Happy Saturday y’all! I thought I’d show you a peek at our backyard Christmas lights and also how we made these simple lighted wire balls. They’re so fun and festive and really make our yard sparkle! I must confess we decorate our backyard much better than our front yard. I’m kind of embarrassed that we don’t do more to the front, but it all started with our covered patio we had built. That first year we decided to move Frosty and the reindeer to the backyard because we were spending so much time out there… and the rest is history.
We love to bundle up at night on the patio and admire our pretty Christmas lights. With the layout of our home we’re able to see our backyard more than our front anyway, even in the kitchen and living room, so we really enjoy Christmas lights in our backyard. These ornament balls are so simple to make, it’s basically just chicken wire wrapped in a ball with string lights. We certainly didn’t invent this, I found it one day on a Google search, but we’d love to show your our version, the tips we learned, and our fun festive decorated Christmas backyard!
So, as you can see above, to make these you will need a roll of chicken wire, wire cutters, good gloves, and Christmas lights. It’s also a good idea to buy an extension cord for each ball, I would say a minimum of 6 feet long, so you can spread them out. We made our balls in two sizes. The small balls are 2 feet wide and the large are 4 feet wide. You will need to purchase a roll of chicken wire that is 4 feet wide. For a 2 foot ball, cut a section of chicken wire that is 2′ x 4′. For a 4′ ball, your wire should be 4′ x 8′. Do you see the pattern? How ever wide (or tall) you want your ball to be, that is the length of your chicken wire, and then double that for the width.
So basically, you splice the ends of the chicken wire section together to form a cylinder, then you bend the two ends closed and mash it all around to form a ball. I can’t stress enough how important good gloves are! Once you have your ball shape just start wrapping your lights around it. Don’t overthink it, it is as easy as it sounds! Oh and one last thing…your wire balls will look pretty gnarly and jagged at first. Don’t worry about this, once you wrap them with lights they will take on more of a spherical shape.
As far as the lights go, I suggest going with the old school incandescent bulbs, NOT LED bulbs. They just have a warmer glow in my opinion. And here’s the rule of thumb…a 2′ ball will need 2 strings of lights, and a 4′ ball will need 4 strings. Check the label on your lights to see how many you can string together without blowing the fuse. Ours said we could connect 5 strings in line so we’re all good!
Here is Corey helping to string up these rain drop lights in the trees, he’s using our famous Amazon hook. Years ago when we hung our tall living room curtains I would struggle to open and close them. One day while at a store watching a sales person reach clothes on the high up clothing racks I decided that was one tool we needed in our lives. You guys, this clothing hook has 10,000 uses, from retail to closing curtains and hanging outdoor lights in trees!
I will say I’m not completely in love with how the light balls look during they day, but they are stunning at night! The larger balls were harder to keep in a tight ball shape, the smaller ones definitely hold their shape better.
I love how they look at night with our other decorations! And I’m still in love with our curtain string lights on the pergola… I may not take them down. These string curtain lights would look so pretty indoors too!
The result is that we love these and we plan on doing more next year for the front yard… yes we’re going to get it together and decorate our front yard better next year! One thing I’m not sure about is how we’re planning on storing these. I’ll need to get back to you on that! Are we going to take them apart, or smash them down for storage? At this point we’re clueless. If I don’t update in the future feel free to ask me in the comments how we stored these.
I think this is a great budget Christmas light project, and you can make a variety of sizes and colors. You can do a full yard or just a few to compliment other decorations. What are your thoughts on decorating your backyard, have you ever done anything like this before?