Party lights, Christmas lights, string lights—so many different names, but we can all agree on one thing: lights make an outdoor space at least 96% more inviting. I'm going to tell you a couple of hints/tips about hanging lights in your outdoor space. These lights were really the icing on the cake for the party alcove. Icing can be the best part, 'specially on a carrot cake… Now I want cake.
Step One: The best place to start is to measure your space. Grab a buddy to hold the end of the tape, measure, and go to town. You might want to just hang the lights around the perimeter of your space. We chose to go the crisscross method; maybe there's even a third option you could try 😉
Here are some things to take into consideration when hanging party lights:
- Do you have an outlet available?
- Could you run an extension cord from inside?
- Is there material to attach your lights to (e.g., awnings, fencing, tree, etc.)?
- How many people are you going to invite to your party when you're done?
Step Two: I chose to use a staple gun to hang these lights. The entire time I was thinking about that scene from the movie Christmas Vacation. You know what scene I'm talking about. I started at the opposite end of where I wanted to end (I feel pretty ridiculous writing that). But it's true; I had to take account for where the plug was going to end up. When I was stapling, I made sure not to staple through the wire, using about two staples per end. Since I ended up using three strands of lights for the space, I had to plug them into each other. I tied the connecting ends into sort of a knot so they wouldn't come apart.
Be careful not to drop the strands and break bulbs; they are super fragile, as glass tends to be. The instructions that came with the product actually recommend that you remove all bulbs before putting up the strands.
I tried to keep the strands somewhat taut, but not so much that I was straining the staples. If you do decide to do the crisscross method, make sure to keep the strands far enough from each other that if a nice wind picks up, the bulbs won't swing into each other. Since we didn't have an outdoor outlet available, I had an exterior extension cord plugged in nearby that I could snake through a window at a moment's notice and plug into.
Credits // Authors: Josh Rhodes. Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Hazel from the Signature Collection.