Personalized Lights




A few years back when my husband and I were poor college students and only had a house plant and craft supplies to decorate for Christmas, I decided to make our one string of lights a bit more interesting.

All you need are printed images, scissors and tape to make the lights on your tree uniquely yours!

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Step 1: Choose Your Images

My husband and I went on a trip to Ireland this summer and I took tons of pictures of beautiful graffiti. I decided they would make a great set of lights for this year. Pick out the best family photos from the year, pics from your favorite tv show, or holiday clipart. Any images will do.

Print them to about 1"x1.5". Some systems may have a thumbnail or contact sheet option when printing. You need to have a few inches of white paper above or below the image, so I had to print mine with only 5 to a page. When I printed more, there wasn't enough white space between the 1st and 2nd row.

Step 2: Cut and Fold

Cut the images out in strips that are about 3x the size of the image.

Fold the strip three times. Once at the top of the image, once at the bottom, and once halfway down the excess paper below.

Step 3: Tape and Cut

Tape the strips into a triangle with the image on the inside.

Cut a small triangle from the corner opposite the image.

Step 4: Install

Slide each piece onto a light at the slit.

These are fun with any lights but I highly recommend blinking lights as you can only see the image when the light is on. They can be quite mesmerizing to continually rediscover what each image is as the lights blink on and off.

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    5 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I love the idea of using graffiti shots for this. Cuenca, Ecuador - actually every small city we've visited in Ecuador - has amazing street art. I think I will give this a try. I can think of a number of themes from this area that would make interesting lighting. Thank you.

    3 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I've got it flagged to do so. In the meantime, here is a piece that is on the wall surrounding a home for seniors in Cuenca (where we live)... and one from a sponsored installation in the town of Baños de Agua Santa.

    The first two are quite pristine, but so many are wonderfully aged. The last one is along a park road in Vilcabamba.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    They're all so great! They remind me of murals in the Mission District of San Francisco.