How to Make Christmas Light Balls

DIY Christmas Light Balls

Level: Medium

Time: 1-2 hours

When Christmas Lights, Etc first shared the concept of DIY Christmas light balls with the general public, it became an instant hit. While commercial decorators created various types of light balls years before the web was around, they were largely an unknown decorating option for the general public. The history of the Christmas light ball has been fairly quiet, but now, they are a DIY phenomenon. A little wire and a few string lights go a long way. Our lights were used for what is now a famous Christmas light ball scene at the Chicago Botanical Gardens. The scene (pictured above) includes numerous light balls scattered around the grounds, on hillsides

and next to large trees. Christmas Lights, Etc also shared what has become the web's most popular tutorial on how to make DIY Christmas light balls, which you can browse below. This DIY tutorial includes the essentials with full pictures and video and we've improved it over the years thanks to our great customer community and enthusiasts who share our passion for cool Christmas lighting and decor projects. We'd like to thank everyone who helped contribute to making this a phenomenon and we hope it sparks creative ideas for everyone else that sees them. Now...onto the light balls!

How to Make Christmas Light Balls

Step One: Gather your supplies. For this project, you'll need chicken wire, small wire cutters, a measuring tape, gloves, and our LED mini lights.

Step Two: Roll out the chicken wire and measure out the dimensions. To create a spherical shape, the chicken wire must be twice as long as it is wide. We are creating a 2 Christmas light ball, so our chicken wire was 2 x 4.

Christmas Light Ball Supplies
Christmas Light Ball Supplies
How to Make Christmas Light Balls -  Measure Your Chicken Wire
Measure Your Chicken Wire

Step Three: Cut the chicken wire at the measured area. Because chicken wire can be sharp and hard to handle, gloves come in handy when manipulating the wiring.

Step Four: Once the chicken wire is cut, place the two cut sides together and connect by twisting the wires around each other.

How to Make Christmas Light Balls-Cut the Chicken Wire
Cut the Chicken Wire
How to Make Christmas Light Balls - Twist The Wires Together
Twist The Wires Together

Step Five: As you can see in this picture, we created a bond by twisting the wire.

Step Six: Now you'll have a cylinder of chicken wire. This is where the shaping process begin.

How to Make Christmas Light Balls - Wires Twisted to Form a Seam
Wires Twisted to Form a Seam
DIY Christmas Light Balls - Cylinder Shape Formed From Twisting Wires
Cylinder Shape Formed From Twisting Wires

Step Seven: Begin pushing the cylinder's sides together and twisting the wire together. Pleating as one would cloth, or folding the circle into each other, begins to create the round shape. Snip the wire with the wire cutters and twist it together to make sure it will hold.

Step Eight: Continue to sculpt the chicken wire to make it as round as possible. Pushing in the curves and pulling on the ends helps to create a more spherical shape.

DIY Christmas Light Balls - Fold The Ends Together In a Pleating Motion
Fold The Ends Together In A Pleating Motion
DIY Christmas Light Balls - Shape Chicken Wire into a Ball
Continue Creating Ball Shape

Step 9: Once the ball is completely spherical, it's time to wrap with lights. Take your first string and wrap so that the male plug is exposed. This allows for the chicken wire ball to be plugged in and to power it.

Step 10: Wrap the lights around the ball, in and out of the wire, to secure it. When one string has gone as far as it can go, plug the next string in to create end-to-end runs. For this 2 ball, we used 3 LED light strings for added brightness, however a good rule of thumb is to use (1) 70ct 5mm LED Light string per every 1 ft of diameter. Once the lights are fully wrapped around the chicken wire ball, it's ready to be plugged in.

DIY Christmas Light Balls - Secure Christmas Light Plug
Secure Christmas Light Plug
DIY Christmas Light Balls - Wrap Ball With Lights
Wrap Ball With Lights
DIY Christmas Light Balls Made from Chicken Wire and Wrapped With LED String Lights
4ft. Blue and 2ft. Green Christmas Light Balls

The green Christmas light ball is 2' in diameter, while the blue Christmas light ball is 4' in diameter. Use other LED light colors on several different sizes to create an entire garden of Christmas light balls. Then just sit back and enjoy. These Christmas light balls are amazing when lit together. Just take a look!

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Outdoor Christmas Decoration Ideas - How to Make DIY Christmas Light Balls
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