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How to Make Outdoor Christmas Trees Out of Lights

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Last Updated By Christina

Do you want to make an outdoor Christmas tree out of lights? Christmas decorations are all about the trees and the lights, so this year, why not accent your lawn with a beautiful Christmas tree made of lights? In this article, we’ll walk you through how to make outdoor Christmas trees out of lights step by step. 

There are a few different methods of creating your own outdoor Christmas light tree. Typical materials include pipes, metal wire, zip-ties, and lots of lights. Examples are shown here range from simple designs you can finish in under an hour or massive showstoppers with day-long assemblies, but the impact is well worth it. 

Christmas light trees are a fun and easy DIY project for you and your family. Make this crafting experience an annual tradition that everyone can help with. Of the methods mentioned below, choose the option that best suits your family and Christmas spirit. 

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Simple and Easy-to- Light Tree 

If you’re looking for a cute and small Christmas light tree to decorate your yard along with other pieces or to cheer up the yard on its own, this might be the appropriate choice for you. 

This one is fairly easy once you get the hang of it. In fact, it shouldn’t take more than an hour once you have the technique down. Even better, once you have finished, you can leave this tree assembled and just take it out and plug it in next year.

Equipment

  • 1 24″ tall Metal Wire Christmas Tree Frame Or 1 Conical Garden Obelisk Trellis (tomato cages are also an easy but less structured alternative)
  • 1-2 boxes of standard Christmas lights (color of your choice)
  • 1 pack of zip ties or plastic twist ties
  • 3-4 heavy stones, bricks, or small bags of sand
  • Optional: Tree topper and bulb ornaments

Average Cost: $30

Steps:

  1. Place the metal wireframe of a trellis in the desired location on your lawn
  2. If you are using a trellis, firmly stake it into the ground. If you are using a metal frame, weigh the frame’s borders down with stones, bricks, or sand to ensure it is secure.
  3. Remove your lights from the packaging and fasten the strand to the lowest ring of the frame or trellis.
  4. From here, determine what type of shape you prefer for your lights on the tree. You can either string your lights circularly or vertically. 
  5. Circularly: Wind the lights circularly around the frame and fasten the lights with zipping/twist ties as you go. Be sure the fasten them around anchor points within the frame, such as where the inner rings and the outer metal rods intersect. Be sure to wind and fasten the lights all the way from the base to the tip.
  6. Vertically: This method will alternate fastening the lights from the base ring to the tip of the frame. After fastening the string of lights to the bottom of the frame with zipping/twist ties, stretch the lights vertically all the way to the tip of the frame. Fasten here, then go back and fasten any anchor points along the way. Go back to the lights hanging from the tip and bring them vertically to the bottom of the frame. Again, fasten at the bottom, then go back and secure at anchor points. Repeat this all the way around the frame. 
  7. Once everything is fastened properly, decorate with ornaments and a tree topper

Average-Sized Christmas Light Tree 

If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your Christmas lawn decorations while getting the whole family involved, this is the perfect project for you. This Christmas light tree resembles the size of most standard trees found in anyone’s home. 

Although you have to get a little craftier to assemble this version, it’s a great lesson in family collaboration, and once it’s done, you can sit on the porch with some hot cocoa and revel in your accomplishment. 

Equipment

  • 1 10-foot metal pole (must be hollow) 
  • 2 packs of 300 mini lights (or a preferred alternative)
  • 2 4-packs of S-hooks
  • 2 10-packs of garden staples/crampons
  • 1 tape measure
  • Optional: tree topper

Average Cost: $70

Steps

  1. Pound the 10-foot pole about a foot and a half into the ground in your desired location. This will give you about an 8-foot tree, so be sure to place the pole in a location where there is plenty of room for assembly and the circumference of the tree. 
  2. Measure 36-inches out from the base of the pole. Using one crampon, pin the start of your lights at this 36-inch point into the ground. Be careful not to break any lights but be sure it is securely pinned for a taught structure. 
  3. Hang one S-hook onto the top of the pole. One curve should be inside the hollow and the other curving upwards against the outside of the pole. 
  4. Using your lights that have now been fastened to the ground on one end, loop the string of lights around the hanging S-hook and then pull it down, back to the 36-inch point on the ground.
  5. Measure out 11-inches between the lights that are cramped into the ground and the string you just looped around the S-hook. At 11-inches in-between, each point, fasten your new string of lights with a crampon. This should create a sort of triangular shape with the two fastened points and the tip at the S-hook.
  6. Once you have successfully created your first triangle shape, measure another 11-inches from your last fastened crampon and stretch your string of lights to the length of this point. You will then fasten the lights to the ground at the end of this 11-inch mark with another crampon. The resulting visual around the circumference should be an 11-inch gap (as the lights loop around the S-hook) followed by an 11-inch boundary created by the lights. 
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 until you have filled the circumference of your light Christmas tree.

Go Big or Go Home with a 20-foot Christmas Light Tree 

If you’re trying to make a statement about your stance on Christmas, this is the way to do it. You might need the help of the whole family (or the whole street) to get this done in a day, but the beauty of this mammoth light tree once it’s plugged in is absolutely worth the effort. 

This is a fantastic way to get the community together and make an event of building the light tree with some tailgating festivities surrounding the construction.  

