How To Make An Outdoor Christmas Tree Made of Lights - Backyard Boss
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How To Make An Outdoor Christmas Tree Made of Lights

There are many reasons why the holiday season is so wonderful, including delicious food, singing carols, and gift-giving. However, if you really want to feel the Christmas spirit and bring your family closer, decorate your yard with lights. You can use them to decorate your porch or roof, but you can also create your DIY outdoor Christmas tree made of strands of lights.

Having such a special Christmas tree will make your yard stand out and catch the eye of all your neighbors. You can create it using various methods, but since everybody is short of time before Christmas, in this article, you will discover the fastest and easiest way to do it.

What You Will Need

tangled lights
Image credits: Wokandapix via Pixabay

Making your outdoor Christmas tree made of lights can seem complicated, but it really isn’t. As long as you are equipped with a few essentials, this task won’t take much time to finish. Below you will find the necessary equipment:

  • 1 ½” PVC Pipe
  • T Posts (Make sure it fits 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

Image credits: J.J. Gouin via Shutterstock

Finding the proper outdoor lights can sometimes be difficult due to the many options available. Among all the possible options for this project, it’s best to use LED Christmas lights or incandescent Christmas Lights.

They both come in a variety of colors and light bulb shapes and sizes, but there are a few differences between them. Find below a list of their unique pros and cons to understand the choice better.

LED Lights



Incandescent Lights



Step Two: Cut Your Pipes

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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. If you decide to have numerous trees, think about building them in different sizes, since it will make the project 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 one, you can always use a cutting knife. Just make sure it is sharp enough to go through the pipes smoothly.

Step Three: Cut Notches

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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, 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 to create two notches for one strand of light. So if you decide to do a 10-foot tree, it’s best to use three to four strands and cut six to eight notches.

The notches need to be cut at the same distance from each other and should be between 1 and 1½ inches deep. To make accurate cuts, use your reciprocating saw or cutting knife.

Step Four: Paint The Pipes

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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 and use rubber gloves not to damage your hands.

Step Five: Insert T-Posts In The Ground

Image credits: Porter Blackford via Shutterstock

Your tree will be exposed to cold, wind, snow, rain, and other harsh conditions. For this reason, you have to be sure it is stable. The best way to provide stability to this project is by 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.

Step Six: Measure The Distance From The Base

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When your construction is in the ground, you can now mark the radius of your tree. As 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.

It’s recommended to mark it from 2 to 4 inches from the base, making sure the marks are close enough to each other, so you can easily create a perfect circle.

Pro Tip: To mark the ray, use spray paint or any powder you have at home.

Step Seven: Insert The Lights 

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Now you can finally start putting up your lights. Since you will use more than one strand of light, 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 must be attached to the pipe at the top and the ground at the bottom. To do so, 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 of. You continue this activity until every notch is fed with the wire.

Step Eight: Connect The Lights

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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 to use 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.

If plugging the lights into the external outlet is not an option, a good solution would be to use either solar-powered or battery-powered lights. There are currently many options available on the market so you should find something suitable quite easily.

Santa’s Coming!

An outdoor Christmas tree made of lights is a fun and enjoyable DIY project you can create to make your yard stand out. You can do it alone or with your family. That way, you will also create beautiful memories that will stay in your and your close ones’ hearts forever.

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 won’t take much time. However, what is most important, it will make your yard look beautiful!