(Originally posted December 2017; Updated November 2020)
Hanging Christmas lights on columns by my front door has always been a pain. Passing the bundle of cord and lights between the wall and column and scraping my hands on the stucco got old fast.
Me: Every. Single. Year.: There HAS to be an easier way to put these Christmas lights up on these !#%$@ columns!!
So, I was talking with my neighbor about hiring someone to put up my outside Christmas lights. One of the boys had been begging me to put them up for a couple of weeks – ever since he saw some of our neighbors’ lights going up.
(Before Thanksgiving. Overachievers :-)).
How to hang the PERFECT Lights on your Columns
Since I tend not to do things if I can’t do it perfectly (Hey, we’re all a work in progress, right?), I thought to have someone else put them up who would be able to line the roof and make them fancy was a great idea.
It would have been if, you know, I would actually call someone to do it.
Aaaaannnnyyyway… as we were driving to school last week, Jake asked me to put up the lights before I picked them up from school.
I promised the poor kid I would work on it.
But first, trim the hedges to make the lights even.
When I got home from school drop off, I pulled the lights from the box, dragged the step ladder out, and got to work around the garage. But when I got to the hedges in front of the house I realized how much they were bugging me. I’ve been meaning for months to talk to the lawn guy about trimming them way back and making them even! Why are they s uneven (like, always!)?
So…I dragged the hedge trimmer and extension cord out of the garage and started hacking, er, trimming, the hedges. (Since I wrote this, I’ve now moved on to cordless hedge trimmers that I really like!)
Once they were a little better (albeit without leaves now…whoops), well, I took a break because hedge trimmers can get heavy and it felt like it was about 100 degrees in December after all that.
Anyway. I got most of the lights done that day and the boys were VERY happy with their mama for that!
There has got to be a better way to put the lights on the pillars!
Except. There are pillars by the front door that I like to wrap lights around. But there is only an inch or so between the pillars and the wall, and it is a b-i-t-c-h to wrap lights through there. My knuckles get scraped and the lights get caught and the cord tangles. Just. Ugh.
So last year I used some wire coat hangers to fashion a device to hang the Christmas lights on the pillars.
I bent the hangers into loops every few inches to act as hooks. I laid them on either side of the back of the columns and then wrapped a string around the top of the pillar to basically tie the hangers to the back of the pillar. Then I looped the light strings back and forth across the front so I didn’t have to pass them through the small space in the back.
It wasn’t perfect but worked well enough that I kept the hangers in the box with the lights.
Well, this year when I was putting the lights on my newly de-leafed hedges, I was thinking about how I would put the lights on the columns. The coat hangers worked okay….but there had to be a better way.
Now, I have googled this and I have not been able to find a contraption like I wanted to help with this issue.
So I thought and thought…
If you are interested in the original step-by-step instructions for what I did, you can find them at this link –> Steps to Hang Lights on Columns. NOTE: Read on for some additional improvements made the next year!
Look at these Christmas Lights on the columns!
I was SO excited about this! It only cost about $20 and the most expensive part of it was the hooks.
New and Improved device to hang lights on columns
The next year (2018), I pulled my wood strips out of the attic and remembered that the Command Hooks didn’t stick great for where my lights were placed because of the sun.
So I picked up some cup hooks, drilled pilot holes in the corner molding, and screwed those hooks in!
Here’s the first picture with the new light hooks.
(Why purple? Well, for the past few years, when I have taken the Halloween lights down, I put purple lights up for the month of November in honor of Prematurity Awareness Month and my 32-weeker twins! (read a little about my preemie-experience here).
Plus. So pretty!)
That wood though.
While the hooks were totally working how I’d planned, the unpainted wood bugged me. Yes, the green wire of the lights bugged me too, so I changed to white after this picture was taken.
But that unfinished wood strip bugged me more!
Spray paint your column light hooks to match your house
I picked up some textured spray paint close to the color of the columns to see if I could make them blend in a little. I taped the hooks with painter’s tape so I didn’t spray them (highly recommend painting the wood before screwing the hooks in).
It took a couple of coats of paint because I didn’t prime the strips – but look how much better!
Not NEARLY as noticeable! Yay!
The white light wires are much better too.
While I’m already thinking of other improvements to make, I am SO happy with these this year! It makes hanging the lights (and taking them down) a BREEEEEZZZEEEE!!!
This would totally work on square or rectangular columns too – the corner molding would fit right onto the back corners!
The column light hooks are so easy to make. Here’s what you need:
- Corner molding the length of your column height – two strips per column
- Bungees or some sort of fastener to hold the strips onto the columns at the top and bottom
- Cup Hooks to hook the lights onto
- Tape Measure to measure out where you want your hooks
- Drill, and appropriate size drill bit, to drill pilot holes
- Lights – you’ll have to figure out how many you’ll need for your column height and diameter, and the number of hooks you use
- Optional paint, any color you choose!
I cannot tell you how much easier these hooks make putting the lights on the columns!
The worst part this year was trying to remember which end of the light string to put at the top of the column and which to attach to the other light strings!
More from Brooke and the Boys
How To Wrap Christmas Lights Around Pillars