your window. I place mine at the very top – you can also place the hook at the top of your window on the glass, depending on your setup. I like to go slightly to the left or right, depending on which direction I’m going in the window, of the bottom hook. Just remember, you’re trying to “fill” the space with light.
Top of window with Command 3m hook attached. There is a string of Christmas lights running through the hook.
  • Continue moving across the window, adding hooks to the top and bottom and attaching light strings as you go. When you need to add another strand, wrap up the portion of the string with no lights, so that you don’t have a gap with no lights in the window. You can’t really see the plug from the exterior of the house if you’re using white lights/string. If needed, tie-up the plug/non-lighted section with a twist or cable tie, and tape down into place.
  • Check your work as you go. Plug in the lights, and take a step back. I like to head to the front yard. Sometimes the lights cluster together where they hang from the top hook. If I think two strands are too close together, I’ll pull them apart and tape one side where I want it to lay. I tape on the front of the ledge where the locks are on the window.
Window with two strings of Christmas lights attached and hanging down. A woman's hand holds the string to adjust the distance between them.
  • Keep going until you have attached Christmas lights and hooks to all the windows you want. We only do the front of the house.
  • Optional: since you’ll need the lights plugged in, in each room where you have them, we use smart timers. They’re programmed to come on and go off at the same time each night, and we can control them by the app if we need to turn them off at a different time, or even just one room at a time.

Now bask in the glory of your beautiful, glowy Christmas lights! Another bonus? We leave the hooks up year round so istallation is a breeze the next year!

Do you put up Christmas lights? Do you hate being high up on a ladder outside as much as my hubs and me? Let me know in the comments!

Stay Dairing.

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