How to Make Christmas Light Balls

Light balls thumbnail imageLast year I wrote a guest post for SavorNC magazine about the lighted Christmas ball project in my neighborhood. To summarize, our community came together to create these beautiful decorations as part of a fundraising effort for a local charity. This is the third year now that we’re enjoying the serene, lovely effects of the lighted balls suspended high along the streets of Plaza Midwood here in Charlotte. The blog post generated so much positive feedback, comments and questions that I’ve decided to re-post an adapted version here this year. What’s been fantastic is seeing the idea spread to other communities. In fact, my husband’s family in Boston recently implemented the tradition! If you’re interested in learning how to make the light balls, I’ve included step-by-step instructions in this post, along with a few additional details based on the many questions I’ve received over the past year.

Light balls 6 at night 2
The light balls seem to hover and flicker magically along the bungalow-lined streets of Plaza Midwood in Charlotte.

How to make Christmas light balls:

Light balls 1 wire cylinder
Step 1: Fashion a cylinder out of chicken wire. (That’s my son James, age 4. He was “helping”.)
Light balls 2 light strings
Step 2: Crunch the cylinder into a ball shape approximately 18 inches diameter, and wrap with two 100-bulb light strands. White or multi-colored? Your choice!
light ball completed
Here’s a photo of how the light ball will look once completed.


Light balls 3 hang in trees
Step 3: This is the tricky part – getting the light balls into the trees. By tying a rock to a string and heaving it over a branch, you can then pull the balls up by their extension cords into the branches. We hung three light balls in front of our house, and they connect to one another via extension cord. You will need some good long extension cords to power up these babies!
Light balls 3 neighbors at work
These are some of our neighbors in Plaza Midwood, hard at work making the light balls.


The lights turn the neighborhood into a magical place at night:Light balls 5 at night 1

Light balls at night 2

Light balls at night 6

Light balls at night 5

Wishing everyone a joyful holiday and a new year filled with peace and beauty.

Tamara Leicester is a licensed interior designer and owner of Tamara Heather Interior Design, LLC. She designs casually elegant interiors with an artistic sensibility, often drawing upon the talent of local artists and craftspeople in her work. Dreaming about updating your space? Learn more at