Create a beautiful glow with floral design expert Michael Walter’s tips on how to string lights on a Christmas tree.

By Real Simple
Updated January 02, 2020

Struggling with how to hang Christmas lights? We'll show you step-by-step how to determine how many lights you'll need and how to wrap them on the tree so it looks natural and there's no "dead" space. You'll master this trick in no time.

Follow These Steps

  1. Use this guideline to determine how many lights you’ll need: for every foot, average 100 lights. So if you have a six-foot tree, you’ll probably need 600 lights.
  2. Before you start, plug in the lights to checks if all the bulbs are working. Leave them on while you work so you can see how they look on the tree.
  3. Starting at the bottom, string your lights around and through the tree in a random fashion. Try to avoid any obvious pattern or spiral; you want the lights to look natural. Place some lights deeper into the branches and place some closer to the front to create depth.
  4. A “dead zone” of lights occurs when you connect one string of lights to another. Hide the unsightly green plug by pushing it deep into the branches.
  5. If your lights aren’t hanging exactly where you want them, wrap a little floral wire around the cord and branch to hold it in place. Bend the loose ends of the wire towards the back of the tree to prevent any injuries.
  6. If you have a branch that’s drooping or unattractive, simply remove it by clipping it from behind with a pair of florist shears. See more tips for lighting a Christmas tree.