Make Christmas Tree Yard Lights

5 Materials
4 Hours

This was a last minute project I did 2 weeks before Christmas, but I love my Christmas tree yard lights. It took me close to a whole afternoon to make two of these, but they are very easy to make. The main tools you will need are a saw and a drill — that’s all. I painted mine green which helps them blend into the woods better.

These are so easy to store and reuse over and over each year. Minimal woodworking skills needed.

I hope you enjoy the tutorial. Have a Merry, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Gather some 2 inch X 2 inch X 6 foot pine boards. You’ll need at least 4 of these (if you add the braces, 3 boards if you don’t). It’s probably a good idea to use treated wood, but treated wood may warp and twist. These 2 X 2’s can be found at your local home improvement store.

I start by marking and trimming the angle for the joint at the top of the Christmas tree triangle. I used a protractor to get a 20 degree angle on 2 of the boards.

You can use a hand saw or circular saw to cut the angles.

I joined the top of the tree together with 2 inch external wood screws. Pre-drill the holes to prevent cracking. Use wood glue also. A quick grip clamp will help hold the two pieces together.

Next, I added the bottom board and added 3 braces. So, the 2 side boards are approximately 6 feet long and the bottom board is 4 feet long. I used wood glue and 2 inch wood screws to join all the boards together.

The braces are optional, but I believe this will help provide more support and perhaps keep the boards from warping.

I like to string the lights horizontally so I added the wood screws for the Christmas tree wires to the two side boards. I spaced them 4 inches apart so each side will need approximately 17 wood screws (a total of 34 screws). I used 1.5 inch external wood screws and don’t screw these all the way in. Leave about 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch of the screw sticking out.

Next, I hung the frame to a tree and sprayed on 2 coats of external paint. If you didn’t used treated boards, I’d also recommend applying 2 to 3 coats of spar urethane. You can buy this is in a spray can also. I wouldn’t worry about getting a perfect-looking paint job since most folks won’t see the wood frame up close.

After the paint dried, I strung the lights back and forth from each side. For this tree, I used white-colored wire/lights, but for my second tree, I used green. The lights themselves are clear LEDs so it doesn’t matter at night when the lights are lit up.

You will need at least 400 string lights (OUTDOOR type). I used 4 sets of 100 string lights. That’s roughly 86 to 90 feet of string lights altogether. Note — you may want to plug them in to test them before you string them on the Christmas tree frame.

Here is the finished Christmas tree yard lights. You can get 3 to 4 inch hooks from your home improvement store. These are the same kind of hooks folks use to hank up bicycles. It doesn’t matter how high you hang them as long as they’re visible. The bottom of my tree is approximately 3 feet above the ground.

Here is a photo of the trees lit up at night. These look beautiful at night. It's so simple to take these down, store in the shed and then hang them up again the next year.

Suggested materials:

  • 2" by 2" by 6 ft pine boards (4 boards to make one tree)   (Home Improvement Store)
  • 2" external decking screws   (Home Improvement Store)
  • Green external spray paint   (Home Improvement Store)
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Stephen Scott Johnson
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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  1 question
  • Mary McDonald Mary McDonald on Dec 02, 2021

    Omigosh! They are so beautiful! Now go make some for the rest of the trees, just kidding. Do they change colours or flash ? Can you imagine a whole yard of your genius project twinkling all over?

    Just very cool. Thanks for sharing.


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3 of 13 comments
  • Ruth Tracy Ruth Tracy on Dec 05, 2021

    I have a couple of telephone poles I could hang them on. What an improvement!

  • Mariquita. Mariquita. on Dec 31, 2021

    Wwaaww What a wonderful idea, thanks so much ,I really never thought about that,I will definitely make this project for next Christmas 🤶 so pretty and so easy to do. Thanks again and have a Very Happy and healthy New Year 2022. 🎊🎄🎉🪅