Equipment

  • 3 124 ft rolls of Christmas lights (any color) 
  • 2 10-ft Pieces of 1-inch metal pipe (screwable ends)
  • 1 1-inch connector for pipe pieces
  • 1 1-inch Pipe Bracket 
  • 1 1-Foot Wooden Circle (buy or make)
  • 1 metal base plate (appropriate size for 1-inch pipes
  • 5 10-Foot Pieces of 1/2 PVC Pipe
  • 6 PVC Tee Sockets
  • 1 Pack of Zip Ties
  • 1 Tree Topper
  • 1 Electric drill with screws

Average Cost: $275

Steps

  1. Take your wooden circle, and with your electric drill and screws, screw the 1-in pipe bracket into the center of the circle with the connector ring facing out. 
  2. Drill 12 holes curving around the circumference of the wooden circle, equidistant to one another (looks like points on a clock). Keep the holes about an inch from the edge.
  3. Screw one pole securely into the pipe bracket.
  4. On the other end of the pole, screw on the 1-inch pipe connector.
  5. Screw on the second 10-foot metal pipe to the 1-inch connector (a decent-sized wrench might be necessary to fully screw the pipes together).
  6. Place the metal base plate in the desired location and insert the end of the pipe into the plate (you might need to weigh the plate down with bricks or sandbags for support). Do not fasten the pipe because it will be removed again for a later step.
  7. Cut 6, 5-foot pieces of your PVC Pipes and arrange them into a circle using your PCV tee sockets to connect them. The socket in the middle should face downwards. 
  8. Using the remaining PVC pipe, create 6 pieces to place in the downward tee socket for legs and hammer them into the ground for support. 
  9. Once you are sure everything is placed appropriately for final construction, remove the metal rod structure, lay it on your lawn, and begin unraveling your lights. 
  10. You will then create multiple loops with your lights (strive to keep them straight as you lay them out to mitigate tangling). Measure about 25 feet from the tip of the pole past its end and stretch your lights along this length (the lights should start at the base).  
  11. Once the string meets the circle, use zip ties to fasten it to the wooden circle through the screwed holes.
  12. Unravel your lights back to the end of the 25-foot length, create a little U-shape, then go back up and refasten to the wooden circle (you can do it through the same hole for more loops or a different hole for 12 loops total). Make sure your loops maintain the 25-foot length as you do this.
  13. Repeat these steps around the wooden circle, then place the pole back into the pipe plate. 
  14. Pull the individual loops out and fasten them around the circumference of the pipe circle
  15. Any remaining lights can be zip-tied to the circumference of the pipe circle for a border.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! Three different methods for creating a brilliantly lit Christmas tree for your lawn. 

For added fun, choose lights with different patterns, so your tree becomes a light show at night. This piece of lawn art is sure to catch the eye of any passerby, and after a year or two of practice, you’ll be able to assemble it in no time and start upgrading to bigger and better trees.  Be sure the check out our top outdoor Christmas decorations here!

If you’re in need of a quick Christmas gift, bath bombs are great gift. They fun and provide some great benefits, and fun fact as long as you’re careful, they can also be used in a hot tub.

Filed Under: Outdoor Lighting

About Christina

Hey there and thanks for coming to our site. We love doing projects in our backyard. We do many of the projects ourselves and it's always a work in progress.

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How To Make An Outdoor Christmas Tree Made of Lights

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by Przemek Szanowski

Backyard Christmas DIY & Projects

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There are many reasons why I love the holiday season, delicious food, spending time with family, and gift-giving. However, the one thing I was always the most obsessed with was the outdoor decorations. What I enjoy using the most when decorating outside are Christmas lights. For the past couple of seasons, my number one DIY project using them was an outdoor Christmas tree made of strands of lights.

Having such a special Christmas tree in your yard will catch the eye of all your neighbors and take your outdoor decorations to the next level. There are many different methods to make it, but since we all are short of time before Christmas, today I will show you the easiest way to create it.

Let’s gather all the necessary stuff and start this simple and fun project!

Table of Contents

What You Will Need
  • 1 ½” PVC Pipe
  • T Posts (Make sure it fit into your pipe)
  • Outdoor String Lights
  • Landscaping Staples
  • Spray Paint
  • Reciprocating Saw Or Cutting Knife

A Step-By-Step Tutorial On How To Create An Outdoor Christmas Tree Made of Lights

Step One: Choose The Proper LightsImage credits: Duncan Cuthbertson via Canva

Before you start creating this project, you need to gather all of the supplies we listed above. As long as it is not challenging to get the right PVC pipes or T-posts, finding the proper outdoor lights can be difficult.

Since there are many options to choose from, we want to help you make the right purchase decision. Among all the possible options for this project, we recommend either LED Christmas lights or incandescent Christmas Lights.

They both come in a variety of colors and light bulbs shapes and sizes, but there are a few differences between them. Let’s look at their unique pros and cons to understand them better.

LED Lights

Incandescent Lights

As long as LED lights seem more expensive, they will allow you to save more money in the long term. Depending on what your needs are, find the lights that will suit your needs the most.

Step Two: Cut Your PipesImage credits: akaratwimages via Canva

The best part of most DIY projects is that you can modify them according to your preferences. In the case of creating an outdoor Christmas tree made of lights, it isn’t any different. Starting with the size, you can make it as tall as you wish.

Most of the time, the pipes are 10 feet high. If you want your tree to be shorter, just cut it lower to match your ideal height. However, if you desire to make it taller than 10 feet, you can either find a longer pipe or attach two pipes and then cut one of them.

The next thing you have to consider is the number of trees in your yard. Again, it’s up to you. We recommend you have more than one and to place them next to each other. If you decide to have numerous trees, think about having trees of different sizes. It will look more interesting and appealing.

Pro tip: To cut the pipes, it’s best to use a reciprocating saw. This tool will allow you to do the job quickly and effortlessly. However, if you don’t have it, you can always use a cutting knife. Just make sure it is sharp enough to go through the pipes smoothly.

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