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How to make holiday light ballsBoost your front yard's holiday spirit with these light-strand balls you can make yourself on the cheap.
Decorating for the holidays is a yearly activity that everyone in your family can participate in and enjoy. Here's how you can spruce up the light display in your front yard this holiday season on the cheap with some DIY holiday light bulbs. Sorted, you only need three materials. One of which is optional. First, you need some outdoor string lights, approximately 200 lights per medium sized ball. You're also gonna need 1" hex mesh which is also called chicken wire. They often come in two foot wide rolls and you're gonna need approximately a two by four sheet of hex mesh per medium sized ball. And finally you can use zip ties to secure the ends of the light strands to the wire mesh but it's not actually needed. For tools you're only going to need wire cutters or cutting pliers but I would also recommend wearing gloves when working with the wire mesh cuz when you cut it it leaves the rough edges which can and will snag and cut your hands rather easily. Start making your holiday light bulbs by unrolling and cutting the hexmesh into a 2 by 4 foot sheet. This will make a two foot diameter bulb. The biggest mistake you can make here is being stingy and not cutting enough mesh which will result in a more oval shaped bulb instead of a sphere. Once the mesh is cut, make a cylinder by connecting both Short ends of the mesh. To fasten them, square up both edges of the wire and find two loosens of wire that match up. Twist them around one another at their bases to help hold the cylinder shape. Now comes the tricky part, bending the cylinder into a sphere. This can take a little bit of practice, but fortunately if you mess up, you can just un bend the wire and start over. Hold the wire mesh about six inches down form the top edge, and bend in the top using your other hand. Next, hold the piece of mesh that you bent in while making a pleat with the mesh adjacent to it. In essence, you're bunching Pinching together an open end of the cylinder to help make a sphere. When the open end is bent in, place the cylinder on the ground, open end up, and step on the wire to flatten it and help hold its shape. Next, bend the opposite end of the cylinder. You can't step on this end to flatten it, but try to flatten the pleated wire as best you can. Now, the wire likely looks like a slightly more rounded cylinder, not a ball. You must bend and shape it into a ball. This can be tricky but should only take a few minutes. Finally, it's time to wrap lights around the ball of wire. Take the female end of the strand of outdoor stream lights and run it through one of the hexagons, pull it out off an adjacent hexagon to lock it into place Optionally you can use a zip tie to better secure this end. While keeping the strand tall wind it around the mesh ball as evenly as possible. For a two foot diameter ball you want to use between 200 and 300 lights. When finished lock the male end of the strand in place the same way as the female end. But this time leave just a little bit of slack to make it easier to plug in. Hang these balls from trees, on your porch, or place them around the yard. Just keep in mind that you will need to run an extension cord to each ball, which can be a bit of a logistical nightmare. But knowing how jealous your neighbors will be, makes it more than worth the effort. [MUSIC]