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5 Creative Ways to Use Fairy Lights After the Holidays

Fairy light strands under glass domes, wrapped around a tree, and wrapped around a vase
Twinkle Star/GDEALER/ANJAYLIA

The warm, twinkle of fairy lights has become a holiday decoration staple, but what do you do with them the rest of the year? Sure, you could just pack them away until next year, but there are plenty of ways you can repurpose and use fairy lights all year. The only limit is your imagination! We’ll get you started with five ways you can use those fairy lights all year.

Although not all of them actually flicker or twinkle, fairy lights are also sometimes referred to as “twinkle lights.” They’re particularly flexible and customizable, which makes them fantastic for decorating, so you can keep the magical warmth of the holidays going all year. If you’re unsure where to start, we’ve included some of the most popular ways people decorate with fairy lights.

String Them Around Your Garden

Fairy lights strung along a tree and coming out of a vase
GDEALER

There’s something incredibly magical about a garden filled with tiny, twinkling lights. It feels like something straight out of a fairytale, and it’s surprisingly easy to create yourself! All you need is a few strands of waterproof/weatherproof fairy lights on long strands, and a little patience to decide where and how to string the lights.

For this purpose, you’ll want to make sure your fairy lights are safe for both indoor and outdoor use. Many brands are, but you should always check to be sure.

These GDEALER LED Lights are definitely an option worth considering. Battery-operated and waterproof, they’re ideal for outdoor use—you can even control them remotely. Plus, they offer several different “flashing” options, rather than just on or off, so you can customize how they twinkle to suit your mood.

GDEALER 20 Feet LED Fairy Lights

Waterproof, battery-operated, and perfect for turning your garden into a wonderland.

Coil Them In a Jar

Two coils of copper string lights
Ariceleo

Another year-round home décor trend is a jar full of fairy lights! Simply coil a strand of lights loosely under a glass dome, or in a mason jar, wide glass vase, or some other transparent container.

When you’re working with lights in a smaller context like this, look for a strand that’s battery-operated and a little bit shorter than the standard strands. They’ll be easier to coil inside your container.

Ariceleo LED Fairy Lights are battery-operated and only 16-feet long, rather than the typical 20 or 30. You can also choose from several color options, including warm and cool white tones, or multiple bright colors.

Ariceleo LED Fairy Lights

Choose from several colors to create a twinkling piece of décor for your living space.

Turn Them Into Wall Décor

A strand of lights spelling out "Dreamer" above a bed; a coil of fairy lights
ANJAYLIA

After the holidays are over, you can repurpose long strings of fairy lights as creative wall décor. Drape them across a wall in swags or stripes, or string several of them up to create a curtain effect.

You can also take advantage of the flexible wires and shape fairy lights into intricate designs, or even words. You’ll just need a bit of tape to secure the wire at key points to ensure it stays up and in the right shape.

The ANJAYLIA LED Fairy Lights are a great choice to take from holiday to year-round décor. You get 100 tiny, individual, LED bulbs strung along a 33-foot wire that you can bend and shape into any design. You can also set these at different dimmer levels with a remote control and the strands come in several vivid colors.

ANJAYLIA LED Fairy Lights

These flexible strands can be shaped into anything you want.

Create a Centerpiece

Star shaped fairy lights wrapped around flowers in a vase and interwoven with a nautical themed display
ANJAYLIA

Fairy lights are all about the ambiance, no matter what season it is. When you create a focal point with them, it can really upgrade your décor. Wrap them around a jar or vase of flowers or string them through a vignette. Weave them down the center of your dining room table or any other piece of furniture. It’s all about creating a visually striking element with warm, lovely lights.

Take your display to the next level with the ANJAYLIA Star String Lights. They’re available in three different lengths, so they’re perfect for creating a display of any kind. Plus, you won’t have to worry about ending up with too much excess strand.

These star-shaped lights give off a different, but equally magical, ambiance than traditional round fairy lights, which adds a bit of extra personality to any centerpiece.

ANJAYLIA Star String Lights

Create a centerpiece that really stands out with these strands of little stars.

String Them Along a Bookshelf or Mantlepiece

Fairy lights strung in front of books and in several jars
Twinkle Star

A simple strand of fairy lights is the perfect way to elevate your everyday furniture all year. Drape a strand along a mantlepiece or weave them along a bookshelf to create a magical library. You don’t have to make them look perfect—in fact, fairy lights look better when they’re placed a bit more casually.

The Twinkle Star Copper Wire Lights are perfect for stringing along a long surface. At 33 feet, they’re long enough to string along multiple shelves or entwine with items, and then double back. They come complete with a remote control, so you can choose when and how your lights shine.

Twinkle Star Copper Wire String Lights

Drape along a mantle or shelf to add a soft touch of light to any room.


Now that you have some ideas, feel free to play around with your fairy lights until you figure out which method works best. If you decide to use them outside, consider pairing them with some colorful solar lights to enhance that “fairy tale” vibe.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »

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