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Christmas Hack! Hang your Christmas lights vertically

Looking for the easiest way to hang lights on your Christmas tree? Here is how to hang your lights vertically to save time and lights!

I tried something new on my Christmas tree this year and it has totally changed the way that I will decorate our tree – forever!

Let me back up a beat.

There is always a debate in our house – real tree vs. fake tree.

Sean grew up with a real tree, and really loves them.

I get it – real trees smell so good, and look… real. They are classic and beautiful.

But I love a fake tree. It’s just so easy and – the best part – they come pre-lit.

I have always hated putting lights on a tree. I spent so long going round and round and wrapping the branches.

My hands get sticky with sap and everyone wants me to hurry up so we can put on the ornaments.

Well, no more, because now I am doing vertical Christmas lights and it is so, so much easier!

how to hang christmas tree lights vertically

Can you put on Christmas lights vertically?

Yes, many people prefer putting lights on a Christmas tree vertically. In my experience, it goes on quicker and uses less lights for a very similar end result!

How do you hang vertical string lights?

First, start towards the back or outlet that your lights will be plugged into. I go ahead and plug in the first strand.

Start at the bottom of the tree at the point closest to the outlet.

Take the strand all the way up to the top of the tree, stopping before you get to the single poking up branch that is usually there.

Fold the wire and bring it back down the tree, spacing it over a few inches.

Once you reach the bottom of the tree, take a moment to decide if you want the strands further out the branches (they are more noticeable) or closer to the trunk (they look fainter but the wire is more hidden.) I like to do a mixture of the two to add dimension.

Continue until your strand runs out.

Plug in the next strand and tuck any non-lighted section of the strand deep into the tree so it’s hidden.

Repeat until the tree is fully lit!

I used 3 standard strands for our 9 foot tree and then went back with two strands of globe string lights, just across the front portion of the tree (since our tree is in a corner). I love the extra pop of the globe lights!

Remember that ornaments will hide a lot of the cords, so don’t get too worried about tucking it perfectly.

Stop hanging lights horizontally on your Christmas tree

Why is stringing Christmas tree lights vertically better than the traditional horizontal method?

The main reason that it is so much easier to hang your string lights vertically is because you only have to do one loop around your tree.

To hang lights horizontally, you go round and round. This makes it take forever and leaves a bit of room for error.

When you hang them using the vertical method, you only go around the tree once. It’s easier to step back and assess each section at a time to be sure you like the amount of lights in it.

why you should hang lights on your christmas tree vertically

Video tutorial

Check out this video to see exactly how I strung the lights vertically on our tree this year!

Tips for hanging Christmas tree lights

Here are some of my other best tips for lighting your tree:

  • Always add the lights first – it’s way too hard to add lights after you have added ornaments.
  • A good rule of thumb is to have 100 bulbs for every foot tall your tree is!
  • Always test your strands of lights before putting them on the tree.
  • Plug your strand in before hanging it to be sure you have the plug on the right end.
  • Try to avoid hanging your lights in perfectly straight lines and instead weave them around branches for a more natural look.
  • Always tuck the plug/tag/bare part of strands at their connections deep into the tree to hide them near the trunk.
  • Space your strands about 3-4″ apart for the best coverage.

Merry Christmas!

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