The Insider: How to make your fairy lights fantastic


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The Independent Online

You may think the time of the year for fairy lights has passed – but I think all year is good for fairy lights. Why? Because they're lovely! They add warmth to any room – so don't pack them away now the tree's down. Get creative…

Trim shady

Via Google Translate (and looking hard at the pictures), make like Swedish blogger Rebecca and create fabric fairy-light lampshades from plastic cups and old scraps of material:

Sweet touch

Do similar with cupcake holders, paper cups, even Quality Street wrappers (the coloured bits), which my friend Holly has done; she then arranged her newly multi-coloured string on a wall in a heart shape (mould some wire, then wind your lights around it and hang from a pair of hooks).

Insider tip

If you have giant jam jars or a glass vase, stuff your fairy lights inside. Great for dingy corners.

Lightbulb moment

A bit more unusually: if, like me, you have a box of old-school light bulbs you haven't quite got around to recycling, chuck them in something fruit-bowl-sized (glass, ideally), put it in a fireplace or somewhere prominent, and bury your fairies underneath. Beautiful.

Right hook

I have some giant fairy lights – aka festoon lights (about £30, Amazon) – that have languished in a cupboard for years. Then I saw a photo of a set hanging down, from a single hook, on a clean white wall. Very industrial chic. Now mine soon shall be, too.

Lit and polished

Alternatively, just get some swanky fairy lights that need no adornment. Have a look round Habitat (ideally while its sale is still on).

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at