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!
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 Lights
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.
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 Pipes
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.
PVC Pipe Sch40 1-1/2 Inch
Step Three: Cut Notches
After you have cut the pipes to the right sizes, it’s time to create the notches that you will use later to insert the light cables.
PVC pipes are designed to be attached. That’s why one end is slightly bigger than the other. In this project, to make the notches, we will use the smaller ends.
What you want to do is cut notches of the same size. Depending on how many strands of light you want to use, cut the correct number of notches. The bigger your tree, the more strands of lights you will use.
The rule of thumb is that you should create two notches for one strand of light. So if you decide to do a 10-foot tree, it’s best to use 3 to 4 strands and cut 6 to 8 notches.
The notches need to be cut at the same distance from each other and should be from 1 and 1½ inches deep. To make accurate cuts, use your reciprocating saw or cutting knife.
Step Four: Paint The Pipes
Once you cut the pipes to the right size and create the notches, you can have some fun painting your tree.
Prepare your spray paint and let your imagination do the work. Don’t limit yourself to one color. After all, you want your tree to be original and catch the eye. You can paint it using as many different colors as you wish.
Pro Tip: Before painting PVC pipes, it’s best to prepare your working area, as well as rubber gloves, so as not to damage your hands.
Rust-Oleum 249071 Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover
Step Five: Insert T-Posts In The Ground
Your tree will be exposed to cold, wind, snow, rain, and other difficult conditions. For this reason, you have to be sure it is stable. The best way to provide stability to this project is using the T-posts.
The idea is to put it into the pipe and then bury it in the ground. Put it at least one each deep, but if your area is exposed to extreme weather, place it even deeper. The last thing you would like to happen is for your tree to fall over and break the lights.
After it is ready, you can now place your pipe around it with the smaller end with the notches at the top. However, keep in mind that the post has to be a few inches longer than your pipe to better withstand the winter conditions.
Amagabeli Set of 6 Fence T-Posts
Step Six: Measure The Distance From The Base
When your construction is in the ground, you can now mark the radius of your tree. As we have mentioned before, you can adjust the measurements of this project to your preferences. Depending on how big you want your tree to be, choose the correct distance. The lights can be closer to or further from the base.
We recommend you mark it from 2 to 4 inches from the base. Just make sure the marks are close enough to each other, so you can easily create a perfect circle.
Pro Tip: To mark the ray, you can use spray paint or any powder you have at home.
Step Seven: Insert The Lights
Now you can finally start putting up your lights. Since you will use more than one strand of light, you want to start with putting the female end of the first one into the notch of your pipe. Do it as gently as possible so as not to damage it.
Your tree lights have to be attached to the pipe at the top and the ground at the bottom. To do so, you need to put the wire on the circle you have created and fasten it with one landscaping staple. Next, pull the cable slightly further on the circle and fasten it with the other landscaping staple.
Now you just have to feed the cable into the same notch you came out. You continue this activity until every notch is fed with the wire.
6 Inch Galvanized Landscape Staples
Step Eight: Connect The Lights
It is the last but probably the most enjoyable step. Once everything is ready, connect your lights to power cords and enjoy your Christmas tree. Note that there are a few ways to power your outdoor lights.
The most common option is to use the existing external outlet. The easiest would be to use the one that is located outside. If you don’t have one, the other option would be using an extension cord from inside your house. You can run it from the window, garage, or basement. Just make sure you use a heavy-duty cord.
In case that plugging the lights into the external outlet is not an option, a good solution would be using either solar-powered or battery-powered lights. There are currently many options available on the market so you should find something suitable quite easily.
The Last Word
Over the years, I have applied numerous outdoor Christmas ideas that made my property stand out. If you, like me, love outdoor Christmas decorations and you enjoy experimenting, this DIY outdoor Christmas tree made of lights is definitely worth giving a try.
This light display is very simple to make since it doesn’t require a lot of skills or equipment. It is also budget-friendly and it won’t take you much time to gather all the supplies. However, what is most important, it will make your yard look beautiful!