25 Tumblr-Worthy Ways to Decorate with String Lights All Year Round

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If you’re space-challenged, you may not have the luxury of storing holiday decorations during the off-season. However, it’s possible to repurpose some of those items; one easy way is to decorate with string lights.

String lights can cast a lovely warm glow in a dark corner or stand in as a candle replacement. And since many LED string lights are powered by batteries, there’s little hassle in hanging them up on the wall. Here are 25 Tumblr-worthy ways people have found to decorate with string lights.

Adorn a large, empty wall

Often, a large wall requires special wall art or a series of canvases or prints in a gallery-style setting. That said, another way to give that large wall new life is by creating a glowing installation with string lights.

Mesh string lights designed for wrapping around trees come pre-strung in a geometric pattern, making them easy to hang. Image: Facile Ristrutturare

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It’s hard to drill into brick. Plus, brick tends to compete with many types of wall art. Using removable mounting strips to decorate with string lights is a no-fail way to accentuate a bare brick wall. Image: 6 Sq Ft

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Surround your bed with a dreamy wall of fabric and tiny fairy lights. Image: Urban Outfitters

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Black string light cords look fresh and modern against a white wall. Image: Britse & Co

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String lights mounted on the wall add a decorative element, and a warm glow doubles as a soft lamp in the evenings. Image: HGTV

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Go glam with your string lights by choosing ones with an unusual bulb or encasement. Richly painted walls like this peacock-toned one pop against the glow of the lights. Image: Behr

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Use lights to send a message

Marquee letters and neon signs are a big trend, but they’re expensive. Create your own version with long strands of string lights and small nails to shape your favorite words.

The easiest way to create words with string lights is by working with wire versions of the lights. Copper and other metal wire lights bend easily and keep your desired shape. Image: Urban Outfitters

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A dark wall looks especially striking as a backdrop to your string light message. Image: Cosmopolitan UK

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Decorate with string lights to draw attention upwards

There are several reasons you might want to accentuate your ceiling with string lights:

These round-bulb string lights add a summer festival feel to the dining space. Image: Nordic Bliss

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If you have a four-poster bed, drape some fairy lights across the top to create a starry-night effect. Image: Urban Outfitters

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Follow the slope of a ceiling with a strand of lights to highlight the special architecture. Image: Marzena Marideko

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When a chandelier isn’t possible, a long strand of string lights can take its place nicely. Images: Kim Van Rossenberg, Design Sponge

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Wrap your existing chandelier with yards of small fairy lights to create a warm and magical lighting centerpiece. Image: Leviton

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Frame a window or decor piece with string lights

You might want to emphasize something in your room, like a fireplace mantel, mirror or sculpture. You can also brighten up a window by framing it with a border of lights.

The loft’s ceilings and brick walls look even grander when accentuated with string lights. Image: Oh Beauty Interiors

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Adding some string lights to a fireplace mantel is a foolproof way to add some personality to the space. Image: Babyccino Kids

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A dark corner is turned into a glowing spot by wrapping string lights around a ladder. Use the ladder to hang blankets, towels or other textiles for some nicely-lit organization. Image: PB Teen

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A simple mirror gets a Hollywood glam treatment with a strand of large string lights. Image: Indie Home Collective

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This Venetian glass mirror is beautiful simply as it is. But surrounding it with tiny fairy lights gives it an unforgettable look. Image: Restoration Hardware

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This airy space appears even brighter thanks to the glow of the string lights around the window. Image: Entrance

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Add height to a room with this trick

Sometimes a room lacks a dynamic feel and looks too “anchored” to the floor. How? The furniture may all be heavy and low, or the ceilings unusually short. Break up the monotony of a heavy room by varying the height of the major elements. Something as simple as a vertical line of string lights can create the effect you need.

This string light strand juts out from behind the books, creating an “exclamation point” in the room that breaks up all of the low, minimalist pieces. Image: Facing North With Gracia

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A tall, pseudo window curtain is created by hanging a long strand of lights next to a window and allowing it to casually pool on the floor. Image: Carl Wooley

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The vertical light strand installation adds an eye-catching glow to the living room, day or night. Image: Adelgatan

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Decorate with string lights and add height to a room by working with long, floor-to-ceiling decor. Images: Emma’s Design Blogg, MCD Studio

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For maximum enjoyment, plug your string lights into a programmable timer and set them to light up (and turn off) during the times that work best for you.

Are you inspired to dig out your strands of string lights and make good use of them? How will you use them in your home? Let us know in the comments.